Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Everyday I realize how glad I am that we are not on a tour- I think we’d miss breakfast every day and they’d be calling us from the bus wanting to know when we were planning on joining the group. The way we are seeing Israel is from the inside rather than the outside. We’ve stayed with people, the kids have met kids, heard Hebrew being spoken, visited sites that we can’t find in our guidebook. It’s been amazing!
Today we got a late start and headed out to Rosh Hanikra. Since we missed visiting my Kibbutz due to the side visit to the hospital, we included it in our plans for today. We hit Keshet cave first- Keshet means rainbow. I stayed behind because of my ankle, but apparently it was quite a precarious hike! I spent the time mapping out our trip tomorrow. Using the Hebrew atlas that my cousin Marc gave me and our Fodor’s guide to Israel, we are all set to visit the Golan tomorrow.
After Keshet cave we made our way to Rosh Hanikra. After dining on salami, humus, cucumbers & loquats that we packed, we headed down in the cable car. There were quite a few black hats visiting today as well! Rosh Hanikra is a series of grottoes that were carved over thousands (millions) of years by water and sand that got into crevices. The water in this area is turquoise blue and beautiful. There was once a railway trail here that the British built from Tripoli, Lebanon, trhough Beirut, Israel and to Egypt. During the war of Independence the Hagana (secret Israeli army) blew up one of the tunnels to make sure weapons weren’t brought into Israel. Holocaust surviviors also came into Israel secretly on freight trains on these tracks.
A quick trip into Nahariya- my old stomping ground (right near the Kibbutz I lived on in college) and Talia got herself a few pieces of clothes and Elizabeth found a Hello Kitty something or other in Hebrew. We tried to find a Byzantine church that was listed in our guidebook but our stupid gps couldn’t find it.
We have a lot of trouble with the gps- we’ve named it Samantha because that’s the name of our gps at home. It has trouble with English translation and often tells us that streets don’t exits. Also it insists that we “left, keep left ahead” all the time. Or she tells us, “when possible make a u-turn ahead”. She never wants us to keep right. I have to use a map at the same time to make sure we are headed where we want to go!!!
And finally, the Kibbutz. We parked behind the Chadar Ochel (dining room) and walked towards Noemi’s house. She came out to greet us and gave Mike and the girls a big hug. I love when someone who loves you automoatically loves your family even if they’ve never met each other. She had given our meal away yesterday and told me she would only make tea- but we sat down to a feast of tuna salad, egg salad, cabbage salad, Israeli salad, olives, sliced vegetables, and pastries. Then we took a walk around the Kibbutz. A Kibbutz used to be a socialist community where everyone worked in whatever job suited them and everyone was paid equally for their work. They ate together in a dining room, laundry was done in the laundry, and children were cared for in children houses. 95% of Kibbutzim have privatized and now it’s just a community that lives close together. The services are still there, but you have to pay for them. If you want to eat in the dining room you pay for it. If you want to build on to your house, you pay for it. (Although the old way there were limitations on how big your house was allowed to be.) So there have been a lot of changes!!
We stopped by Abby’s house- she had been adopted by Noemi a few years before me when she came on a year from London. I knew her because she then moved to the kibbutz and moved there. I’ve seen her each time I’ve been back. We went to her house to use her wifi (that was the last blog you saw) and had a great time visiting with her and her parents who were visiting from London. I love meeting new people and finding out where they are from and learning about them.
We headed out with a parting gift of fresh avocadoes (grown on the kibbutz) and fresh baked bread from the neighboring Druze village at 8:30 pm.