Israel two

August 5, 2010 at 1:51 am | Posted in Daily blogs and thoughts | Leave a comment

DAY 2 – August 4, 2010

Caesarea

Visited Zichron Ya’acov, an old town that was setteled in the 1800’s.  There was a Palestinian spy ring (this was during WW I, when the Jews were called the Palestinians) that supplied the British with strategic information about Turkish troop movements, which helped the British drive the Ottoman’s out of Palestine.  The spies were a couple of locals named the Aaronsohn’s, and besides providing information to the British, they were captured by the Turks, the women tortured and the members of the spy ring hung.  Their home has been turned into a museum which we toured.

 

We stopped for lunch at a restaurant recommended on the web.  On the menu a hamburger was 75 shekels – that’s about $19.   It was too hot for hamburgers, and that was pretty expensive.   Then we found a frozen yogurt shop a half block away.

We had frozen yogurt for lunch, which was delicious since it was about 95 degrees.  The owner of the yogurt stand was asking us if we ever heard of Pinkberry’s.  His was just as good.  I had peaches, pomegranate and granola on mine.  Jodi had peaches and mango.

Next stop was the Tishri winery.   Their website says they are open until 5PM.  Unfortunately, the staff and owners haven’t looked at their website in a while, or it didn’t occur to them that tourists might look at it.  We got there at 4, looking forward to a tour of the winery, and they were closing, although they decided we could sit in their courtyard and buy a few glasses of wine.  Sort of like the tours over, but you can still visit the gift shop.

The waitress asked us, “Is that all you want, wine?” 

“Well, actually, how about some of that delicious cheese in the display case?”

“Sorry, the kitchen’s closed.”

So we sat in the shaded courtyard drinking a very tasty Tishri Cabernet Estate, while Jodi reviewed the news on her Crackberry.  It turns out there was a skirmish going on on the Israel-Lebanon border, about 40 miles north of us.  But nobody we saw seemed too concerned about it.  I guess in Israel, neighborly chaos is the norm.

The owner of the winery, Nili Tishri, wandered through the courtyard and started talking to us.  She turned out to be a very friendly hostess (as many Israelis turned out to be if you could get them talking for a minute.)  She took us into the gift shop and poured us several wine samples, including their $400 a bottle Cognac and some pretty pricey Port wine.  We bought a couple bottle of red wine with the intention of bringing them back to the states.

Sure, we’ll see how far past the hotel room they get.

Next on our plan for the day was to visit the Artists Colony at Ein Hod.  We didn’t have a map, but figured the GPS would get us there.  Big mistake.  It turned out the charger for the GPS wasn’t working, and after a day of using it on battery, we ran out of juice.  We knew that Ein Hod was North, so we drove up the highway for twenty or minutes or so hoping to find a sign.  Sort of like getting on the Garden State Parkway in Paramus, looking for Princeton which is a few miles south. 

Eventually, we gave up and headed back to the hotel at Caesarea.  It was getting late and I didn’t want to be driving around trying to decipher Hebrew Signs in the dark.

When we got back to the hotel, we used a cell phone charger with a USB connector to charge up the GPS for tommorrow’s trip to Tel Aviv, although if you couldn’t find Tel Aviv without a GPS, you really didn’t belong behind the wheel of a car.  Hint:  It’s the biggest city in Israel.

Back to Caesarea for dinner at the “Beach Bar,” but first a quick stop at the beach to see the Aqueduct.   We walked on the beach and put our feet in the Mediterranean and it felt as warm as a bathtub.  The beaches are fine sand like in NJ, and the huge Aqueduct from Roman times  extends from the beach way up into the mountains, dozens of miles I guess.  We decided to get up early tomorrow and come to the beach before we check out of the hotel.

Dinner was sushi, a Greek salad and a spicy noodles & chicken plate.  We were stuffed and didn’t finish any of it.  Those salads really fill you up.  They eat a lot of salads and fruit in Israel. 

In Caesarea, we walked into the ruins and did a little exploration.  Unlike Roman structures in Italy, the marble that’s fallen down over the years just lies on the ground in the park, and you can actually touch it.  I guess that since the Romans destroyed Jerusalem, nobody cares if their precious columns get walked on.

Back to the hotel, I wished the doorman a “Boker erev,” (Morning evening).  But I’m still working on my Hebrew and I’ll get it right in another day or two.

In the room, I passed out in a few minutes, even though the A/C in the room was lousy.

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