Thursday, June 5, 2014

Our First Day in Northern Israel

            Today was my favorite day in Israel so far – this even in spite of the long drive north and the motion headaches I get from driving! We began by touring the old town of Acre, or Akko to the Israelis. One of the two port cities in Israel during the first century, Acre was built along the edges of the Mediterranean in northern Israel. Though the city is still alive and inhabited today, unlike Jaffa, an ancient palace of the crusaders remains meters below the surface. Though the top levels of the palace were destroyed long ago, the basement level was forgotten and built upon. Therefore, when archaeologists discovered the tunnels that wind between these underground rooms, the ancient basement was almost completely intact.
Outside of the Underground City

Aside from its rich history from the time of the Templars and Crusaders, Acre also contains a bustling market place selling things from fresh octopus to honey-soaked donut holes. Humus Said, one of the debated locations for “Best Humus in Israel,” is located within the market.

Octopus at the Market

After enjoying a walk along the walls of the city, we traveled to Rosh Hanikra, a cave-like formation along the Lebanese border. The area was formed by the acid that is created when water meets limestone. When this acid drips between the limestone it creates vertical cracks. As the ocean exudes the same force, only from the side, tunnel-like formations are formed. Though a tunnel was built in this area for a train to travel between Israel and Lebanon, it was destroyed when Israel became a state in the “Night of the Bridges” operation.
Rosh Hanikra

Rosh Hanikra

Finally, we made our way to our hotel, located in Nahariya. With a coarse sand beach only a few blocks away, a gorgeous backyard, and even a living room area with a chess set and bookshelf, it is the nicest hotel I have ever been in. After enjoying some time on the beach, I decided to turn in early to write this blog. My day was made even better as, when I was almost back to the hotel, a tiny kitten popped out of the bushes at attempted to play with me. It followed me all the way back to the hotel, and I had a hard time getting it to stay out doors while I went in.

Beach time at Nahariya

Our hotel's backyard


So far, northern Israel is perfect.

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