Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Our trip to Israel - Part 9
Springtime in Tel Aviv!
Fantastic Weather, Great People, Terrific Food, Living History . .... and the Beach!
Dancing on a Saturday Afternoon on the Beach Promenade, Tel Aviv. When you get a chance to dance on the Beach, why, you really have no choice . . ... you must!
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Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Our trip to Israel - Independence Day!!
Independence Day means Airshow at the Beach, Dancing, and a Nationwide Party!! Beautiful day!
Posted by Don Sharpe at 2:39 PM 2 comments:
Our trip to Israel - Part 7
Now we're on a roll! Bunked up at the Bell Boutique Hotel just a block from the beach in Tel Aviv, we're where the action is! Okay, it's a little noisy, but we're here to see it all. Our first stop today is the Better Place Visitor Centre - this electric car project is Amazing! We were allowed to test drive one of the new electric Renault sedans, very quiet, luxurious and fast! Whooo Hoooo!!!
This day was also Memorial Day, and everywhere we went we were able to witness the reverence Israeli's have for their war dead. Latrun was no different, as these young men stood at attention beside their 'Wall of Remembrance' during our visit.
The Latrun Trappist Monastary is right across the road, and Ayalon (Canada Park) is a beautiful big acreage for picnics and camping just north a couple of miles across the main highway.
Then it's a short drive to the Ayalon Bullet Factory Museum, where 8 meters underground, just before 1948 war of Independence the kids at the Ayalon kibbutz produced over 2.4 MILLION rounds of 9mm ammunition right under the noses of the British. Fantastic tour and story, lots of time for questions and to marvel at what these early settlers accomplished.
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Our trip to Israel - Part 6
As the rockets rain onto Israel from Gaza again today (more than 75 in the last 3 days) I'd like to share with you my trip to Sderot. My Missus stayed in Tel Aviv that day, shopping and touring with Toby. I rented a Nissan Juke (hilarious if you speak Hebrew, Juke means 'cockroach') and drove first to the not yet completed Women of Valor Center in Nitzanim. 10 heroic women, including Mira Ben-Ari stayed behind to fight the Egyptian invaders on Jun3 7, 1948. waiting at the Sderot Media Centre for my noon arrival. After introductions my journalist's tour begins at the Police Compound, where we're examining casings from rockets which were recently fired into Israel from Gaza.
bands use the bigger shelters as practice spaces during the attacks.
bands use the bigger shelters as practice spaces during the attacks.
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Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Our trip to Israel Part 5
Israel has been at war with their enemies for years, long before 1948. This rich and tragic history of struggle and triumph has built into the country and her people an indomitable spirit and a passion for living in the moment. Ammunition Hill was a Jordanian Police training facility before June '67. More IDF soldiers were lost here than in any other single battle during the six day war.
Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum. The Hall of Names. The Railcar. The 'Rightous Among The Nations'. As the last direct victims of the concentration camps pass away, this monument lives and breathes their plight with truly beautiful and horrific displays. This is one of the top 5 sites to see in Israel. Plan to spend several hours here, and do not miss the Children's Memorial.
Irgun Museum in Tel Aviv. "Every Jew had the right to enter Palestine; only active retaliation would deter the Arabs; only Jewish armed force would ensure the Jewish state."
The Irgun were an offshoot of the Haganah, the precursor to the IDF. The Irgun were Zionists who felt the Haganah were not adequately defending Jewish interests in the region. Critics of the Hagana leadership slammed the lack of weapons and the Hagana policy of restraint in not fighting back. In short, these fighters were bad-ass arab killers, they were not interested in negotiating any kind of 'false peace' with Israel's enemies.
Operation Black Arrow: 1955 - Extensive infiltration of fighters from Gaza murdering Israeli citizens near Rehovot. IDF soldiers destroyed their camp and wiped out their Egyptian reinforcements. Another historic example of what happens when you push Israeli's too far.
Posted by Don Sharpe at 2:19 PM No comments:
Our trip to Israel Part 4
Is it time to talk about the food yet? OMG the food in Israel is fantastic. Breakfasts at every single place we stayed was magic. Lots of fresh veggies, spicy yogurt and fruit, and 'Shakshuka' - a hot breakfast of salsa-style tomato & peppers with an egg cooked in the center. The huevos rancheros of the East! One of our favorite restaraunts in Jerusalem was Pasha's, at 13 Sheikh Jarrah. We absolutely destroyed and entire table filled with delicious kabob and side dishes. www.pashasofjerusalem.com Smoking is OK, and after dinner relax with some shisha!.
Part of the reason the food is so good has to be because it's so fresh! Local produce is delicious, and the spice market is the envy of every cook I know!
Be sure to stop at any of the fresh juice street vendors, and the tables filled with nuts and nougat. The perfect pocket snack for an urban day hike.
When you're out and about you're going to run into a lot of soldiers. These young men and women are from all over Israel, most speak excellent english, are very friendly. We found they were always terrific ambassadors for Israel, and enjoyed chatting with us. No soldier will ever accept a ride from other than official gov't vehicles, as the risk of kidnapping is still very, very high. Cafes, pedestrian malls and public transit were the places we always found a friendly smile and great conversation with these young adults.
Posted by Don Sharpe at 12:05 PM No comments:
Our trip to Israel - Part 3
Okay, is it possible to visit Qumran (where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found), Masada and the Dead Sea all in the same day? Yes. Is that the best way to enjoy these historic sites? No.
Trip into occupied territory, anyone? We were in a cab back to our hotel one afternoon when Khalil (email: email@example.com) offered to take us to Bethlehem. $400 NIS includes transportation and tour guide through the Church of the Nativity. Khalil phoned Khalid enroute and he met us at the Church. Small groups with an experienced guide often get to go where larger groups cannot .... and the intimate nature of a smaller group befits this sacred place.
After our tour, we of course were escorted to a 'friends place' where the famous Arab hospitality and haggling over souvenirs began. Some baklava and sweet mint tea, lots of laughter and probing conversation finishing with shopping bags filled with local olive wood handcrafts.
Posted by Don Sharpe at 11:24 AM No comments:
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