Haifa: The Port City

Trip Start Jan 12, 2008
Trip End Oct 01, 2008

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Monday, January 14, 2008

Grrr, I wake up at 5:15am and struggle to get back to bed as it's freaking freezing in our room and my bed reminds me of sleeping on my kitchen floor, but there is no Buddy to keep me warm.  I get over it and write emails to set up my South Afican safari, which should be sweet!  My good friend Jen has just signed on to join me in Jo'burg and Capetown.  At least one of my friends is adventurous enough to take me up on my most generous offer to accept any travel partner applications!

Finally get out of bed around 6:30 and we head to the Bahai Gardens for an early morning panorama.  The gardens remind me of a mini Versailles, but what they lack in size they make up for in intricate perfection.  The Bahai faith was started in Haifa as yet another break off from Islam, and now the 4th monotheistic religion to claim Israel as its holy land. They basically believe that nature's beauty will overcome and have created aesthetically beautiful sites around the globe that patrons keep up through paying taxes to the faith.  Seems like a decent and peaceful option from what I gather.  Haifa is set on hills overlooking the Sea of Galilee creating one of the most eye-friendly cities I've ever seen, and would be surreal if not for the commercial and naval port.

We head to Sefad (or Zfat) which is a Kabbalah village in which people are randomly dancing in the streets out of sheer joy!  Seriously, this one dude was literally breaking down to his boom box without realizing anyone was watching and didn't stop once he saw us.  He turned out to be from Ohio, go figure?  We walk through the old village where there are numerous artists and while they are trying to sell you goods, it seems that they are more interested in enlightening you than getting your money. One guy who was selling lahuh (a Yeminite pita pizza bread that provides for quite a tasty snack, and brief entertainment as he flips them like my Dad used to toss pancakes) came off as the most "enlightened" guy I've ever talked to, which lasted until we received a brief foray into the teachings of Kabbalah from an artist that moved to Sefad from Detroit.   Avraham calls the ideas of his teacher as the most "awesomely, awesomely, awesomely, awesomely, etc..., awesome and mind blowing concepts" and basically thought everything was a miracle. There is a candle factory where we find the most awesomely, awesomely awesome candles of all time!
Next we head down to the Sea of Galilee to see the very first Kibbutz ever established, Kineret.  The idealist concept, rapid success and recent fall is a very interesting tale well told by our guide along the beautiful shores of the Kineret (Sea of Galilee).  We head to a natural hot spring on the edge of the sea and relax in the soothing, yet salty, waters of the spa.  The scenery is unreal as the pool stretches from the indoors to the outside just above the sea.  We were the youngest people there by at least 40 years it seemed like, but no one complained about anything for the first time in the trip.  My hands prune before I finally allow myself to get out and we head to our hotel in Tiberias where the group rejoices with several drinking games.  I find myself trying desperately to sleep, yet again on what feels like a cardboard box large enough for a midget... Awesome!
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madman96 on

Re: warming the finger
Jorge is such a huge celebrity, you have no idea!!! The guy makes buddies everywhere we go and I'm not sure what I'd do without him at this point as he is quite the travel partner...

arnab03 on

Mad man's96 is a traveller of freedom.He dose not know about what is the main occasion of life.What he has done is the right thing and what he has earn in his life byn travelling is his gain.

arnab03 on

Mad man has provide the originality if life from where we can also show some high of life.He has shown us the original quality of life.

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