Haifa: The Port City
Trip Start Jan 12, 2008
171Trip End Oct 01, 2008
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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.
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.
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!