Saturday, April 9, 2016

2016 Grand World Voyage, Day 95, Haifa, Israel (Part 1 of 2)

Ann and Cathy and I arranged for a private tour of the western Israel area.  We left the ship in Haifa, met our guide Charles for our journey south along the seacoast of the Mediterranean Sea to Caesarea National Park.  Caesarea is one of Israel’s biggest archaeological sites, remains of Roman, Byzantine and Crusader cities.  The sites included the amphitheater, hippodrome where chariot races took place, the bath house, aqueducts and the Byzantine street with its mosaic floors. Our next stop was to the Ariel Sharon Park, the former Tel Aviv garbage dump.  This park sits high above the city of Tel Aviv and has been made into a beautiful park with a lake, walking trails and gardens!  This venue offers a unique and usable venue for a landfill site.  Beautiful stop!!! We then made our way to Old Jaffa.  The reconstructed center of Old Jaffa is ringed by restaurants, stores and galleries but dominated by St. Peter's Monastery.  We descended steps through tightly squeezed lanes named for zodiac signs to the sea wall.  We strolled the busy sea wall and made our way to Jaffa's main attractions the clock tower and stopped for our middle eastern lunch...after lunch we walked a few streets dedicated to flea markets and restaurants... Only a few stores were open because of Shabbat (Jewish Sabbath)...the city is being revitalized to bring the old buildings a new life.  We toured Tel Aviv with its ocean of apartment buildings, Bauhaus style architecture and 1920's style homes.  Tel Aviv is a modern cosmopolitan city much different from Jerusalem.  On our return to Haifa we stopped in Binyamina and Ziken Yakvoc the towns  developed by Benjamin and Jacob Rothschild for the wine industry.  Both towns sit atop the Carmel Ridge overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. It was a great day visiting some new areas in Israel.... Loved the day!!!!  Part 1 of 2



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