In next few days, we will close our 2012 year and entering new 2013. On this occasion, I would like to thank you all for your support on feastntravel travel and feast blog. Time run really fast. I still remember on January this year when I start create this blog with help of my friend, Jon and now we are approaching January 2013 which mean in 2 weeks, it will be the first anniversary of my blog, feastntravel. Now, we will continue our travel journey for Israel, contribution from my friend, Gelo. For this edition, we will travel to north part of Israel.
We decided to stay in an apartment in Jerusalem (Siedlaz Rental) to save cost since we are staying 12 days. There are several rental apartment all over Jerusalem, so just browse through the web, and find the one that suits you. Our apartment is part of Jerusalem’s New City (outside the wall), it’s just 5 minutes walk to the shopping belt : Yafo and Ben Yehuda street; and 15 walks to the Old City.
We made Jerusalem as our base because its weather is colder (even during Summer); and since 50% of our itinerary will be around Jerusalem area.
Useful Tips :
- Do not settle with the published rate. When contacting the home owners/agent, always ask for discounted rate specially if you are staying several days.
- When paying for accommodation and tour reservations, use credit card but request to remove extra card charges , or if they dont agree request them to pickup the cash from your hotel upon your arrival; most will agree with this arrangement as long as you pay 2 days prior to the tour date.
Northern and Coastal Israel
Mediterranean Sea – it is the common body of water that stretches all along the Coastal plains of Israel. These coastal regions houses 70% of the country’s population. The following are among the famous tourist area that we visited by joining local group tours.
We begin the day in Caesarea, site of the ancient Roman regional capital and port. Named by Herod the Great in honor of Caesar Augustus, Caesarea was one of the most ambitious port-building enterprises of the Roman world.
Caesarea, was conquered by the Moslems in the seventh century. Rule alternated between the Crusaders and Saladin between the 10th and 12th centuries,. Caesarea was captured by the Mamluks in the 13th century and was destroyed.
Haifa is a major port and industrial center in Northern Israel. It is situated on the Haifa Bay, part of the city encompassing the coastal plain below the Carmel range, while the rest of the city occupies the northern and western slopes of the Carmel.
In the Bahá’í Faith, religious history is seen to have unfolded through a series of divine messengers, each of whom established a religion that was suited to the needs of the time and the capacity of the people. These messengers have included Moses, Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad, and others.
The ancient Port City of Acre is one of the oldest cities in the world. A World Heritage site, Acre (Akko) is situated in the Western Galilee on the shore of the Mediterranean. It has an ancient walled city and a fisherman’s wharf.
Main attractions include the Crusaders’ Crypts, the Great Mosque and the fortress. The remains of a Crusader port can be found in the Southeastern part of the city. There are a number of museums and churches to visit as well as the ancient Turkish Baths.
This is the only coastal city that we travelled free and easy. From our apartment, we walk down Yafo street (opposite side of Old city) corner HaRav Kook street, there is a morning pick up of Sherut Taxi going to Tel Aviv. There is no taxi terminal, but you’ll notice queue of people in the morning, just inquire with the people on queue if they are going to Tel Aviv. NIS-70
Other choice is to take light rail to Jerusalem Central Bus Station and take Egged Bus 405 to Tel Aviv. Light Rail = NIS6.4; Bus =NIS18; Taxi = NIS 300-400
Upon arrival to Tel Aviv – Bus station, we requested our Sherut driver to bring us directly to Tel Aviv Visitor Center in Jaffa (for additional 50 NIS). There we joined the 10 am free walking tour of Jaffa Old City. There are other free tours scheduled every month, for the schedule refer to Visit-tlv.com.
Jaffa Clock is the first stop of our walking tour.
Inside the Jaffa Old City walls, are various artistist gallery / museum, and some sculpture.
Like this floating Orange Tree situated at the end of Mazal Dagim (Pisces) Alley in the Artists Quarter of Old Jaffa. This is a small orange tree that is elevated off of the ground by a large earthenware pot hung by metal chains from the walls of the houses in the alley. The tree is growing out of the pot, trying to break it. The sculptor Ran Morin sought to emphasize the growing separation between Man and Nature and perhaps to remind us of Jaffa’s past as a famous orchards area.
There are also Biblical reference inside the Old Jaffa City. Like this House of Peter the Tanner.
St. Peter, regarded as the most important and spokesman of the Apostles, resided in the house of Simon the Tanner in Jaffa (Acts 10 6): “He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side”.
In this house, St. Peter had a significant dream, which changed the course of history: including gentiles in the newly founded church. According to tradition, the resurrection of Tabitha also happened on the roof of the house.
The traditional site of the house is located here, close to the ancient port .
Aside from Biblical reference, there is also some Greek mythological stories of the Andromeda’s Rock. At the port city of Jaffa an outcrop of rocks near the harbour has been associated with the place of Andromeda’s chaining and rescue by the traveler Pausanias, the geographer Strabo and the historian of the Jews Josephus.
Then walk through Tel Aviv beach to see the Mediterranean sea, upon reaching main road we took Taxi (costs 50 shekels) going to Ben Gurion House museum (free entrance), and will see the simple house of the first Prime Minister of Israel, and on 2nd floor the vast library of books.
From the museum, we walked along the Sderot Ben Gurion street (opposite from the beach side), and turn right on the King George street there are busses here that goes to Central Bus Station for our return bus to Jerusalem.
We will continue our journey in Israel with interesting places on southern part include dead sea. Don’t miss our next article.