A Stroll Along the Beach

27 Mar

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Yesterday, Brad and I took a stroll along a short stretch of the Mediterranean shore. A 15-minute walk from our house brings us to the beach, but we drove to DeShalit Square so we could begin our walk a little bit further north.

Parking at DeShalit Square (for some reason, most expats refer to this square as Sharon Square but the map and street signs say it is DeShalit Square) is usually a challenge as it has a large parking lot very close to the beach and there are no time limits on parking spaces. We were lucky and found a space right away but as we walked towards the beach we witnessed an altercation over a parking space. Apparently, one driver tried to park in a space that was being reserved for another driver by a man standing in the parking space. The driver was so agitated he jumped out of his car and confronted the satnding man. Loud yells soon turned into a shoving match. The passenger of the car, a woman, jumped out and tried to mediate the fight, yelling “Shalom, Shalom!” over and over again. I wanted to stay and watch the outcome, but Brad preferred to pass it by and head for the beach.

It was a beautiful day, the nearly cloudless sky was a brilliant blue while the sea was varying shades of teal and turquoise. A mild wind drove small white-capped waves toward the shore. We entered the beach near a popular spot and saw several sunbathers settled onto beach chairs and blankets. Our destination was further north to Apollonia.

We walked along the narrow beach, the sea to our left and sandy cliffs to our right. The cliffs looked as if they’d been formed by a giant  bulldozer taking bites out of the land. In reality, the rough sides of the cliffs are made up of calcified sand. Up above we could see houses built dangerously close to the cliff’s edge.

At one point we passed some people casually sunbathing near signs warning of the possibility of landslides. A few steps further and we came upon an actual landslide that had occurred only moments earlier. It looked as if a giant sand castle had collapsed.

Further along the beach we came to the Hermit House. I’d seen that designation on the map and always wondered about it. The house was an odd conglomeration of stones and sculptures built into the cliff wall. I wonder if anyone really lives there. As we continued north, the beach became rockier. Just as we approached the site of the ancient port of Apollonia we stopped to sit on the rocks and gaze out to sea.

Time to head back and we began to retrace our steps. As we walked I scanned the shore for Roman glass — bits of sea-polished glass dating from ancient Roman times. Roman glass, in shades of blue, turquoise and green, is said to be plentiful along the shores of the Med in Israel. How they can tell it is Roman and not broken bits of an old Bromoseltzer bottle is beyond me. I did actually find one tiny bit of what could maybe be Roman glass.

Just as we approached the site of the landslide we were stopped by an officer (police?, park ranger? not sure) who told us we could not proceed further because of the landslide. We had to return to the site of Apollonia and climb up what seemed like hundreds of steps to the cliff top. From there we walked through town back to DeShalit Square.

I’ll have to return again soon to see what is done about the site of the landslide and, of course, to search for more Roman glass.

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One Response to “A Stroll Along the Beach”

  1. Tara March 28, 2011 at 8:22 pm #

    beautiful beach!

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