By The Beautiful Sea

9 Apr

Elevator Beach in Netanya

Elevator Beach in Netanya (click image to see more photos of Netanya)

Netanya is a town about 12 miles north of us on the coast. I’ve been there many times but only to go shopping at Tiv Taam, a large Russian-owned grocery store. Then I read somewhere that Netanya has a wonderful seaside promenade that stretches for miles and affords beautiful views of the Mediterranean. Brad and I decided to see the town and the lovely views for ourselves today.

Netanya is just under a half hour drive from our house. We didn’t even bother to look up the route to the promenade. It’s really a no-brainer: just head for the coast. Brad managed to get a perfect parking spot just steps away from Elevator Beach, so named because there is an elevator there that takes one from the promenade that runs along the top of a cliff down to the beach.

The beach was not too crowded, but it’s early in the season. It was a partly cloudy day and breezy. When the sun was out it felt warm but when the clouds came in you felt you needed a light jacket. The really nice thing about the beach here, and also the ones in Herzliya, is that they are not junked up with tacky tourist shops and bars. There were a few cafes along the way but for the most part we enjoyed some charming landscaping: lovely flowers, walkways dotted with pergolas and lookout points.

The town of Netanya was not so charming. Aside from the unimpressive town square with one of the word’s ugliest fountains, the town seemed to be made up of bland rectangular concrete apartment towers. One after another after another. We saw many signs printed in Russian, a testament to the large Russian emigrant population. We also heard much French being spoken and saw many signs in French as well. Since we were there on the Sabbath it was a rather quiet day; many restaurants and most all shops were closed.

We had lunch at Pearl of the Sea, one of the cafe/restaurants on the promenade. The Pearl had a worn look to it and the waitstaff were a bit lackadaisical. I ordered my first shakshuka ever and it was actually pretty good. While we were sitting at the cafe overlooking the Med we saw a paraglider pass by. (Remember, the restaurant is situated atop a tall cliff.) After lunch as we continued to stroll along the promenade we saw many more paragliders.

Curiosity about Netanya sated, we headed back home. I’m sure we’ll go back again.


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