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Going Offline

30 Sep

I was napping this afternoon when I woke with the sudden realization that tomorrow our internet service ends. Yikes! Time for one more post before we leave Israel. I don’t have anything deep or profound to say. Only that I will miss living in this region much more than I’d ever dreamed I would. I’m hoping that my previous posts attest to all the reasons why. Add these recent experiences to the list:

After my early morning visit to the Israeli govt. vet to get the paperwork signed and stamped for Baxter and Lulu, I met up with my friend Anne K, who lives nearby. She treated me to breakfast at a cafe at Ramat HaNadiv, one of the places on my long list of places to visit before we leave Israel. Anne and I met months ago at a Mah Jongg game, something I’ve always considered to be a good omen. We will continue our friendship…and collaboration on a book…after I leave. (photos by Anne and our waiter.)

We had a fabulous breakfast at the cafe at Ramat HaNadiv

Cafe at Ramat HaNadiv

Memorial Garden at Ramat HaNadiv

Brad and I took one more walk along the Med this morning, wading in the water as the tide came in. We’ve just begun to move out of the summer season here and have witnessed some light sprinkles and blustery skies. This view of the mosque, near where we usually access the beach, was particularly engaging this morning.

Sidna Ali Mosque

We had lunch at one of the area’s best restaurants, Segev. I must thank Anne for introducing me to this fab establishment, just minutes from our house in Herzliya Pituach. Everything was delicious and served in inimitable style.

Brad’s serving of Scorched Tuna

My serving of Drum Fish Filet


A Few Of My Favorite Things

26 Sep

Aside from ready access to some of the greatest historical sites in the world and top-notch middle eastern cusine, here are a few of the things I will miss about living in Israel:

The view outside my studio window.

Being able to walk from our house to the shores of the Med in 15 minutes.

Being able to walk down the middle of the highway once a year on Yom Kippur.

The bougainvillea outside my kitchen window.

Predictable weather.

The Incomparable Dead Sea

15 Jan

The visit to Masada took up most of the day. With what time remained before sundown we decided to make our way to the shore of the Dead Sea for a closer look at this fascinating body of water. By the time we got to the Ein Gedi Spa it was too late to go to the shore. The Spa used to be right at the shore but the Sea has been depleted so much due to lack of rain that one must now take a shuttle from the Spa to the shore. We hastened to the public beach a bit further down the road. Ah, we were in luck. It was still open. And there were even a few bathers there.

The Dead Sea is actually a salt lake. At 1,388 feet below sea level its shores are at the world’s lowest elevation. It is also one of the world’s saltiest bodies of water. You can’t really swim in the Dead Sea – if you go into the water you can’t help but float. I was struck by the lack of vessels on such a huge expanse of water. I was also incredibly impressed with the Dead Sea’s astounding beauty.

The Dead Sea

Salt encrusted rocks in the foreground, Jordan and the mountains of Moab in the distance.

Salt-encrusted Rocks at the Shoreline

Salt-encrusted Rocks at the Shoreline

Dead Sea Bather

Dead Sea Bather

A Bit of Fun at the Beach

13 Oct

My Feet in the Med

My Feet in the Med

Jumping the Waves

Jumping the Waves

Chasing the Moon

16 Jun

Full Moon

Full Moon on June 15, 2011, at 8:33 p.m. in Herzliya

Lunar Eclipse of June 15, 2011

Lunar Eclipse in progress at 10:02 p.m., June 15, 2011, Herzliya

A post on facebook alerted me to the impending lunar eclipse that took place last night. The post said the eclipse would begin around 8 p.m., so at 7:30 p.m. I grabbed my camera and headed towards the beach. It’s just a 15-minute walk from the house. And what a lovely romantic sight that would be! A total lunar eclipse over the Mediterranean. (Too bad hubby’s away on business.)

I made it to the shore and stood atop a platform where an elevator transports passengers to the beach. I scanned the sky, looking across the sea, searching for the moon. I turned around away from the sea and gasped. There it was, full and sitting low on the horizon, glowing red from the setting sun. It brought to mind Cosmo’s moon in the movie Moonstruck.

And yes, it was full. No shadows crossing its face. What? Did I miss it already? Couldn’t be. It’s supposed to be one of the longer eclipses, lasting about 100 minutes.

I headed back home and hopped on the internet. Ahhh… The eclipse would be at its greatest at 8 p.m. UTC time which is 11 p.m. Tel Aviv time. Time to relax before the big event.

I popped outside between 9:30 and 10 p.m. and caught the beginning of the eclipse. It was a wonderful sight even though I was simply standing on a street corner and not along the shore of the Med.

I went back inside with intentions of catching the final stages of the eclipse a little later. But fifteen minutes later clouds had rolled in, obscuring the moon.

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.