Reporting from this beautiful city as we begin another year CAARI Adventure this month. Once more the Bercovs joined the Canadian and American Active Retirees (CAARI) in Israel for a program of community service, touring, lectures and a good time with friends. All of this is through the Jewish National Fund, the organization which plants forest, builds water reservoirs, roads and even contructed an indoor playground in this extraordinary country. Our Tour Coordinator, Susan Horwitz, and guide, Neil Eisenstadt, bring a wealth of experience, knowledge and good humour which make CAARI a most wonderful way to visit Israel.
Where to begin…after only three days in this area, and already so many memorable events and places…..
This morning, for example, our group left bright and early, boarding the CAARI bus and greeting Moti, our excellent driver who had been with us a few times. Just an aside – Israel’s roads tend to be narrow at the best times, with sharp curves in this mountainous part of the country, all of which Moti handles with ease. Thanks, Moti!
So, with Moti at the wheel, we headed north toward Akko, driving through a mixed residential and industrial part of the country. In spite of its size, Israel produces a large variety of products, like paint, concrete, has chemical processing and stone polishing using local limestone. The route continued north, through the small city of Naharyia to Mt. Adir along the northern border. We drove as far as we could into a small forest and from there we went by foot. From the view point there, we saw many small villages over the border in Lebanon. Guide Neil brought out his map of the country, explained about the history of the area, adding to what he told us on the drive.
(another aside, later we found out about the internal problems that Lebanon is experiencing…how appropiate that our visit was today).
Back down to earth, we thank Maestro Tavior and reluctnatly left his studio driving through forest of pine to the ancient city of Safed. There we encountered mny other groups of tourists, including a Birthright group from Cornell, New York.
Next CAARI headed for the Hazor archeologial site, on the list of UNESCO International Heritage Sites. Here the work continues, excavating and discovering artifacts from ancient cultures. Last summer, for example, archeologists discovered 2 Hammurabi tablets with Acadian writing. I think this means lines, horizontal or vertical in combinations, but Neil really knows…
Yes, there is more to this day. Final stop Rosh Pina and a visit to the synagogue there and an media presentation of the story of Rosh Pina, one of Baron Rothschild’s villages. Ah…a delicious dinner and back to Haifa.
Keep well and warm, especially Edmontonians who are expecting -25C tomorrow.
Marcia and Ron (Edmonton, Canada)