This is our first overnight stop on a 5 day road trip with our friends, Mark and Neville from the sailing yacht Quo vadis. We've been sharing a rental car with them for this past month. Next we coerced them into letting us tag along on their planned tour of Israel instead of heading out along the same route when they returned next week. We briefly stopped on the way to Haifa in Caesarea
, an ancient Roman City with lots of intriguing history.
We arrived hungry at the Gallery Hotel in the downtown area. Food was the first order of business. A short walk to the "German Colony" brought us to a nice little sidewalk cafe. After a long scrumptious lunch we waddled down to the to the terminal to catch the underground cable car. Up we rumbled through a tunnel under the city to the top of Mount Carmel. The views of the city below were breathtaking. The air was warm and clear. Everywhere there were gardens with flowers. Haifa is on the top of our best cities list...clean, friendly, lots of interesting history, long white sandy beaches, colorful gardens and very multi cultural.
Our wandering brought us to the entrance of the Baha'i gardens. This beautiful place is the center of the Baha'i faith
. It's quite impressive. The perfectly manicured landscape decended below us 1000 meters. The famous center piece, the gold covered dome Shrine of the Bab
in the center of the garden is under cover for renovation... Darn! We missed the afternoon tour that allows us access to the entire garden so we satisfied ourselves with the top two terraces.
We decided to walk down the hill through the city. We stopped and had conversations with the friendly locals. Eventually we arrived at Stella Maris Carmelite Church
and Elijah's cave. This site is considered sacred by Jews, Christians, and Muslims. It is said to be the site where Elijah found refuge from the wrath of Ahab, king of Israel from 871 to 853 BC......Really old stuff!
Arriving back at our hotel we were informed that we had been upgraded to a delux suit! How lucky! Our friends were extremely jealous.... Judy enjoyed the the jetted tub while Dave hung out on the large balcony watching the action on the street below. That night we drifted to sleep the luxury of a big soft comfy bed.
After breakfast we continued our exploring on foot through Talpoit, the local veggi market of Haifa. They have the most amazing varieties there..... the biggest fattest Fruits and the freshest cleanest Vegetables and ....the most amazing looking People that we've seen in ages! This is a super place for People watching.
Soon we are back on the road, headed for Akko.