Tiyul (tee-yool) Trips

View of the Haifa Bay from the top of the Bahai Gardens

Israel, as you may be amazed to see, is an absolutely gorgeous, breathtaking country and her towns can and do give a run to all the other major cities around the world. Talking of which, do you know that Israel is 473 times smaller than the USA, 158 times smaller than India and 55 times smaller than Colombia? And yet, a 7 day trip to here is very short.

There is so much to do and see and then there is always this place around the bend that is a must-visit for its food or for its taste of ancient history. We sincerely believe that no matter where you go, there are some places that must be visited to break all the bonded shackles of belief, that we have held onto after reading some lore of fantasy or of what once was. Coz, these places will surely jolt you back to real time and what better way to start it all of, than from the city of Tel-Aviv (it means ‘Ancient Hill of Spring’).

This city will make you gawk. No, no…just like India doesn’t have snake charmers everywhere (*ok ok, we do in some places but you get the drift right?*), we dont have camels on the roads here (please refer to the above *-*). This city will put the other so called cities to shame. She is cool and sexy and in your face and yet demure and charming. The financial and technological centre of the country (& the world in many cases, sshhh), she was founded in 1909 as a modern housing estate on the outskirts of the ancient port city Jaffa (Yafo in Hebrew).

And then there is always and has to be, Jerusalem. Oh, Jerusalem. No doubt, people want her as their own. She is such an ethereal, complex, magnetic, divine lady. She stands there in all her splendidness and allure, that does not fail to tempt you. She does not disappoint. There is an underlying buzz around her, a hum that draws you over. You cannot, not feel it or want it. She was always our capital and that took the US of A and her President to scream it louder to the world what always was. (Ppsstt..do you know that people always mistake Mumbai to be the capital of India instead of New Delhi?).

You will be astonished to realise, that no matter where you go to in Israel, you will see both the old and new, ancient and modern, residing and blending together in harmony. There is no confusion, no conflict. Just profound colours in all its divine flagrancy. And you cannot, not be tinted by her.

These are just 2 cities. Can you believe how many more there are in between and around these 2 cities itself? And then, there is always that well deserved soak you must take in the hot water springs in Hamat Gader or float in the Dead Sea or shop tax free in our very own favourite getaway (and tourists alike) at Eilat.

Did you know the the Dead Sea (‘Yam Ha-mey-lakh’ in Hebrew) is the lowest point on Earth? And that it is so called, as no fish can survive in its waters due to its high salinity. However, due to its uniqueness, the Dead Sea is known worldwide for its renowned health and healing properties and you can float in it without drowning. Yes, you can glide to the other side to Jordan if you want to, but try not to ok.

So, Tiberias, is less than 25 mins from us. She is an absolutely beautiful town and is known for The Sea of Galilee or as we call it – the Kinneret. Did you know, that it is called Kinneret in Hebrew, as it is shaped like a kinnor, meaning a harp? And that, it boasts to be the lowest fresh water lake in the world? Our only source of drinking water, Israel is now desalinating its sea water to provide water to its millions. Cool eh? Tiberias also has the oh so amazing hot water springs and is a treat anytime of the year.

And then there is Nazareth. Another beautiful town, she holds a dozen & more beautiful Christian & Muslim sites and is a must visit.

I can go on and on, but let’s get back to basics, back to where we will all meet and why all this is being created – Our Wedding.. Yyiippeee yyeeaaa. So, we live on a ‘MOSHAV. Its like a village. Its vastly an agricultural community with a large degree of economic autonomy. That means, compared to a KIBBUTZ, which is primarily based on the socialist ideology, where almost everything from property, production & labour is shared, we can decide for ourselves what we would like to buy for ourselves, or the type of house structure we would want, etc., keeping in mind the aesthetics of the moshav.

Our beautiful moshav is located in the Lower Galilee region of Israel and surrounded by mountains, rolling hills, green farms (can you believe that we are in a desert?) and even a stream that pushes through 12 months a year. The road to the moshav, as soon as you turn off the main road, is absolutely gorgeous. It’s such a stress buster and you can never get enough of this gorgeous winding road.

Oh and the farm… our home. The front of the house faces this flamboyant, grand Gulmohar tree. They are commonly known as the ‘Flame/Fire Tree” because of their red flowers. However, our tree, flowers luminous bright yellow blooms and so we call it our “SunShine Tree”. On the other side of the house, towers the majestic Mount Tabor, all regal in his splendour, whilst he pulls the sun in its arms at every dusk. Every sunrise and sunset, you will witness God’s paintings in all its glory and all its wonder. It’s all so unreal. We grow all sorts of trees from plantains, papaya, mustard seeds, lemon, hibiscus, jamun (an Indian fruit), herbs, etc. Our neighbours have horses, sheep, goats, turkeys, ducks, amongst others. It’s an absolutely fun place to be. Living here, is like being on a motivational, meditational, colourful vacation each day. Fun times….Few more awesome places around us….

There are so many fascinating places to go visit in such a tiny country, it is unbelievable. We live close to the Jesus trail, bang on the Israel National Trail, opposite to Mount Tavor, close to Tiberias and Mount ArbelZipporiNazareth and Megiddo (Valley of the Armegeddon) amongst other exciting places. We are just so very lucky to be able to live & love in such a magical place. We surely are blessed.

About vagabondrootzhttp://daniellea2012.wordpress.comIts been a journey for quite a while now and its time for me to connect with my roots and bring to life my love for words.

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