*Sorry, but this is a huge photo dump so hopefully your computers won’t run too slow*
Today was our second day in beautiful Haifa, and we decided to spend the day exploring some of the smaller, less-touristy sites in the city. We started off at the Stella Maris Church, the home of the Carmelite Order. What an awesome spot to spend the day praying; on a bluff, this Arab Christian church (things inside were in Arabic and English only), the Church’s windows overlook the western side of downtown Haifa and blue Mediterranean Sea.
We took the cable car to reach the bottom of the mountain. For 19 shekels (slightly more than 5 dollars), we got a great view of the city and landed on the western terminus of a Bat Lamis promenade (I think that was the name). With people rollerblading, fishing, walking their dog, or just enjoying a lazy afternoon in the park, this was a really neat part of the city. For a while we just sat on the smooth rocks, watching container ships pour into the Port of Haifa as the ocean caressed the tired sand.
Next, my group hit up the German Colony, one of the coolest spots in all of Haifa (in fact, it is “a must see” according to Lonely Planet, Fodor’s and Frommer’s). We ate at a neat, highly recommended Arab restaurant called Fatoush where I got to experience baked calf and really good Palestinian beer, Taybeh (much better than the Israeli beers).
Finally, we traveled to the beach. Though our hostel was slightly far (5 km) from downtown Haifa, it was a stone’s throw from Carmel Beach. It was here where I fell in love with Haifa. Everything was just so relaxed and different than it’s peer cities of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Jerusalem is ancient and the holiest city in the world, collectively; Tel Aviv feels the need to counter this by having this in-you-face non-religiousness party-all-the-time feel. Haifa on the other hand lacks both the history and culture of its siblings. But it is this, what it lacks, that makes it so amazing.
Sorry for the sort of brief synopsis but I just want to get the raw data up first. I am trying a new method for captioning for pictures, so this time the captions will appear under each picture rather than as a list beforehand.