You Rock, Haifa

*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.

You know I love signs. The Arab Christian church.

Inside of the church

Cool domed ceiling

The pictures I took from inside the cable car weren't so good, so I took this once we got on the ground

A view from the top of the cable car, called San Francisco Lookout. Looking down at the western terminus of the promenade

The cable car path

Lazy promenade + clear blue water

Beautiful Mediterranean Sea

From the German Colony looking up at the Bahá'í Gardens; the tent thing is the Shrine under construction

Awesome Arab restaraunt in the German Colony, overlooking the sea and up to the Bahá'í Gardens

Baked Calf + Taybeh Palestinian beer

Entrance to the beach; "Hof Ha-Carmel" is Carmel Beach transliterated from Hebrew into English

Main entrance to the beach

Funky places like this lined the beach boardwalk

Lifeguard station

Hello, sign

He really wanted to find the rock. His name is Moshe.

More beach pictures

As the sun was setting, we sat 20 feet from the sea at this restaraunt and watched the gentle Med

More beach pics...

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4 Responses to You Rock, Haifa

  1. jml says:

    the promenade looks like your photos from Rio…beautiful!!! I’m liking the food pictures! We love your journal…thx!!

    • Oom says:

      Allowing it to cook for the full hour really saetratus the eggplant with the spices and sauce and softens it up to a wonderful texture. The eggplant turns meltingly soft, but those strips of skin help a few chunks to stay intact. You can shorten the cooking time, but the flavor won’t be as rich or developed. Also, the bell peppers need that extra time so they get nice and soft (including their skins). The pepper flakes soften up nicely with the longer cooking time, and the spiciness mellows. I think it’s terrific as written, but feel free to play around with the recipe and see what works for you! As I’m sure you well know, half the fun of cooking is playing with the recipe.

  2. Denny Laston says:

    Your Dad gave me your Blog site to check out. Pictures are great, and very interesting reading. What an education you are getting.
    The picture of the beach guard shack, sure puts your dads, guard shack in Clearwater, to shame. I live in Toledo, Ohio and see Joe every year on the beach, for the last 5 years. Take care and be safe, enjoy your travels.

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