Israel 2003

Route: Tel Aviv - Roshpinna - Nof Kineret/ Lake Genezaret - Zefat Nazareth - Akko - Haifa - Elat - Jerusalem - Tel Aviv

... they explained many things to me, they compensated the loss of my luggage, they tried me by having me as crew-member on a ship in Elat (good experience for a while to get some shekels, ships Log-book!) - tolle weiber - gerissene Typen ! (special-women, tricky guys) 3 months, half time exploring, half time shekel digging. Thats a general thing with them, they dont want to pay, always hard bargaining and they do not have stock exchange, remarkable !

    Story - I was on the way back home from India, was it 2002 or 2003 i am not sure, anyway I flew to Tel Aviv and decided to stay in Israel for a while. 3 months overall, the full visa time. As I ve some friends in the north of Israel and I left Tel Aviv by bus to Roshpinna, what is a beautiful village on the slope of a small mountain, a kind of artists community and with an old center and a synagoge, We staied some time togather, i met new people, we played chess, visited the river Jordan, where i took mulberries from the trees and we had good food togather. There are guided tours in Roshpinna. Isreal is a good place to watch migrating birds, watch out.

    I left by bus to Tiberias, a quite touristic place with an old and modern new town, along the lake Genezareth (Nof Kineret) and started walking around the lake south of Tiberiaswhich is just partly attractive, there is no walk around the lake but main streets. I staied overnight at a beach south of Tiberias where some people were camping as well, had some swims there. Next day i left for a good hike, came across a high school area south end of the lake, which looked very American to me, fast food restaurants, shops etc, there i had a rest, i walked on and at the south east side of the lake close to some intersting fields and Kibbuzims i had another swim, went on and at a rest place for the cars i got invited by some nice people for having food with them what happened not once to me, peopel are quite curiouse and friendly. I passed another big Kibuzzim along the lake and started hitch hiking, somebnody took me not far from the Golan hights, we passed soem ruins of the once Palestinian villages and he dropped me at a total new settlement with a shopping and resting area in the center. What was one of the interesting aspects to me was the close living of old and new in Israel.

    After the lake i left to Zefat a nice old village on the edge of a mountain backside of Roshpinna, where the Israelis say the Messiah would arrive. Once the Palestinians were living in a part of Zefat, you can still see the small empty Minarette, now in the old part of Zefat are living artists. i met a group of young Isrealis and they invited me to their place a small village in the hills, once a chicken farm place, where we staied for some days togather.
    I went on hitch hiking to Nazareth which is quite a city and i got to count 3 parts of Nazareth, one very new and modern one with blocks and high buildings, the Muslim Nazareth with not so high but new buildings and the old town with the historic and famouse center, very worth a visit, i got a little bid pisssed at evening because the hostel in the old city was closed but somebody was there so i staied overnight at top of some hills close to the Minarett. I am not sure but i think from Nazareth i took the bus to Akko a big city, very diverse, in the north of Israel with a very modern looking new center and within the huge walls the old town, where people get guided tours with protection where the Muslims are living, you can walk from the new town to the old town what is a kind of walk in the times changing, very fascinating.

    From Akko i hitch hiked to Haifa, where i didnt stay for long but could watch the soldiers training on surf boards in the high waves of the sea and could watch a submarine leaving the harbour at evening. I went on south and got a ride luckily by someone who was driving to a party along the coast south of Haifa, i joined the party which lasted over some days at the beach, very nice, people were dancing, having good self made food, workshops, swimming and the more all under the sky I passed on to Rishon le Zion where i tried to find some friends which i knew from Goa/ India but didn t work. Staing overnight in the main park in Rishon they stole my small bag from me, which had my passport inside, bad luck but was my own mistake because i didn t tie it to me, i thought it would be save because during the days some security was checking the dustbins for bombs. Rishon le Zion is as well a nice interesting city.
    I went on by bus to Elat south end of Israel at the Red Sea, very hot and desert climate, i planned to work there on a ship, usually it s illegal to work in Israel as a foreigner but on the ships they say it s less a problem becaue it s not on the main land. i was hireing on a ship and got a job on one, a very nice one , named Lamie Haifa (pic of the ship), with two masts, a saloon under deck, some small wood cabins. We did cruises nearly every second or every day, had to prepare everything on board, cleaning, putting the mats, preparing food, handling the big ropes, going on and off harbour and the more. The climate in Elat is extreme hot during nights and days, good sun protection is needed. I worked 6 weeks on the ship and left for Tel Aviv after I finished work. Elat is a Las Vegas stile city with casino boats, yachts, an airport, beaches, restaurants, shops, souvenirs etc
    Had some day left and visited Jerusalem what was very fascinating, walking around in the old town, on some roofs, the muslim quarters and the narrow streets with marcets, the jewish quarters on the hills, the "tourist stay off quarters" of the very orthodox jews, University and the more, i thought it to be the right place to buy a bible there, took a Luther bible in german, they have it in all languages. After Jerusalem i left for Tel Aviv from where i flew to Rhodos/Greece. Sadly on some trips i didn t take a camera with me as ws the case in Israel, so there are no piccies from that trip,
Jerusalem Infos in german

Savety: In Israel it depends very much where you are, if in some border areas which can be unsecure as close to Gaza or once Lebanon, or the West bank, i had no bad experience but the theft of my small bag during night. big cities are not more dangerouse than in other big modern cities, in Nazareth i met some nice people and some corners further i ve seen a stone flying, so it can be very diverse.

Health: no special preparationes are needed, use good sun protection in the desert /south.

Climate: mediterranean to hot desert climate in the south, very hot there