We just spent some beautiful, unbelievably hot few days up north. This vaca had everything: mystery, hummus, intrigue, sand, sweat, Dora the Explorer. We stayed at Dafna's aunt's and uncle's lovely home in Nahariyah, right on the beach. We visited a Christian Arab village nearby called Ma'alot. According to the guide book, this village is the pork capital of Israel. They have pig farms and restaurants that sell pork. Right on! Gilad Shalit's yishuv, Mitzpeh Hila, is right by this village. It's a beautiful yishuv with amazing views of the green north and Lebanon. The hike culminated in a visit to an 11th century Crusaders fort. We had lots of questions about how it's still standing, how it ever stood and how they designed such an ingenious plumbing system.
We ate fantastic hummus ful (bean) at Nahariyah's finest hummus restaurant, Hummusia shel Dani. Spongy, hot pita, fresh ful, light hummus. The olive oil made the dish though. It actually tasted like olive. I don't know what kind of olive oil I've been eating up until now, but it's terrible by comparison.
Dafna has spent a lot of time in Nahariyah, of course, because she's a devoted niece and cousin. Rachel has only been once, last Pesach, and never got to go to Rosh HaNikra, so Dafna made sure they went this time around. Rosh HaNikra's slogan is "a love affair between sea and mountain." The area is famous for these grottos. As far as I understand it, water hits these mountains and shapes the rock and creates crevices. So we walked through them. The only way to get to the grottos is via cable car (first, an hour-long line in the blazing heat surrounded by babies). It was all worth it though.
Important to mention...watching TV is an effective way not only to be entertained but to learn Hebrew. We watched a lot of madhim (amazing) TV this weekend.
So that you don't think we're idiotic Americans totally unaware of what's going on around us, please know that we have formed some pretty frightening opinions of Jerusalem, the most unnatural, forced, uncomfortably historical/religious place in this country. We'll write more about this.
In a matter of hours, the settlement freeze is going to end. Isn't that exciting? Netanyahu is absolutely going to extend it. It's just annoying that he's building the tension so much.
We wrote some limericks on the train last night. In case you ever need a greeting card to break up with an Israeli. "PT" is Petach Tikvah's nickname.
There once was a loser from PT
whose face I never again wish to see
Stop sending me messages
There are no last vestiges
of this relationship between you and me
There once was a dork from Jerusalem
whose bedside manner was gruesome
Your calls are too frequent
Your appearance delinquent
Leave me alone or I'll call Gavin Newsom
There once was a freak from Arad
whose mouth was agape like a cod
You just can't stop drooling
There's no one you're fooling
We know that you're actually scrod