Wednesday, April 06, 2016

i went to israel: post 3

In Safed (also called Tzfat or Zefat)- blue around your windows and doors opens your home to heaven, directly.
L to R: Sea of Gallilee, looking over Rosh Pina to the Hula Valley across to the Golan Heights (and Syria, beyond), some kind of flower
We rented a car and headed daroma (northward) mid week, immediately admitting our list of things to do and see was totally, insanely, unrealistic. One of the best parts- hell, it was all the best part-- is seeing nature and terrain that is nothing like home. The trees and flowers that we can't identify, and palm trees everywhere, even in high up mountain villages . 
We hadn't made reservations. A day ahead, when we figured out where we'd be, we looked at airbnb and booking.com--and were super lucky 3 out of 3 times. We knew we did OK in Rosh Pina as soon as we saw that gate at the address of our little cabin/guesthouse. Rosh Pina is a small village of artists, farmers and people who don't mind being out of the way, living on the top of a  steep mountain side. That path on the right leads to the hot tub-which is literally on the side of the mountain, and completely open on its far side to enjoy the view. (We did!)
Israel is a country that likes to eat and snack. There is never a wrong time to stop at a cafe or restaurant, and you'll rarely be alone. Every place we stayed--and these were budget-friendly places- had coffee, tea, chocolates, halvah or cookies waiting for us. In this case-, a little bottle of a local wine with two glasses and a happy little porch.
 We walked all over, up and down the mountain top, wandering the oldest part of the village, now an  artist colony in old stone buildings, hiked through a beautiful terraced formal european-style park built by Baron Rothschild in the 1800's, and ate at a Hummusia that has utterly ruined us for anything except fresh homemade, super creamy  hummus served warm with toppings of your choice, dips and fresh baked pita.( Nothing like the supermarket kind. )
 Next day, next mountain over- Safed, the ancient city of the mystics. It's attracted seekers for hundreds of years--there is something about the light and air there. We always had weird trippy experiences visiting, and we were curious if it still had the same vibe. It's much bigger now,  more developed, and has a larger religious population-lots of hippy hasids, many from the US. It is still plenty trippy. It too has an artist colony developed  for tourism, with galleries fancy and funky, on spiffy plazas and down older twisty alleys. Lots of good art, too. More stone steps, more blue windows. I couldn't get enough of them. I am drunk on blue.
We couldn't resist that door on the left. Inside we met Avraham, an artist who came for a visit to study kabbalah  20 years ago, and never left. His artwork is detailed and beautiful and all about the visual vibrations of higher levels of consciousness and sound-. It totally made sense when he explained it, anyway. This one, for example.  (hello all you modern quilters). Or it could be knit, right?
50 Gates of Bina
50 Gates of Bina, by Avraham Lowenthal, Tzfat


By the end of the day, we were back at sea level, on the Mediterranean coast, driving from Acco to Haifa.  More blues! I only want to look at these colors. Can you blame me?

11 comments:

Carole Julius said...

Oh, Gale. I think the pictures in this post are my favorite - so far, anyway. All that BLUE! And the charm of the places you went. It's fantastic.

Kym said...

As I sit here in my house, reading your post, it is grey, dreary, gloomy -- with snowflakes. Again. Your post was just balm for my soul! All that lovely, blue. And sunshine and light and beauty. Thanks. I needed that! (What a fabulous trip!)

steph said...

can't blame you a bit...what an experience, and what beautiful photographic memories!!

Manise said...

Oh my that blue. So calming and so heavenly, so perfect! Beautiful photography and such a wonderful experience. Many thanks for sharing! The very large flower bud you posted is a banana flower bud. Aren't they cool? We had a banana tree in our yard when I lived in Hawaii as a teen.

AsKatKnits said...

Absolutely stunning - the vibrant colors, the quaint hominess of the buildings, the views! What an incredible trip! Thank you for sharing!!

Ellen Mason said...

I cannot think of two people who deserve that trip more than you and Dave. So happy for you. :o)

LoriAngela said...

How delightful. We went in January and were taken by the ancient sites, the beautiful stone and the lovely people. I took many pictures of the blue trim but didn't know it's meaning. Thanks so much.

margene said...

I'm just crazy about that blue! This is my very favorite color of all colors. How wonderful be able to drink it until you're drunk! Your trip sounds fantastic.

Julie Crawford said...

oh WOW- it looks like you had an incredible time, and everything looks so beautiful and amazing! And the people look so very welcoming.

Kirsten said...

Oh those blues!!! So beautiful.
Now I'm going to have to go out and find so of the "good kind" of hummus. I know one or two places nearby that has some pretty tasty offerings. Probably not as good as in Israel but it will have to do. . .

cal said...

loving this series! you make me want to go there, which has never occurred to me before! what a good son you raised.