Category Archives: tiyulim

Tiyulim (outings or excursions) can be short walks, long trips, or just an afternoon at a museum.

Serendipity to the Rescue

Justice is best served up by an angry mom:  My fellow apartment owners in this building have not been able to deal with the one crazy guy who is making problems for all of us.  He has been violent, he has broken things, stolen things, sabotaged the elevator, and generally make things unpleasant.  The police can’t do anything (we can’t prove that it is him even though we all know).  The minahelet tarbut hadiyur (city position that provides mediation and legal services for tenants and homeowners) was not sympathetic.  She had, after all, worked with the wife of CG (Crazy Guy), and didn’t believe that he could be such a bad person. 

Well, the electrician we called out to fix some of the latest sabotage was actually attacked by CG.  A few of my cohorts troop out to the police and file yet another complaint.  But what we don’t know is that the electrician is the son of minhalet, Miki.  And now Miki not only believes us, but she is pissed off.  She’s a big woman, with a big voice, and the weight of City Hall behind her, and now she’s on a mission.  CG messed with the wrong person! 

Winter sunshine: We have been enjoying a break from the rain. The weather is gorgeous, so I take advantage of the sunshine this morning with an extra long walk.  Terri and I explore the walking path that extends down the other side of the wadi.  Terri gets to chase birds, a few hyrax, and generally have a blast.  Everything is green and sparkling, though under the bushes it is still quite wet and muddy (as I discover when Terri joyously prances up to me and plants her paws on my pants). 

Holiday greetings: Best wishes to all my Christian readers.  It is quite easy to forget about Christmas here, but they mentioned it on the news when listing the shekel rate (because banks in the US are closed).  Reminds me of the time I sat in a meeting with clients, and we tried for ten minutes to contact the offices in the US.  Couldn’t figure out why no one was answering, until someone asked, “Isn’t 25 December a holiday or something?”

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Stormy Weekend

Escape to TA: Terri goes to Doggy Daycare and I go to Tel Aviv for the weekend (thus missing the ketusha strikes in the north!).  It is a cold, wild, stormy weekend, but we luck out with breaks in the rain exactly when we want to go out.  First, an adorable little cafe where I try their onion-and-wine tart (mmmm!), then a stroll down Shenkin (always entertaining).  I hang out that evening with Central LS and her girls.  The human kids are great, but the feline kid is, well… Let’s just say that this is what Muffin thinks of the world in general…
muffinbutt

On Shabbat, we head out to the tayalet in Tel Aviv and walk for an hour.  The wind is so fierce that it is difficult to walk at times.  The storm has whipped the normally placid Mediterranean into a wild pallet of greys.

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stormy2

stormy1

We get splashed by the waves crashing over the rocks and end up salt-encrusted.  We are also bundled up against the cold.  Yet there are knuckleheads out there in the water!  A few surfers and lots and lots of parasailers.  We can’t figure out why they don’t get their lines tangled or go smashing into the breakwater (or get blown up onto the beach).
parasail

Next to one of the beach-front restaurants, we meet the hugest stray cat I have ever seen in my life. While most of the stray cats that hang out in that area look pretty well-fed, this one (we immediately dub him “El Gordo”) is of massive proportions. I’m guessing a 90 cm girth.
elgordo

We wrap up with another great meal of salatim and lovely bread, and a gorgeous view out at the spectacular coast.

Anti-terrorist training: I have an evening lecture with another group of security professionals from the States.  The company that brings them out, Security Solutions International, has me do a basic orientation for each group.  Most of them know very little about Israel (or Jews, for that matter!), and have a very vague idea of politics, history, or cultural issues here.  Despite their lack of exposure to this stuff, they are all bright, pleasant, and interested in learning.  I field some excellent questions and get most of them laughing.  My hope is just to send them out better prepared to appreciate this amazing country.

I wrap up and, as it isn’t pissing rain at the moment, decide to walk to train station.  About halfway there, there is a dramatic roll of thunder, and it starts raining again.  Amazingly, abut 20 seconds later, an empty taxi rolls by, and I ride in comfort to the train station.

Spring in the Galil

Lovely day: Some flowers and spring views…

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galilspring2

galilspring3

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galilspring5

A morning in the park: Terri gets together with her friends on this lovely shabbat morning.

A tired girl shluffs out after all that romping…
afterwalk

 

And why is this news?  Yes, it is entertaining when Jeremy Clarkson refers to Gordon Brown as a one-eyed idiot, but is this really news?  More incredible, it makes it to the radio news here! Still, it beats the glum forecasts of a Bibi-Lieberman power coalition.  Feh.

Pizza lovers, beware!  Now, this is news!

Seattle in the Sun

A sparkling city: When the rain and clouds roll away, this place is amazing.  Some scenes from Alkai Beach…

The view back towards downtown:

The view across to the islands:

Flowers

Spring bloom:  The balmy spring weather brings out the wildflowers.  I’ve heard that Israel has more varieties of wildflowers than England.  Don’t know if that is a fact, but it is easy to believe when exploring sovev karmiel, the walking path skirting the city.  I tackle it on Shabbat and catch some of the flowers while they are still out.

The kalani’ot are not plentiful this year, as we had a dry winter and it’s the end of their season:
kalani’ot

The rakefot are a bit heartier and are still blooming well in the protected areas around rocks:
rakefot

Several varieties of ever-present lavender is plentiful:
lavender

Another fragrant part of the landscape is maravah (wild sage):
maravah

I’m not sure what these are:
unknown

…or these:
another unknown

…or these:
yet another unknown

Here’s a view of the hills, facing west:
hills around Karmiel

Mitzpeh Ramon

view from the mirpesetHamidbar, davka:  We head off for a weekend at Israel’s magnificent desert crater, Mitzpeh Ramon.  The drive is long an tiring; it takes us over six hours (including a dinner stop on the way) before we pull up at the guest house, HaBayit b’Midbar. Here’s the view from the mirpeset (balcony).

This is real desert, with spectacular views of the machtesh (crater). Here is a view from the very edge of the crater:
crater view

And another…
edge of the cliff

The pictures don’t do justice to the dramatic desert colors.
another machtesh view

Erosion has created some amazing effects, such as this free-standing column, almost 500 meters tall.
dramatic column

The geological formations are varied and fascinating. Here are some of the pieces that look almost manmade (from the area known as “the carpentry” for its lumber yard effect):
geological formations

No picture can really capture the spectacular sunset over the machtesh (crater).
sunset over the machtesh

We aren’t the first ones here. Remnants of stone-age art can be found at a few archeological sites.
stone age art

…and some modern pieces of art…
sculpture

…or how about this living sculpture?
Gill

It is a great place for animal-watching, from the birds…
bird on sign

…to the wild ya’elot (ibex) wandering down the street…
ibex in the city

(and we’re reminded not to feed them human food)
don’t feed the ibex!

Of course, the best place to get your animal fix is at the alpaca farm, just about ten minutes away.  There are alpacas with bad teeth…
dental emergency

…sweet-tempered llamas with velvet lips…
alpaca farm

Sometimes there is competition for attention, as our friend Boaz discovers…
Boaz with alpacas

New babies have been born.
baby alpaca

There are also a few camels.
Mr. Camel

And everyone wants to pose for the camera…
Mr. Llama

Animal Chaggim

Yes, it’s that time again: In case you object to the ritual of kapara, you can always try this chicken-friendly alternative.  Damn straight.  (And I think that the sheep should rise up and do the same thing for Eid-al-Fitr!) Let me know if anyone can top 14.06 meters.

Is that a carry-on flamingo?  Hat tip to Central LS for this airport-and-animal story.

Cat eyes challah: That’s Nadine trying to score some home-made challah on erev Rosh Hashana.  See it here first…

erev Rosh Hashana

Tiulim b’stav: Nothing like those autumn flowers. Here is Gill on one of his mad mountain bike treks, standing amid a field of hazvim.  I think that these are Fox mignonette (Reseda alopecuros), but I would love to hear from some flower experts out there…  What makes these flowers special is that they bloom before the first rains of winter, so they seem to be the symbol for hope.

Hazfim