Monday, March 11, 2013

Northern Israel

Part of our self-guided tour of Israel included exploring the gorgeous North. The drive from Tel Aviv goes straight up the coast of the Mediterranean, offering spectacular views. Our first stop was Safed, an ancient mystical town in the Galilee. I loved exploring the winding alleys bursting with art galleries, candle-makers and fresh juice vendors.

Photo by Sarah

My favorite part of Safed though was Haari 8, the most amazing kosher meat restaurant. We ate ourselves stupid with their mixed grill platter. Every piece of meat was more amazing than the next.

Driving around the Galille was lovely. We left Safed and headed toward Tiberius for the night, and were treated to beautiful sunset views.

Photo by Sarah

For some reason, our guidebook had something against Tiberius. It said that Tiberius is tacky, lacked charm and should be avoided. I disagree. I enjoyed the pier. It is a bit tacky, in the same way that any beach town is, but I liked it's vibe. The best part of Tiberius though, was that it had a kosher McDonald's! 

Photo by Sarah

I know I shouldn't get this excited about it, but, as a 30-year-old who has been keeping kosher for almost 20 years, getting my first Big Mac was a real treat. I also ordered a side of chicken nuggets. Don't judge me. I'm pregnant. :)

My verdict: pretty good. I liked the bun a lot. I also enjoyed the "special sauce." The meat itself was nothing to write home about, but overall I was pretty happy.  So happy, in fact, that we had another McDonald's run in the morning before heading back south.

Trying my first Quarter Pounder

We went for a gorgeous hike in Gamla National Park. Gamla, known as the Masada of the North, is best known for the Roman siege that ended with the second-century Jewish inhabitants committing mass suicide rather than surrendering. Today it is part of a nature reserve that includes a stunning 150-foot waterfall and a vulture sanctuary.

Our time up north was brief, but beautiful. I'm glad we made the trek up there.

Read about our stops in Israel and Jordan:
Jerusalem, Israel
Tel Aviv, Israel
Ein Gedi; Masada; Dead Sea, Israel

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