Becoming a Beach Bum

This week, we walked from one of the holiest cities in the world, Jerusalem, to a city that the both of us avoid, Tel Aviv. From Tel Aviv we walked north along the shores of the Mediterranean.

20140302-063214.jpg

Finally getting to the Kotel!

Hiking Highways

Hiking Highways

You know you are in a city, when you pass a huge sculpture of this friendly face. Free bag goes to whoever knows what junk food this behbeh represents.

You know you are in a city, when you pass a huge sculpture of this friendly face. Free bag goes to whoever knows what junk food this behbeh represents.

So we spent our last week weaving through beach bums, jelly fish and main highways, how’s that for a change of scenery?

On Friday, we were joined by a special individual who had been in the army with Nava, Gideon. He rushed us the whole morning and told us we had to get to Neve Shalom for a surprise. Upon arriving, we learned that Neve Shalom is a community consisting of both Arabs and Jews who live together happily. As we walked through the town to reach “the surprise”, we noticed the family names written on the houses, some in Arabic and some in Hebrew. Finally we made it to Gideon’s special surprise. We entered a garden with a sign on the front gate written in Hebrew, Arabic and English “The Spiritual Center”. We walked down a narrow staircase surrounded by forest. Upon our descent we spotted isolated benches in the forest. On each bench sat a person in meditation. This place is known to host meditation and self reflection sessions for the locals of the area.

20140302-063646.jpg

In the middle of the forest sat a white dome. Gideon explained that the dome is uniquely designed to amplify every sound to the point where a pin dropping makes a noise as loud as a bird’s chirp. The dome is used for meditation sessions and yoga as a way to keep people silent and aware of every movement for even the smallest movements make a noise. Despite its name “the silent room” the amplifying affect makes a great room for a concert. As we entered the silent dome, instead of sitting in silence, we got lost in the music of two girls who sat and played guitar. Nava had fun afterwords screaming to herself in the dome, feeling her voice as if she was screening into her own ears.

Eli, our trashman tour guide

Eli, our trash man tour guide

As we passed through the Ayalon valley, we were approached by a man picking trash. He asked us if we knew where we were walking. We knew the general direction, but that wasn’t the answer he was looking for. He sat us down gave us the history of the area in a quick 10 minute session. He began with the story from Yehushua, when god stopped the sun from setting and we won the battle. He continued on to the Maccabee revolt, the conquest of the Crusaders, all the way to the ’48 war when we broke the siege on the road to Jerusalem. It was 2000 years of history in a single spot.

Zohar, our insider connect to Lod

Zohar, our insider connect to Lod

We have made it a point on Shvil Yisrael to get to know the harder neighborhoods of Israel and the initiatives taken to develop those areas. We stopped in Lod, one of the most problematic cities in Israel and we were given a private insider tour by our Shvil Angel, Zohar. Lod is known for the high crime rate, drug trafficking, but most of all the silent war going on between the Arab and Jewish population. There is a large Arab community in the center of the city and more and more groups of Jews are moving into the city to increase the Jewish demographics of the town. Zohar is one of these idealistic Jews who feels that he is the modern day Zionist by settling his family in Lod. We visited a university student village established by the movement Ayalim. Ayalim works at building student villages in underprivileged neighborhoods in order for the students to help develop the area. Here is a little bit about Ayalim’s Lod project: http://ayalim.org.il/en/the-lod-project/

After two months of hiking, Nava's toes are starting to feel the kilometers. Thank you Yoella for sacrificing fabric from your shirt to make piggy-blankets for Nava's toes. That is true friendship and ahavat yisrael.

After two months of hiking, Nava’s toes are starting to feel the kilometers. Blister band-aids are not sold in Israel, so we had to be creative. Thank you Yoella for sacrificing fabric from your shirt to make piggy-blankets for Nava’s toes. That is true friendship and ahavat yisrael.

On our way to Tel Aviv, we walked through the jungle-looking path along the Yarkon River.

20140302-064937.jpg

It had been raining so our path became a little bit more challenging than we expected.

20140302-065225.jpg

Nava wanted to stay in the jungle in fear of having to enter Tel Aviv society.

Had a special treat when Yoella's father landed in Israel. He works for the Jewish National Fund and came on a work trip to visit JNF sponsored sites (many of which we have passed or will be passing on Shvil Israel).

Had a special treat when Yoella’s father landed in Israel. He works for the Jewish National Fund and came on a work trip to visit JNF sponsored sites (many of which we have passed or will be passing on Shvil Israel).

The rest of the week, we spent barefoot, walking the shores of Tel Aviv. Walking past old men playing matkot, girls tanning, and surfers surfing while we were shleping our hiking bags. Let’s just say I don’t think people were staring at us to check out our beach bods. Nava convinced an Israeli beach bum that she met at the Kotel to join us for a few hours. Originally, he agreed to join old if he could drive along side us on his 4×4 but in the end joined us by foot. Yoella asked for the history of the beach but instead he gave us the insider scoop about prostitutes that sit by the beach and wait for cars to come pick them up. While he was explaining, someone actually drove up and we saw it in action!

Idan, our Tel Aviv guide teaching us about prostitute beaches. Now say that with an Israeli accent.

Idan, our Tel Aviv guide teaching us about prostitute beaches. Now say that with an Israeli accent.

Helped this hippy beach bum clean up trash in his backyard and he invited us back to his "pirate ship" for some beers and a Shachta. QUIZ QUESTION: What is a shachta? Whoever sends in the answer first will get a free shachta!

Helped this hippy beach bum clean up trash in his backyard and he invited us back to his “pirate ship” for some beers and a Shachta. QUIZ QUESTION: What is a shachta? Whoever sends in the answer first will get a free shachta!

One of the many jellyfish we past while walking along the beach

One of the many jellyfish we pased while walking along the beach. Stay clear, we’re not sure if he’s still alive!

unnamed (8)

One creative way to dry your clothes while walking. Yoella’s bag has a life of it’s own!

unnamed (3)

We ran into Mikey Tamir who is the son of Avraham Tamir who was the visionary for Shvil Yisrael. Who said there are no celebrities in Israel?

This trip doesn’t stop evolving; it is continuously snowballing into something bigger than we anticipated. We have one more day of the salty, blue waters and soon we will be climbing up the foresty hills of the Carmel. We’ve enjoyed walking distances and climbing heights, but nothing beats sitting on the dock of the bay watching the tides roll away.

Yoyo & Nana

p,s, Here are some pics of us on the way to our next destination

1NavaSEa

Nava praying at the ancient synagogue in Caesarea

1YoHill

Yoella showing off her armpit hair on top if the ancient aqueducts in Caesarea

 

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Becoming a Beach Bum

    • Well I was glad to spend time with a couple of crazy girls who will remember every moment of this wonderful adventure for the rest of their lives!

  1. dont be taking any shacta from anyone. for that matter i wouldnt recommend the bamba either. beautiful pictures, enjoy the beaches. I look forward to seeing spring in the galil!

What are you thinking?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s