Most Israelis get at least part of Passover off, which means that the price of bed-and-breakfasts (and flights to Turkey) double this time of year. My husband and I are planning to go down to the south to see friends who live in the "prairie" (arava) between the Dead Sea and Eilat-- we're very excited!! However, if you're still trying to think of a place to go, we highly recommend visiting Montfort, a crusader castle in the western Galil (about an hour's drive from Haifa). American tourists tend not to see the non-Jewish history of Israel, but this is a country that has archeological remains going back more than 20,000 years and all the way up to the present. Some of the Arab and Crusader castles are incredibly cool to visit... these are pictures from our hike to Montfort back in September. Yes, I did say hike to Montfort. I believe there's a back way in by car, but the best way to get there is to hike the from the opposite hillside (where there's a nice little park for barbequing, as well as bathrooms). That IS the trail we hiked up.
Montfort is not treated like a "tourist attraction" per se-- there's some grafitti on the 600 year old walls, and there are no admittance prices or guards to tell you not to go too close to the edge. My husband took full advantage of the "go as close as you want to the edge" thing... to my chagrin! These pictures don't do justice to the INCREDIBLE view because the sky was so sunny it washed everything out. Imagine a deep blue, cloudless sky above all of this. So ok, I'm not too big a fan of the crusaders coming in and taking over our country, but they left behind incredible architecture like this in the middle of the wildnerness. Can you imagine being a European knight living here?
Btw, Monfort has a wikipedia page... go here for more info!
My husband and I (and our cat Zeus) made aliyah to northern Israel in April, 2008. In Israel, we adopted two street kittens who have proceeded to make up for kittenhoods of deprivation by growing remarkably fat and shiny. In October of 2011, we welcomed our first daughter, Nitsah. Moving to a new country demands both a sense of wonder and a sense of humor. In this blog, I'll try to share both! DISCLAIMER: I actually can't tell you how to be Israeli, because I'm still working on it myself. But at least we can muddle towards Israeli-ness together!