Friday, August 17, 2012

8/13/12: If There Was A Garden Of Eden It Would Look Like This

After a very full day in Zichron Yaakov, and a fairly decent night sleep, my sister and I were off to explore the famed Bahai Gardens in Haifa. My girlfriend Susanna had to be in Haifa to meet a friend so she decided to meet us and accompany us to the Gardens as well. Elana and I left for Haifa around noon and decided to stop at a very cute cafe below the gardens, have a relaxing lunch, meet up with Susanna, and then go on up to the gardens.

Cafe in Haifa 

When lunch was finished the three of us girls decided to catch a cab to the bottom entrance of the Gardens, walk around, and then walk up through the various upper levels. Unfortunately we discovered that the only entrances to the Gardens that were open were the very top and the very bottom, so with no hope of walking through the inner levels, we enjoyed as much as we could from the areas we were allowed to venture into.

Susanna and me at the Gardens

It's hard to imagine a place more beautiful than the Bahai Gardens. As one of the most sacred places for the people of the Bahai faith, and rumored to be the final resting place of their prophet, it is absolutely the most awe inspiring, breath taking, place I have had the fortune of visiting while in Israel. To say that it is picture perfect doesn't even seem to do it's beauty justice. After we had our fill of the lower level we decided to venture to the very top to see the golden shrine of the prophet and explore the two levels that were open. The view from the top was absolutely breathtaking and I walked around the gardens by myself just taking in the beauty that surrounded me. After a few minutes of exploration we saw a wedding party enter to take pictures and I couldn't help think that this would be a perfect spot, on day, to take some of my own! I thought it was a good idea anyways :-)

After we had finished at the Gardens we decided to catch a cab to take Susanna to the middle of town, and my sister and me back to the train station. When we were in the cab, however, the driver told us he would give us a tour of 3 main attractions in Haifa that many people don't get to for only 50 shekels per person. He was a very sweet man and we had gone all the way up North, so we decided to accept his offer and see a bit more of Haifa than we had originally planned.

The first stop on our tour was a sculpture garden established by a German Jew who made her second home in Haifa. It was a lovely park and we had a great time going through and seeing all of the art work that was placed strategically throughout the park.

When we were finished at the sculpture garden it was off to the Cave of Elijah the Prophet. It is rumored that Elijah made his descent to the heavens from this cave and is the second holiest spot to the Western wall for the Jewish people. The cab driver told us that our prayers will be heard from the cave and since I didn't have paper to write a note and put it in the cracks of the stone, I said a silent prayer instead. Stay tuned to see if it comes true :-) It was a wonderful thing to see and I'm very glad we didn't miss it. Personally, I had no idea it even existed so this was a real treat!

The last stop on our tour was a Catholic church where there was a memorial to Napoleon's soldiers who were massacred there when Napoleon and his men came to the land of Palestine. It was a stunning church and very worth seeing.

When we were done at the church the cab driver dropped off Susanna in the center of town and took my sister and me to the train station. It was a wonderful day filled with unexpected adventures, and those kinds of days are always the best! I learned more about the beautiful country that I live in, had a great day with the girls, and then made it safely home to Tel Aviv.

Stay tuned for posts on Jerusalem and Ida's birthday weekend!!

Until we meet again,
Jordana Simone 

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