Haifa is probably the most beautiful among the larger cities in Israel. I am always happy to visit there, as it is such a special place. Haifa is known for rather peaceful coexistence among the ethnic groups, and life is not as stressful there as it is in Tel Aviv, where living costs are high and everyone seems to be competing. “People in Haifa look into your eyes – not at your clothes,” N. said once, comparing his native Haifa to Tel Aviv. When I went hiking around Haifa with friends three years ago, I wrote this in Lithuanian and this in English.
The previous time we went to Ein Hod, an artist village that was set up on top of a previously Arab village, and one of the nature trails, on which we were able to see and even pet people’s livestock (horses and donkeys). This time my local friend picked a trail that goes from the Etzba Cave to Ein Hod.
The end of winter is a good season for hiking in Haifa, when the nature bursts into blossoming.
Some people would pay to have something like this in their garden:
Much of these areas suffered heavily from the Mount Carmel forest fire in 2010. It was decided not to remove the dead trees, so that the removal of their roots does not destroy the balance of the soil and create conditions for floods or other natural disasters.
The landscape looks somewhat post-apocalyptic, with dead trees and very much alive grass and bushes.
… even flowers.
The wildfires reached Ein Hod and burned its famous library. It is being restored now.
However, the well-known Danny’s pizza is always waiting for visitors.
The place is run by an eccentric American, who also brews his own beer. Worth visiting. There was a cat sleeping on an old TV set, and a random guest asked if we had “anything good to smoke”. This normally doesn’t happen in Israel. The owner would, presumably, prefer people who drink to those who smoke.
On the way back, the environment made sure that we follow our tradition to meet cute animals – there was a herd of goats out there on the trail.
The little goats seemed to find plants boring, but fabric – yummy and exciting.
There were many goats and only one car. At some point the owner started carrying baby goats to the car. I wonder how grown-up goats reach home.
Goats are not ‘serious’ animals for Haifans. They are used to hearing jackals, occasionally spotting wild boars and porcupines. Would you ever imagine to see such a jungle in Israel?
(This is actually from another trail, inside Haifa City!)
After all of this, it is surprising that many tourists who visit Israel never discover Haifa.