Having read a series of stories by my friend, Israeli writer and public intellectual Yuval Ben-Ami, where he set off to see what it is like to re-examine his country′s main tourist attractions with a critical native eye, I decided to virtually follow his path. In my blog posts I share my memories on what it was like visiting those places as an expat in Israel. This is how Yuval describes his idea, and here I describe mine (which is also Part 1 of my journey – the Western Wall). Yuval’s second blog post was about the Baha’i Gardens, which he calls a journey to “extraordinary study in “otherness” within the Israeli and Palestinian framework,” so let us follow him – back in time.
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. Continue reading