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Monday, April 25, 2011

Day trip to Apolonia N.P–

The spring is in full swing and we grabbed the opportunity to do some outdoor activities and visit the Apolonia N.P just around the corner where we live and on a cliff facing the Mediterranean Sea, these guys new what we know now –Location,Location,Location.

When I looked at the literature before we left home I realized that  in a country big as New Jersey we have 57 Parks & National Parks….amazing take a look

http://www.parks.org.il/BuildaGate5/general2/company_search_tree.php?mc=378~All

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To day we picked to explore Apollonia N.P ,here is some back ground as it appears on its web:

In 1191 BC, a decisive battle was fought at the very place that today is the latest addition to Israel's National Park System. For 18 successive centuries it was inhabited. The place is known as, Apollonia, or Tel Arsuf. In 1191 the Crusaders triumphant win at this spot, established their reign in the Holy- Land for another 100 years. The park is conveniently located on the coast, just a 15- minute drive from Tel Aviv and less than five minutes from Herzeliya Pituach, between two other ancient ports, Jaffa and Caesarea.

This is not the only archaeological site in Israel that is situated on the coast. However, planners of this park have managed to work around existing ruins and use the natural landscape to create a truly unique experience.

The city of Apollonia and its fort were situated on the cliffs of the Sharon plain, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. On the way to view the fort, visitors to the park walk along a path that literally hugs the edge of the cliff. The path offers a spectacular view of the coast.

Phoenicians established the first settlement in the sixth century and people settled in this area 2,500 years ago. The Phoenicians were descendants of the early Canaanites (who inhabited the coast of modern-day Lebanon), and the Sea People who invaded Lebanon. During their day they were considered to be most knowledgeable in maritime technology and astronomy, which enabled them to trade various commodities from far away places. Like at Dor (further up the coast), the local inhabitants used the sea to make Tyrian purple, a precious dye used by royalty. It was extracted from mollusks, which were abundant along the coast.

The Phoenicians named the settlement along the coastal plain Arshof, (for Resheph, their War and Thunder god). In the Hellenistic period the city was re-named Apollonia, as the Greeks identified Resheph with Apollo.

During the Roman era (First - Third centuries BC) the settlement developed into a real city and reached its height during the Byzantine era. In the Fifth and Sixth centuries the city was named Sozousa and served as the Episcopal See of Palaestina prima. During this time it served as the primary port city of the Southern Sharon – and was an unfortified city. The residents utilized underground (rain) water reservoirs for their water supply and the city had an elaborate glass making industry, as well as wine and olive presses.

In 640 CE the Muslims gained control of the city and erected an outer wall around a portion of the city. The city's size decreased significantly, from 70acres/280 dunam to 22.5 acres/90 dunam. By 1099, the Crusaders had conquered Jerusalem and deployed to Arsuf, but failed to capture it.

Baldwin I succeeded in conquering the city, in the spring of 1101 – with the Genoese fleet. Once again the city's name was changed, this time Arsour and a large castle was built in the northern section of the city. In 1265 the Mamluk sultan Baybars, conquered the city and made the Crusaders raze the city and the fort, which lay in ruins until the excavations began in 1996.

 

 

 

Thank you for visiting,till we meet again.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A FUN DAY WITH TWO OF OUR GRAND KIDS

What do you do when you are not RVing , the schools and kinder gardens are closed due to  Holidays and you kids are at work?  RIGHT- YOU BECOME A BABY SITTER or as we call it COMANDO GRANDMA AND GRANDPA- does it happen to you too?

At 730AM 2 Grand kids (1 1/2 and 4 years old)were delivered to our front door in full gear,extra dippers,bottles,trolley and some extra clothes……”we will pick them up after work around 5PM we have to move or we will be stuck in traffic, so long have a great day” .

So here we are with 2 smiling kids looking at us as with a strange look that says “ you are stuck with us for the day,what is next on the agenda?”

As we are still on our first coffee (we are retired and mornings are usually when we wake up NOT when some one wakes us up) all kind of thoughts went through our heads,should we give them some left over wine from the Passover Dinner and wake them up at 430PM just before they are picked by their parents? Or should we  drive to a park and get squeezed by a bunch of other Grandparents trying to  do the same with their Grand kids?

Well ,as you can intelligently  guess we did the second thing-AND OF COURSE HAD A GRAET TIME,but at the same time and in the back of our head we thought “In late May we are on the plane for our 10th RV summer trip and will be back home in the end of October..-LIBIRATION IS On THE WAY”.

Before my humorous mood leaves me and I get back to normal (whatever it is) let me say this ,we of course love the “small league guys” that run & run till your head spins but it is nice to take a break from them for a while and become GRANDPARENT and NOT A PARENT we were there once and sure do not want to go there again even if BIOLOGICLY we could…

So before we disappear for 5 months we do everything to be with them as much as possible (I am back to my normal mood again)…Take a look and see for your selves:

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

PESACH (PASSOVER) TRADITIONAL DINNER

Each year around Mid April (the date is settled accordingly to the Jewish calendar that is different from the regular one) we celebrate Pesach (Passover) in our house with  close family.

Preparations start days before with cleaning the house  leaving nothing that has flour in the house (we eat only Matzo in Pesach) ,Cooking the special and traditional food,buying presents, and converting the house to make room at one table to all the guests.

This year our eldest Granddaughter Yuval (13) came over 2 days before the event to help Shula with the cooking and she was just marvellous

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and helpful doing it.

During the the fest we read and sing the Agada (The story of the Exodus) and the kids have great roll participating and learning about the History so they can continue the tradition.

In the middle of reading the Agada the one that conducts the evening (usually the host) has to hide a Matzo and while he “washes” his hands the kids “find” and keep it in a safe place, when the Host wants to continue reading the Agada he can not do it before retreating the Matzo ,here the kids “bargain” and ONLY after they get their presents they give the Matzo back and the evening can continue.

It is a great family gathering combined with history stories,songs,wine and a lot of food….I always need a diet after this evening.

Here is a short explanation I picked from the web about the Holiday.

Here is another link from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passover

 

Pesach (English: Passover, Hebrew: 驻住讞)
Pesach is a Jewish and Samaritan holy day and festival commemorating the Hebrews escape from enslavement in Egypt.
Passover begins on the 15th day of the month of Nisan (equivalent to March and April in Gregorian calendar), the first month of the Hebrew calendar's festival year according to the Hebrew Bible.
In the story of the Exodus, the Bible tells that God inflicted ten plagues upon the Egyptians before Pharaoh would release his Hebrew slaves, with the tenth plague being the killing of firstborn sons. The Hebrews were instructed to mark the doorposts of their homes with the blood of a spring lamb and, upon seeing this, the spirit of the Lord passed over these homes, hence the term "Passover".When Pharaoh freed the Hebrews, it is said that they left in such a hurry that they could not wait for bread to rise. In commemoration, for the duration of Passover, no leavened bread is eaten, for which reason it is called "The Festival of the Unleavened Bread". Matzo (unleavened bread) is the primary symbol of the holiday. This bread that is flat and unrisen is called Matzo.