Tag Archives: jerusalem

The Itch

25 Nov

ImageSo given the crazy security situation in the last few weeks, coupled with trying to get my head around being a student again – I haven’t gotten out of Haifa as much as I’d like. In fact, all my time that I’ve spent on campus in the last two weeks have left me incredibly stir crazy! Yesterday, after studying for two days straight – I was ready to start talking to the walls in my room. I am dying to go explore somewhere – see something new – and leave my books behind for a few days! 

This coming weekend, the International School has organized a camping and hiking trip that will also take us to the Dead Sea. I am strongly considering this – though I’m fearful it might be too cold to float in the Sea. It’s only $100 for two days and everything will be taken care of for us. My other option is going with a few friends to Jerusalem for the weekend but we have a friend’s birthday party on Thursday night that we don’t want to miss. Since Jerusalem basically shuts down solid on Shabbat – it doesn’t make sense just to go for Friday until sunset. We are now leaning towards going to Jerusalem closer to Christmas. We have also heard that Nazareth has a great Christmas market throughout December – we’d really like to experience that. 

I have booked a trip to London and then home for February. We have six weeks off between the fall and spring semesters. I’m so excited to see my friends in London and help celebrate my friend, Elle’s return to New Zealand. After that, I head to Reno for a few weeks to enjoy time with friends and family. 

It seems like this semester has slipped away from us. As a grad student – it’s so easy to get buried in your books and research – you need to make a effort to get out there! Last night over dinner, two friends and I pulled out our calendars and started making plans. Akko, Nazareth and Jerusalem are in our sites before the end of the semester. We’ve only got December and January remaining. Lots of looming deadlines but plenty of time to squeeze in some fun!

Adventures ahead

16 Jun

I have been slowly reading up on Haifa and the surrounding area. I have no clue how much time I will have to travel and explore. I already have a mini mental list going of places and things I’m looking forward to. I’m sure my list will continue to grow as my departure gets closer.

Places:

1) Acre – This ancient town lays on the other side of the bay from Haifa. The market is supposed to be really vibrant and interesting.

2) Jerusalem – One of the oldest cities in the world. So much history packed into one city.

3) The Dead Sea – Yep, I’m looking forward to the floating in all that salt water.

4) Masada – I remember watching a movie about the Masada in AP History. Though not your typical high school flick – it kind of stayed with me. Would love to do one of the sunrise hikes here.

5) Exploring the diverse neighborhoods of Haifa. Haifa is one of the only cities in Israel where Muslims, Jews and Christians co-exist with little problems. Each have their own distinct areas of the city.

6) Further afield I’d love to visit Petra, Jordan; Cairo & Alexandria, Egypt; Istanbul, Turkey (my friend, Cody will be studying there the same time I’m in Israel) and Nicosia, Cyprus (the only remaining divided capital in the world).

Experiences:

1) Living in a mediterranean country with the closest beach only 20 minutes from my dorm. Wonder if I can focus on my mountains of reading with the sound of waves crashing nearby…

2) I’ve lived only in Western countries. Though Israel is highly westernized – it still has a very strong Arabic influence. From the music to interpersonal interactions – it’s all going to be new. I’m looking forward to learning more about that. Random fact for the day – most slang in Israel isn’t Hebrew, it’s Arabic.

3) If you know me well, you know I’m a semi-foodie. I’m looking forward to all the new tastes and cuisines. Hummus, falafel, israeli salad, shwarma and stuffed breads. Given the mix of cultures that have come together in Israeli as Jewish immigrants from all over the world moved here – the cuisine is very diverse and incredibly tasty from what I hear.

4) I have to admit on a dorky/nerdy level – I’m really curious and fascinated to study my topic with people from all over the world. I know from my time studying in Germany – how they teach WWII and Holocaust history is distinctly different then how the American educational system covers it. Add in people from all over the world, from various backgrounds and I’m hoping for some really interesting discussions. From what I understand, I am the only American in the program. There are 12 Israelis and the rest of the group (for a total of 23) hail from all over the world.