Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Bahai Gardens and Other Haifa Adventures

View from the Top of the
Bahai Gardens
After our weekend in Jerusalem, Joey and I decided to check out some more sights here in Haifa.  After class on Sunday, we found a bus to the Bahai Gardens.  This is one of the most famous sights in Haifa, and it is also a holy place for people who practice the Bahai religion.  Still, they let tourists come into the top level or so.

We got on the bus after having a good lunch, putting on sun screen, and packing water.  It was incredibly hot because we left around 3pm, but the bus was air conditioned.  Still, there are no signs for the gardens until after the stop, we discovered, so we got off the bus one stop too late...at the bottom of a steep hill...without shade.

We walked up the hill and even though it was hot, it was hard to complain with such beautiful views of the harbor.  We went into the gardens at around 3:40, and took some pictures before realizing that the site closes at 4.  Feeling a bit silly traveling for such a short period of time, we decided to walk around a bit.  We ended up finding a really beautiful promenade overlooking the water where we sat in the shade.

After cooling off a bit, we continued walking on what appeared to be a main street, which turned into one of the central shopping areas in Haifa.  Pretty convenient!  I recognized this place immediately because it was the only place in Haifa that my Taglit/Birthright tour stopped.  There were falafel stands, ice cream parlors, shops, and of course a McDonalds.  Joey and I went into an Aroma (the Israeli version of Starbucks) for the mazgan (air conditioning) and something cold to drink.  I had an iced shoko for the first time, which is like an airy chocolate milkshake.  It was delicious but way too big and it filled me up past dinner time.

Yesterday, Joey and I went back to the shuk and purchased some food for a potluck dinner with friends.  We made rosemary potatoes (they were a big hit last time), and we had some fresh squeezed orange, mango, and peach juices.  I tried to get some studying done yesterday, but I did not have any homework so I got some other work done (event planning, email catch up, etc.) before cooking and heading out to a bar/restaurant with the program.  We hung out and tried our best to speak in Hebrew to the madrichot (kind of like RAs for the program).  We headed back with enough time to get some sleep before class today.  Now I am off to study for my final on Thursday!

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