Thursday, April 26, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #13 - Life in Israel


In honor of Israel's 59th Independence Day, I give you 13 reasons I love living in Israel:

1. The beautiful, green north - flowers, mountains, the Sea of Galilee, gourmet restaurants and little bed and breakfasts everywhere, even snow in the winter. Northern Israel's got it all. (Yes, Israel has deserts too, in the south, but personally I prefer the green of the north.)

2. An amazing collection of national parks - everything from nature hikes to Crusader castles to antiquities.

3. The Gan HaShlosha Hot Springs - beautiful heated springs in a lush, oasis-like setting. Especially lovely during a stolen day off the week when the rest of the hordes are hard at work.

4. Tel Aviv - small enough to be accessible, large enough to be truly international in flavor. With a beach to boot. Outdoor cafes you can enjoy all year round. What more could you ask?

5. Jerusalem - often fraught with tension and a hard city to live in, but there is no doubt that it is one of the most beautiful cities on earth. At sunset it truly is "Jerusalem of Gold".

6. The weather. 8 months of warm sunshine every year - need I say more? Long hot summers where your plans never get rained out. Even in the winter it rarely goes below the mid-50's (mid-teens centigrade). You have to love a country where winter looks like this, or like this.

7. The Mediterranean Sea - I live just 20 minutes away from gorgeous beaches - on the Mediterranean.

8. Palm trees - how did this NY girl end up living surrounded by palm trees? Not to mention banana trees, and pomegranates, and citrus trees, and...

9. The food - good, fresh, inexpensive ingredients are available everywhere, and esoteric imported ingredients are now nearly as easy to obtain. Most restaurants here still cook everything fresh every day. No iceberg lettuce and bottled blue cheese dressing salads here. And the summer drinks - freshly made iced coffee is available at almost every restaurant and cafe in the summertime, and fresh squeezed lemonade is a staple all year round.

10. The diversity. Israel is a country of immigrants, with people from literally every country on the globe, who together make up this wonderful human mosaic that is Israel.

11. A truly incredible variety of things to do with children - this country really revolves around its kids, and it shows.

12. The predominant culture here is my culture. It's the way I say Happy New Year in September, the way no one assumes I'm celebrating Christmas in December (or wants to know why I'm not), and so many other little things.

And last but not least...

13. The way Israelis truly care about each other. We may often act rough and aggressive, and we do love to argue, but when trouble strikes no one pulls together the way we do. Differences are forgotten, at least temporarily, in a rush to help others. During the war last summer, there were so many residents of the center of the country who opened their homes to total strangers fleeing from the bombings in the north that when my family tried to do the same we didn't find any takers.

I could go on and on (must be the spring - life here just feels great right now), but better yet, come on over and see for yourselves.




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34 comments:

she said...

My cousin was in Israel last year and sent home the most amazing pictures and stories of his trip. I've always wanted to visit there and hope to someday make the trip.

UKZoe said...

I've dreamt of visiting the North and, of course, visiting the hot springs as well. Just imaginging what you described, when they are not so busy makes me smile.

Tink said...

Living there would be a bit too much for me (I love to live in The Netherlands), but I'd certainly love to visit Israel. There is so much to see and discover!

Thanks for visiting my TT!

This Eclectic Life said...

I've never thought I'd want to visit Israel, but you could convince me. It sounds marvelous!

Gabrielle said...

Many of Christians in Indonesia pray for Israel daily :) And it's one of the holiday destinations I'm going to visit someday :) Thanks for stopping by! Shalom!

Gattina said...

Yes it would be a paradise if there were not all these political troubles. That's what most tourists keeps away and they go to Egypt instead mostly automn and winter. Except of course those who have family. I am sure that most of these troubles are coming from politicians, as usual, who heat people up. People themselves are understanding each other mostly always ! I cannot compare to Belgium but the french and dutch speaking here "officially" doesn't go along together and hate each other but the reality looks commpletely different. Of course extremists are everwhere.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Wow. You paint such a different picture of Israel for me -- even from family and friends who've been there (and we had a family friend who worked at the Technion), I hear that it's desert and brown and a little bit about the food, but not this much and ...

The country you paint is inviting. It's easy to see why people are fighting over it -- but also hard to understand why we all can't just compromise and share such a special place already.

Happy TT, my friend!

DS Writer said...

It's important to see all the good this country has to offer, but it is very easy to get wrapped up in the bad and negativity that constantly surfaces in Israel. I'm thankful I made aliyah and experienced all these good things for myself. Thank you for the lovely reminders.

Wylie Kinson said...

Thanks for sharing the wonders of Isreal. I would like to visit someday.

Amy said...

I visited Isreal in 2005 on Birthright. It was REALLY stressful cause of the schedule but I was able to appreciate how beautiful it is. I would love to go back. And I totally agree on the christmas comment...

Jerry said...

I'd never thought of visiting Israel before I read this. I may have to reconsider. you make it sound wonderful!

Janet said...

Hmmm...your description of Israel reminds me alot of my friend's description of Crete :-)

Robin said...

In many ways parts of Israel are physically very like Crete, but with the added depth that comes from having a whole country there - major cities, a thriving hi-tech industry, dense urban areas, etc.

We went to Crete a few years ago. It was lovely.

Lori's Light Extemporanea said...

Unbelievably cool. Israel is on my list of things I'd like to do, someday. With 5 children in tow, it'll be a while until we get there.

Happy TT!

Rashenbo said...

What a beautiful list! It sounds wonderful. I know absolutely nothing about Israel and now I know something! :)

Thank you for stopping by my blog and thank you for sharing. Living in Minnesota where we have like 8 months of winter the weather in Israel sounds just fabulous! :)

Angela/SciFiChick said...

Very cool!

Thomma Lyn said...

What a fascinating list! Hubby and I have talked about visiting Israel someday, and I read your list out loud to him.

Happy TT, and thanks for visiting my blog!

Lady G~ said...

Israel is on my wish list of places I'd like to visit. Being a Christian, I so want to see the places the bible talks about. Reading you post today, makes me want to visit it even more. Thanks for sharing your beautiful native land with me...

L^2 said...

Wow, this is a fascinating list. I'm not sure I would want to live there, but you make Israel sound like an interesting place to visit. And I would definitely love 8 months of warm sunny weather!
Happy TT and thanks for visiting my list. :-)

Denise Patrick said...

Someday I want to visit Israel. I've heard that it's absolutely beautiful and your post has confirmed it.

Robyn Mills said...

I've never been and you make me want to visit. It is nice to get an other perspective of it.

Dewey said...

Ooh, the Mediterranean sea! So envious of you right now.:)

Madame Rubies said...

So friggin jealous!

Mercy's Maid said...

I think I'm in love with those hot springs. The picture was beautiful! Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Christine said...

Thank you for sharing your love for Israel with us. I always love the culture and the food of a country. I am so jealous you live so close to the Meditteranean.
I've thought about taking my Mom, she really wants to go.

Happy Thursday, Robin.

Aline de Chevigny said...

Very nice list. One day I'll win the lottery and travel the world.

Aline

Sanni said...

Happy 59th Independence Day. I always dreamed to visit Isreal someday - who knows....

Cindy said...

Wow, Robin...the Israeli department of Tourism should hire you to write copy for their brochures! You make me want to visit Israel TODAY. Beautiful!

Julie said...

Your country sounds absolutely beautiful! I hope to visit Israel some day :)

Thanks for stopping by my T13!

Marilyn said...

Wow, I never thought about Isreal except for what I hear in the news. This was an educational list for me.

Fairly Odd Mother said...

You've told me more about Isreal in one post than I've heard in my whole life. Sounds amazing.

gabriella hewitt said...

Really nice list. Israel shines through because it's obvious you feel pride and love for the culture, country and people. It sounds like you've found a wonderful home. Thanks for sharing and thanks for stopping by.

Happy TT Day!

alisonwonderland said...

what a great list! i love your descriptions of the beauty - and the way living in Israel makes you feel. thanks for sharing!

happy thursday!

Vic Grace said...

I would like to visit Israel. Years ago when I traveled from Britain to where my father was living and working in Iraq we could not visit Israel because if it was stamped on our passports the Iraqis would not let us back in to the country.