A fun day out in the West­ern Galilee

The Jerusalem Post - The Jerusalem Post Magazine - - TOUR ISRAEL - • Text and pho­tos: MEITAL SHARABI

When most peo­ple think about north­ern Is­rael, they pic­ture climb­ing down into the grot­toes at Rosh Hanikra or walk­ing on the warm sand of Na­hariya’s beach. Yet there are so many more won­der­ful places to visit in the North, if you have the time and in­cli­na­tion.

Au­tumn is a de­light­ful time for a trip, even if your idea of a per­fect out­ing does not in­clude go­ing on long treks upon ver­dant for­est trails. Tem­per­a­tures are get­ting cooler but on most days, the sun keeps us nice and warm, pro­vid­ing the per­fect op­por­tu­nity to seek out new ad­ven­tures just wait­ing to be ex­pe­ri­enced.

TOSHA BAK­ERY

Luck­ily, plenty of cafés and pâtis­series have opened up in north­ern Is­rael, and Tosha Bak­ery in Kib­butz Rosh Hanikra is one of them. Many peo­ple don’t know much about the kib­butz lo­cated right next to the pop­u­lar tourist at­trac­tion bear­ing the same name.

Tosha Bak­ery opened its doors three years ago. It was founded by two young en­trepreneur­s in their 30s, Tomer and Sha­haf, in an ef­fort to of­fer some­thing off the beaten path to lo­cal res­i­dents and tourists alike. To that end, they de­cided that they would not of­fer a fixed menu, but in­stead have peo­ple pick out items sit­ting right in front of them in­side the bright glass cab­i­nets. Each morn­ing, they pre­pare a wide va­ri­ety of bu­rekas, sand­wiches, gourmet quiches and sweet and sa­vory pas­tries made with home­made tahini. All of these items can be en­joyed while sit­ting on their com­fort­able bal­cony and bask­ing in the gen­tle morn­ing sun. De­tails on work­shop par­tic­i­pa­tion:

www.face­book.com/Toshabak­ery/

HANITA FOR­EST

Al­ter­na­tively, you could take the break­fast items you’ve pur­chased in a bag and eat them at the look­out point in Hanita For­est at the foot of the Galilee’s moun­tains, spread­ing out over 600 acres from Hanita all the way to Shlomi. Nearby, you can also view a ren­o­vated Tower and Stock­ade model, which is a pop­u­lar tourist at­trac­tion and pic­nic spot. There are a num­ber of well-marked trails in the for­est if you feel like tak­ing a short walk. Direc­tions: From Shlomi In­ter­sec­tion, drive east on Route 899. Turn onto a paved road when you reach the sign for Hanita For­est.

EIN KOVSHIM

If you’re look­ing for a great hike, I rec­om­mend Ein Kovshim, or Na­hal Be’er. Ein Kovshim is lo­cated just 200 m. from the “Tower and Stock­ade” model – just fol­low the green trail mark­ers. Soon, you will reach the Julie Harel Gar­den, which is sur­rounded by carob trees and boasts a num­ber of com­fort­able pic­nic ta­bles. The gar­den was cre­ated in mem­ory of Julie Harel, the widow of Yossi Harel, who was the com­man­der of the fa­mous im­mi­grant ship Ex­o­dus. Yossi had been among the Ha­ganah fight­ers who blazed the trail up to Lower Hanita as part of the Tower and Stock­ade set­tle­ment en­ter­prise. From the gar­den, there is a short path that leads to a spring and pool at Ein Kovshim.

ODETTE

If you’re look­ing for a su­per fun and unique ex­pe­ri­ence, then you should def­i­nitely go to Kib­butz Regba, where you’ll find Odette cho­co­late work­shops for chil­dren and adults. The owner – Shlomit, a pas­try chef with a back­ground in ma­te­ri­als en­gi­neer­ing, who named her busi­ness af­ter her mother – de­cided to try some­thing new af­ter sur­viv­ing a bout with can­cer. She opened the cho­co­late busi­ness as a side pro­ject to keep her brother, who suf­fers from schizophre­nia, busy. Almost overnight, ap­par­ently, Shlomit’s new venture took off, due to the ex­cel­lent qual­ity of the cho­co­late she uses and her nat­u­ral cre­ativ­ity. She also mar­kets a line of dairy and ve­gan choco­lates with 30 dif­fer­ent fla­vors. Price: Chil­dren NIS 100; Adults NIS 150 (min­i­mum 5 peo­ple per group).

De­tails: 052-889-0381; Not open on Shab­bat. For chil­dren over 3.

ART 192

If you’re into art, then I highly rec­om­mend mak­ing the time to visit Art 192, a gallery lo­cated in an old Ot­toman struc­ture in Acre’s Old City. The gallery was founded by 10 women artists from the Galilee, many of whom turned to art as a sec­ond ca­reer. They picked Acre as the lo­ca­tion for their gallery since there was some­thing about the unique and an­cient sur­round­ings that at­tracted them. Most of the women who show their art­work here sculpt with clay, whereas others cre­ate art out of glass, pa­per and re­cy­cled ma­te­ri­als. There’s al­ways at least one of the artists on site at all times, so vis­i­tors can learn about and view their art­work, as well as cre­ations by other guest artists.

Lo­ca­tion: Acre’s Old City.

De­tails: (04) 828-3955.

‘SAVTA’S WALL’ EX­HI­BI­TION

Another fan­tas­tic ex­hi­bi­tion in Acre’s Old City that you should not miss is being held at the KKL-JNF and West­ern Galilee Now in­for­ma­tion cen­ter, lo­cated near the Turk­ish Bazaar. In ad­di­tion to re­ceiv­ing the reg­u­lar tourist in­for­ma­tion there, guests can also take ad­van­tage of the cur­rent Savta’s Wall ex­hi­bi­tion, which fo­cuses on weav­ing, em­broi­dery and sew­ing. A num­ber of lo­cal artists have con­trib­uted works to this ex­hi­bi­tion, show­ing tal­ents and skills that are not being passed on to the next gen­er­a­tion at the same rate they used to be.

EL MARSA RESTAU­RANT

To end the day, you can re­lax at El Marsa, a lovely fish restau­rant lo­cated in Acre’s Old City in the an­cient Ot­toman Cus­toms build­ing. El Marsa is not your typ­i­cal tra­di­tional Mid­dle Eastern restau­rant, but a mod­ern day es­tab­lish­ment of­fer­ing great seafood. Chef Alaa Musa be­gan his culinary ca­reer when he was just 15, worked in a five-star ho­tel in Ei­lat and even in a gourmet restau­rant in Stock­holm. Upon his re­turn home to Is­rael, Musa de­cided to open up his own place.

Lo­ca­tion: Fish­ing Port, Acre.

De­tails: (04) 901-9281. Trans­lated by Hannah Hochner.

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