Friday, March 24, 2017

Trip North

We drover 2 1/2 hours north after Shabbat ended and stayed overnight in Tzfat (the most multiply-spelled word I have ever encountered.  According to the "Encyclopedia of Tzfat",  the city also goes by: Safed, Safet, Tsfat, Tzefat, Tsefat, Safes, Tsfas, Tzfas, Tzefas, Tsefas, Zfas, Zfat, Zefad, Zefas, and Zefat!  We had a lovely morning wandering around the city, seeing the many art shops

and eating a wonderful breakfast ("you should post on TripAdvisor, Mommy.  Something like, "I had to drag my kids here because they thought the food would be 'too healthy' and everyone loved it and we can't wait to eat there again") and planning a return trip so we can have more time in the future to explore.

Then, off to the Kibbutz!  It's kind of hard to believe that we've been here 1 1/2 years and this is the first trip to visit all the cousins on the Kibbutz.  In fact, it's my first trip here since Batsheva and Chana were little.  (Cousins Gil and Nitzan, and Gil's father Eitan are the ones we are closest to, and we have met them on each Israel trip and several times since making aliyah, but this was the first time seeing all of the extended family [not all of whom made it into the group photo]).

Eitan took us on a long and wonderful tour of the kibbutz ("Gil, we'll come to your house after the tour.  How long do you think a kibbutz tour with Eitan will take?"  "With him, it could be two hours or it could be 12 hours...")  I've been on at least two Eitan tours of the kibbutz and still saw many things I had never noticed/understood before, including my favorite: the kibbutz museum, 

ELEPHANTS once roamed where the kibbutz currently is?!
We went back to cousin Eli and Ariella's house to chat with the cousins (me to my ulpan teacher the next day, "and I did really well speaking in Hebrew.  I spoke more Hebrew than I ever did on the kibbutz before!  Umm, okay, the last time I was there was 18 years ago, so let's hope I don't need that much time to progress before my next visit there....")
the foundations of an ancient wine press were found in the spot where Eli and Ariella's house was planned to be built.  So the house is closer to the road and the backyard is this awesome archaeological find!
 Gi took us on a tour of nearby fields

Ilana found porcupine quills
 and up to his favorite viewing spot at the top of a mountain

Off to dinner with Nitzan and cousin Tslil and then the 3 hour drive home.  Can't believe how much we packed into 28 hours!

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