Israel 2015:- Come take a ride with me- The Jordan Valley (Part 2)…

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The border crossing in 30km. I did not go.

As I continued on my trip thru the Jordan Valley, the landscape changed a bit, but still offered me some interesting shots to share with you…

Palm trees grow in a man-made nursery...

Palm trees grow in a man-made nursery…

People & Animals…

Foreign workers from Thailand in the fields along the way...

Foreign workers from Thailand in the fields along the way…

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Arab shepherd…

I was surprised to see these cows grazing...

I was surprised to see these cows grazing…

Bedouin shepherd...

Bedouin shepherd…

Egrets...

Egrets…

 Abandoned…

There was this group of abandoned buildings overlooking the valley. Not sure if they were military, but the graffiti  artists have taken them over…

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Jordan Valley_18aaAnd a few more…

Border protection...

Border protection…

Jewish settlement...

Jewish settlement…

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Returning from the valley…

and if you’ve traveled all day in on the hot dusty roads of the Jordan Valley, what else is there to do but…

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Hope you enjoyed our ride thru the Jordan Valley…

 

 

 

Israel 2015:- Come take a ride with me- The Jordan Valley (Part 1)…

'Jordan Valley'

‘Jordan Valley’

I recently went for a drive to the Jordan Valley which is one of my favorite places in Israel/Palestine. Eileen chose not to join me as she has concerns about security there. I told her that I never encountered a problem, but she didn’t buy it. Maybe it’s my ignorance or arrogance as some of you have said, but you only live once, and the Israeli Defense Force’s presence, was noted.

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The IDF patrolling the border between Israel and the West Bank…

I chose to drive the less direct route as I find going this way to be much more interesting (for photography that is) than the more direct (and safe, I guess) route.

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Road in West Bank…

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Road in West Bank and Jordan Valley…

When entering the West Bank, there was no checkpoint checking passports. When leaving though, the Border Police checked everyone carefully, looking at both my American and Israeli passports. I appreciate these checks and makes me feel even more safer when in Israel.

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Driving on the road in the Jordan Valley…

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Arab village on West Bank…The border fence can be seen in the foreground.

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It’s hard to keep your eyes on the road with scenery like this…

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Watchtower, not in use right now, overlooking the border…

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Jordan Valley…

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Arab Village in West Bank…

A little color in this harsh environment...

A little color in this harsh environment…

Tomorrow I continue sharing my journey to the Jordan Valley…

 

 

 

Israel 2015:- The Tel Aviv Port on Yom HaShoa…

The lone fisherman...

Eileen and I went to the Tel Aviv Port on Yom HaShoa, which is also known as Holocaust Remembrance Day, when much of Israel shuts down. I was pleasantly surprised at how empty The Port was, with only a few restaurants doing any business. As luck would have it our favorite cafe, Beach9, was open, so we sat and enjoyed the quiet and beautiful weather with beer and hummus.

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On Yom HaShoa, schools are open and each holds special events to remember the Holocaust and recognize the few living survivors. Families were absent this day as we see at the Carousel…

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The carousel appears lonely with nobody around to ride on it.

Usually, there are many fishermen along the port. Today, this lone fisherman, seen above and below, was all we could find.

Maybe he'll get lucky here...

Maybe he’ll get lucky here…

The beach is empty and quiet. A good time for remembrance and prayer.

Contemplation on Yom HaShoa...

Contemplation on Yom HaShoa…

With the weather in Tel Aviv at this time of year in the 65-80F range, there are always flowers in bloom. Israeli’s pride themselves on the beautiful floral displays found all over the country. Tel Aviv Port is no exception…

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This visit to Tel Aviv Port, was a very special day for us. We’re glad we could share it with you.

Israel 2015:- ‘Ron Gang; Artist, musician, and friend…’

Ron Gang at his show in Kibbutz Ulim

Ron Gang at his show in Kibbutz Urim

I believe I first met Ron in 2012 at one of the Israel Blues Society’s monthly ‘Blues Jam’ at Mike’s Place. We began a cordial relationship and we’d chat with each other at the monthly ‘Jams’. Ron is a very interesting person and our chats allowed me the opportunity to learn a great deal about Americans/Canadians who made Aliyah in the late 60’s and early 70’s.

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Members of Kibbutz Urim. Some have been here since the ’50’s…

Ron was born in Canada and attended the University of Toronto where he received a degree in Philosophy and Middle East Studies. Ron first came to Israel in the late 60’s and returned for good in 1972. He met his wife Estie here in Israel. He lives on Kibbutz Urim which is located in the Western Negev. Ron worked in the fields as did  most everyone who lived on a kibbutz in the 70’s. He also has held several jobs on the kibbutz and is currently involved with kibbutz security. This is especially important today because the kibbutz is located about 16 miles from Gaza. See map… http://yhoo.it/1z6n3sp .

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Ron’s means of transportation on the kibbutz…

Ron, the artist…

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We recently visited Ron at his Gallery Show: Exhibition of Ron Gang’s Newer Paintings: Here and There in the Land of Israel תערוכת ציורים חדשים של רון גנג: כאן ושם בארץ ישראל .

Ron and Eileen at Ron's show...

Ron and Eileen at Ron’s show…

After several years of adjusting to life living on a Kibbutz in Israel, Ron began studying art at two of Israel’s most prestigious art schools: 1980 – 1984, Ma’ale Ha’Bsor School; 1984 – 1987, Tel-Aviv School of Art (Kalisher). He has had many exhibits of his work including several at the Stern Gallery in Tel Aviv.

One of Ron's work on display in the TziUrim Gallery on his kibbutz...

One of Ron’s work on display in the TziUrim Gallery on his kibbutz…

Ron paints mainly plein-air full-sized oil paintings of his surroundings in the Negev region in southern Israel. He is a firm believer in the magic of oil painting, the use of multiple layers and transparencies, to utilize the potential of this rich and versatile medium.  Painting on location from direct observation is a way of life, Ron returnins over and over again to the same locations in his “quest to unlock the secrets of the land and nature”.

Ron sharing his 'plein-air' work with Eileen...

Ron sharing his ‘plein-air’ work with Eileen…

Ron – the musician…

Ron is a self-taught (mostly) musician who plays the keyboard:

Ron playing keyboard at Israeli Society's 'Blues Jam'...

Ron playing keyboard at Israeli Society’s ‘Blues Jam’…

the ‘blues harp’ aka harmonica:

Playing harmonica at 'Blues Jam'...

Playing harmonica at ‘Blues Jam’…

and is a talented vocalist:

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Ron is a popular participant in the Israeli Society’s monthly ‘Blues Jam’ at Mike’s Place Herzliya…

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We look forward to seeing Ron next year upon our return to Israel. Come along with us to Israel and get to meet great folks and hear terrific music…

Israel 2015:- Tel Aviv-Some views you may not see…

Wall surrounding construction site. Street Art at its best...

Wall surrounding construction site. Street Art at its best…

When I posted my blog last week, ‘Israel 2015:- Come take a ride with me…’, I had concerns that the posting would be considered silly. To my pleasant surprise, many folks commented on how interesting it was to them, seeing places in Israel that they might never see themselves. So, to continue along that line, today’s blog takes you to Tel Aviv, to areas that are not well publicized…

My favorite buildings; one square, one round and one a triangle.

My favorite buildings; one square, one round and one a triangle.

Spire from IDF base...

Spire from IDF base…

Street Art…

Strolling thru the streets of Tel Aviv in the Sarona area…

Sugar, Spice, and Everything Nice...

Sugar, Spice, and Everything Nice…

Ran, bartender at Mike's Place in Tel Aviv... Hey it was 95F so a brew came in handy...

Ran, bartender at Mike’s Place in Tel Aviv… Hey it was 95F so a brew came in handy…

and of course…

She & he...

‘She & he’ in Sarona…

 

Israel 2015:- Come take a ride with me…

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On the Ayalon heading into Tel Aviv…

Eileen and I went to visit our friend Ron Gang who lives on a kibbutz in the south, not to far from the Gaza border and on the Negev Desert. So you might be wondering why there is a picture of the Ayalon Highway (above) leading into Tel Aviv?  Well, Eileen was driving, so I took the time to adjust/play with my Fuji XE-1’s settings. I took several test shots and when I looked at them I realized that this is probably a view of Israel, through the windows of Eileen’s Hyundai, that most people will never see.  So I figured why not share this ride with all of you. And better yet, you’ll be spared the lousy music found on Israeli radio.

The towers of Tel Aviv, several under construction...

The towers of Tel Aviv, several under construction…

Road signs are usually in Hebrew, Arabic, and English. The way the population is changing they'll also be in Russian and French...

Road signs are usually in Hebrew, Arabic, and English. The way the population is changing they’ll soon need to be in Russian and French…

Having fun with Topaz Adjust...

Having fun with Topaz Adjust…

As I noted above, Ron’s Kibbutz is located on the Negev Desert. Ron told us when we were leaving that we should detour and take the 18km (11mi.) Habesor Scenic Route. We’re glad we did!

The gravel road, barely big enough for two cars leads us along the path of Nahal Besor (Besor River) allowing, as seen below, for different vegetation along the way…

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Orange groves were located along the route. I found it very interesting that the farmers chose to protect the groves with cacti…

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Heading home the satellite cones are quite visible. Not sure if they’re commercial or IDF.

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I hope you enjoyed the ride. I had fun shooting from the car, a skill I learned from the master Bob Towery. Who knows, maybe one day you’ll be taking in the sites of Israel from inside Eileen’s Hyundai…

 

 

 

 

Israel 2015:- A Visit to Yaffo Port (Jaffa Port)…

Eileen and I like to visit Yaffo (Jaffa) which is about a 20 minute drive from our home in Herzliya. Yaffo and its port have a long history spanning over several thousand years. Yaffo has an old fishing harbor, modern boat docks, and a tourism center. Yaffo is a major tourist attraction with an exciting combination of old, new and restored buildings. It offers art galleries, souvenir shops, exclusive restaurants, sidewalk cafes, board walks and shopping opportunities.

Yaffo port's entrane with modern day Tel Aviv in the

Port Yaffo’s entrance with modern day Tel Aviv in the distance…

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One of the galleries in Port Yaffo…

The port itself is mentioned in various ancient works, including the Hebrew Bible, such as the Book of Jonah, and the works of Josephus describing Jewish history and the First Jewish Revolt against Rome. For over 7000 years it has been actively used, predating Muslims, Christians, Jews, and even Egyptians.

Yaffo Port...

Yaffo Port…

In 1917 during World War I, British troops under General Allenby defeated the Ottomans and took Yaffo, which became part of the British-administered Palestine mandate (1922-1948). In 1947 and 1948 there was sharp fighting between Yaffo, which was largely inhabited by Arabs, and the adjoining Jewish city of Tel Aviv. On the 13th of May 1948 (A day before the proclamation of the State of Israel), the Arab forces in Yaffo were defeated after long fighting with the Zionist underground Haganah and Irgun Zva’i Leumi forces. On April 24, 1950 the Jewish city of Tel Aviv and the Arab city of Yaffo were unified, and the Tel Aviv-Yaffo Municipality was established. Today, Arabs of various denominations constitute about 25,000 inhabitants out of a total of 35,000 people.

Looking inside one of the Arab residences. Reminds me of Havana.

Looking inside one of the Arab residences, it reminds me of Havana.

One thing for sure, there is a lot of ‘street art‘ in Yaffo

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Put Yaffo on your list of places to visit the next time you are in Israel!

Chag Sameach!

(Happy Passover!)