Israel 2015:- Herodian National Park (Herodium)…

Aerial view of Herodium...

Aerial view of Herodium…

Herodium is a cone-shaped hill, located 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) south of Jerusalem and 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) southeast of Bethlehem, in the Judean desert (the West Bank). Herod the Great built a fortress, a palace, and a small town in Herodium, between 23 and 15 BCE, and is believed to have been buried there.

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Herodium is located just inside the border with Israel and Palestine…

Herodium is the only site that is named after King Herod the Great. It was known by the Crusaders as the “Mountain of Franks”. Arab locals call it Jabal al-Fourdis (“Mountain of Paradise”).

View from Herodium...

View from Herodium…

Below is a slideshow showing what remains of Herod’s castle and the village surrounding it.

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Israel 2015:- Palestine…

Relaxing in Hedrodian National Park...

Relaxing in Hedrodian National Park…

Eileen and I recently visited Herodian National Park which contains the relics of one of King Herod’s castles in Israel. Little did we know that the park was located in Palestine (the Occupied Territories). I think if Eileen realized where it was located we never would have visited.

We first realized that we were entering Palestine was at the border checkpoint we had to go through both in entering and leaving the area. (Was that a tremor I see Eileen?)

Border crossing into and out of Palestine...

Border crossing into and out of Palestine…

The road we traveled on to reach the park was several miles long and was in excellent condition. All of the crossing roads had these ‘warning signs’ at the intersections.

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From our car we could view many Arab villages, but were not allowed to enter.

Arab village in Palestine...

Arab village in Palestine…

Once in the park we felt very safe  with the IDF (Israeli Defense Force) guarding us (he says tongue in cheek)…

IDF in Herodian National Park...

IDF in Herodian National Park…

After taking the above image I turned around and found this plaque. Another dose of reality here.

In Memory of David Ross Rosenfeld...

In Memory of David Ross Rosenfeld…

Such is life, but I love it here! When you visit you’ll understand.

The next blog will take you through ancient history and the Palace of King Herod…

Israel 2015:- Tel Afek (Antipatris)…

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Eileen and I recently visited Yarkon and Tel Afek National Park. The park is about a half hour drive from where we live in Herzliya and is located east of Tel Aviv.

The Ottoman Fortress, Binar Bashi, was built in 1571 on the top of the ancient mound of Tel Afek. A “Tel” is actually a specific archaeological feature which is very common in Israel, a place that has been inhabited by people for thousands and thousands of years. Basically a “Tel” is a mound underneath which lay the ruins of previous settlements that once stood on the same spot.

On the eastern slope of the Tel is the British Mandate pumping station, from which water from the Yarkon spring was once channeled to Jerusalem.

Inside the pumping station in Tel Afek...

Inside the pumping station in Tel Afek…

On our way out of the park we drove past a parking lot outside the Rosh H’Yam railroad station and found this interesting scene…

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Israel continues to surprise me in oh so many ways!

Israel 2015:- A Surprise Wedding in Yarkon Park…

The wedding party poses for a picture...

The wedding party poses for a picture…

Eileen and I took advantage of a beautiful Shabbat and went for a walk in Yarkon Park in Tel Aviv. We had walked maybe 200 yards when we came upon this colorful and rare scene in Israel, an Eritrean wedding.

Eritrea is a small country located in the Horn of Africa. Eritrea_(Africa_orthographic_projection).svgIllegal immigration from Africa to Israel which is often also referred to as infiltration by the Israeli media and by Israeli government organizations, refers to the act of African nationals entering Israel in violation of Israeli law. Sound familiar? This illegal immigration began in the second half of the 2000, when a large number of immigrants from Africa entered Israel, mainly through the fenced border between Israel and Egypt. According to the data of the Israeli Interior Ministry, the number of these illegal immigrants amounted to 26,635 people to July 2010,  and over 55,000 in January 2012.  Most of the African immigrants come from Eritrea and the Sudan. They work as laborers, cleaners, and all the other menial jobs that Israelis don’t like to do. They are mostly Christian and Muslim. (In fact, there is only one Jew still living in Eritrea). Currently, the Israeli government is attempting to deport them.

As for the wedding, Eileen has been living in Israel since 1971 and has NEVER seen anything like this. Their clothing and jewelry were beautiful and obviously expensive and Eritreans in Israel are poor, poor, and even poorer. So, these folks must have been special. We tried to find out more details but could not.

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When the photo session ended, they headed to their chartered bus and limo to points unknown. But, before getting on the bus they broke into a spontaneous dance on the bike path. You can see part of the dancing at:

What a nice day to be in Israel!

 

Israel 2015:- The Shuk in Netanya…

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Eileen and I visit the city of Netanya regularly. We like to walk on the beach of the Mediterranean or on the promenades and walking paths that traverse the top of the cliffs over looking the sea.

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A friend of ours recommended a Tripoliton  restaurant in the city and said it was located outside the shuk (market). Eileen did not know about the shuk and I certainly didn’t, so we returned to Netanya earlier this week to try the food and stroll the market.

The Netanya Market opened in 1957 by Jewish immigrants from North Africa and today it offers fruits, vegetables and meat, all kinds of customers and especially a pleasant and free atmosphere. Beyond these, the Netanya Market includes quite a few stands and stores that offer spices, as well as lovely delis that specialize in everything which the Netanya Market costumers could want: North African, Russian or French delicatessen. Along with the North African population (many from Tripoli), there is a large Russian and Jewish population.

Below are some random images of some the scenes in the market and on the surrounding streets.

(Reminder: click on any image for full screen viewing…)

Before & After…

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Many of you know, particularly if you’ve been following me on Facebook or have been reading my blogs, that one of the things I like to shoot is ‘Street Art’. It was popularized and legitimized when 5Pointz was available as a street canvas. As you probably know from my past blogs, 5Pointz has been shut down as a place to paint and the building was white-washed and will be torn down, if it hasn’t been already.

Through a good friend of mine I found Bushwick and the ‘Street Art’ that is found throughout this Brooklyn neighborhood. The image above was taken on November 24th.  We returned yesterday and I was pleasantly surprised, actually shocked, with what has happened to this canvas.

Here are two images from yesterday. Amazing is the word that comes to mind. Whoda’ thunk it?

Bushwick Street Art #3___ 01

Bushwick Street Art #3___ 01a

If you are on Facebook, why don’t you check out: https://www.facebook.com/groups/788409174554223/… Good new site to see and post Street Art images.

Happy Hanukkah to all!

 

Street Art – Bushwick, Brooklyn Style #1

Bushwick Street Art_02Bushwick has become the new 5Pointz and the street art is playing a big part in the revitalization of this neighborhood. I used to work in Bushwick and never saw anything like this back then. I was very surprised at the transformation and hope you appreciate the artwork. Remember some of these are massive in size.

Hope you appreciate and enjoy!

(Reminder: Click on any image to begin a slide show)…