We left Tel Aviv in the rain and more thunder, and it was cold. Thankfully I brought a silk long sleeved undershirt, scarf, gloves, and a head band thing...and I wore them. The guide tells us that because of the rain, we won't be able to walk the whole length of the port city, but...it stopped raining, the sun came out, and it was beautiful. Casearea was built by King Herod, on the beautiful coast north of Tel Aviv in 22 BC, to impress his Roman buddies. For 500 years, it was the Roman capital in Palestine, and served as a deep sea port,
with a hippodrome (over 200 yards long), used for chariots, and also for gladiators.
and an amphitheater, which was used for orators, plays, music, and is still used today.
We learned that when the Byzantines invaded, and rebuilt the city, they built the walls at an angle, to make them harder to scale, with a dry(!) moat.
Next we traveled inland to Mt. Carmel, to Ein Hod, a community only for artists.
About 200 families live there, and it is a requirement that you must produce art. It is also the location of the Marcel Janco Museum, founder of Dadaism (not my favorite). Because it was/is the feast of Purim, which is like Halloween but with religious conotations, there was a big party for the children...it was fun to see them dressed up, and having a great time.
We continued inland to the Upper Gallilee, all the way to the top of Israel near the Lebanon border, where we stayed on a kibbutz which was founded in the early 1900s...one of the oldest in the country. As we left for a visit to a high tech dairy farm, we heard 2 explosions...hmm. We went to the dairy, and heard more explosions and helicopters. I asked our guide (who had served time in the Israeli army, and is a reservist) what was going on...he said that an Israel patrol on the border hit an IED, and that no one was hurt, but there would be/was some retribution...they blew up a Herbollah outpost, got the UN involved, and it got quiet. The dairy farm was really interesting...they put a pedometer/GPS tracker on each cows lower leg, which the farmer monitors on his cell phone...if the cow stops walking, there is a problem. When the cows come in for milking, the tracker lets them know which cow it is, and how much milk they produce. We've never seen anything as high tech as this, and we live around a ton of dairies.
See the strap around the cows fetlock? (above)