This past weekend my friends, Ashley and Ariana, and I went to Rosh Hanikra and Acre in Northern Israel and had the best trip ever [yes, I do have friends. No, I am not exaggerating, this was the best trip ever]. I have never had a weekend or long trip ever go as seamlessly or smoothly as this one did, especially since the trip was planned only two days in advance, I packed in 10 minutes, and I have a history of falling into bodies of water- lakes, oceans, rivers- I do not discriminate.
At any rate, I woke up early after only 3 hours of sleep and rushed off to the bus. We arrived at Rosh Hanikra, famous for its caves, ahead of schedule and avoided the usual lines. This was definitely the prettiest part of Israel that I have seen yet. The ocean was a gorgeous blue and pale rocks really made for a beautiful coastline and the perfect atmosphere for starting our weekend. After a rocking photo shoot, we were ready to descend into the caves which had us all quite excited as Ariana and Ashley are cave enthusiasts and I am easily persuaded as to the value of tourist sites when traveling.
After finishing our tour and having some delicious pesto flat bread, we headed back to Acre where we would stay the night. This meant revisiting the famous hummus restaurant where our program took us the first week in Israel and eating way too much [worth it]. This restaurant is suppose to serve the best hummus in Acre and possibly all of Israel. While it is definitely the most delicious kind I have ever had, have caution, my friend, “the best hummus in all of Israel” is definitely a repeated statement all over the country. Perhaps we should take note of Buddy the elf and his unfortunate experience with the world’s best coffee.
This perfect day was followed up with a romantic date watching the sun go down over Acre and enjoying our freshly squeezed pomegranate juice [we sound healthy here, don't be fooled]. We then completely ruined this little health kick by purchasing a pizza to take back to the hostel with us. Our night was finished up with greasy pizza stains and watching corny B movies from the States that somehow randomly always involved Jews in the plot. It was very random, but very interesting to see the selection of movies the station chose. Ben Stiller was an absolute favorite.
All in all it was a successful day with a lot of interesting encounters. For one, our taxi driver was a Druze man who rather pointedly asked Ashley what she thought of the conflict. This of course was awkward as 1.) we are all rather confused about what we think of the conflict and 2.) we don’t want to offend him and find our selves kicked out on the side of the road. Of course, Ashley gave a very diplomatic answer, but it was interesting to see how direct he was about his question. This is actually very common and people will ask you quite openly about your opinion on the Palestinian issue. I find it interesting that they are concerned at all with what American students think as I personally cannot even begin to imagine making any conclusions about the issue. It seems that between my sheltered life in the US and my lack of connection with the problem that I really have no place making any judgements. However, this does not excuse me from observing and learning as much as I can about this country and doing my best to understand and empathize with both sides.
The next day we got our moneys worth at the breakfast buffet, toured the citadel, bought overpriced pants at the Turkish market, chilled at the beach, and then I ripped said overpriced pants while climbing the wall at the harbor. All in all- one of the best trips I have been on in quite some time.