Monday, July 6, 2009

Mix it in the Holy Land

It is well known that Israel is a holy place ("Holy Land") for the Jewish, Christian and the Muslim people but this land is holy for another religious group - the Baha'i. I'm pretty ignorant about this religion but I know for sure that I love the fact that they express themselves so gorgeously and so botanically. The Baha'i gardens are one of the main attractions that the city of Haifa has to offer.
The amazing gardens decorate the side of the Carmel mountain from the "higher city" to the "lower city". In order to enter the gardens and the Shrine you need to book a tour in advance and since we didn't plan our visit so well we could only see the gardens from the outside, which we did twice, once from the upper entrance and then from the lower one:

Louis promenade - Haifa

Louis promenade - Haifa

Baha'i Shrine and Gardens from Louis promenade, Haifa

Baha'i Shrine and Gardens

Talking about multi-religion place it's comforting to visit this city and see a place where Arabs and Jews live together in peace and where both cultures are well felt in the city.
Another enjoyable attraction is the science museum where we enjoyed the architecture and the permanent exhibition (-but we refused to visit the juicy corpse exhibition AKA "Body Worlds" that was also showed there at that time - just let me write about it ......... I find it a morally disgusting idea and closer to pornography than to science. Let's leave it aside for now ....I all of the sudden feel so angry and I just meant to write about fun staff.......but anger always mixes somehow....)
Anyhow - go to visit this museum - it's an old building that used to be the the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. The interior design of the museum is also inspiring - each room looks so different and so creative and the exhibition is fascinating as well.

The science museum, Haifa

Outside the museum we found a line of dinosaurs decorated by different artists. The idea of the same animal decorated in different ways is over used but still they looked in place by the beautiful old building.

Outside Perry found a friend from home, the American dinosaur
(the only one with the American flag on it),
while his father attached to his dinosaur decorated with chess pieces
(Chess lovers see his chess website)

One more site for Perry was the cable cars going from Stella Maris to the beach.

Stella Maris - the cable cars

The sky train needs to be renewed but Perry didn't care... 5 minutes in this orange ball was a real attraction. On the way out we asked the only person who worked there who was an Israeli Arab where we can have a quick good meal on our way to to Tel Aviv.
"Maxim restaurant on the beach is just down the road and it's a good one" he said.
"Sounds good .... this name sounds familiar..." I said.
"Yes," he cleared his throat, "a few years ago a suicide bomber blew up the place... but now, 'Baruch Hashem' ('God bless' in Hebrew, an expression typical to religious Jews) now everything is OK and it's a great place to eat.
"Forget about it" I said to Moshe on our way to the car, I'm not going to eat in the same place where people were crashed to pieces............
Moshe answered in his classic manly point of view - "On the opposite - let's go there to support them!"
So we did. You might be surprised to know that the restaurant owners are Israeli Arabs.
Decorated with painting of sites of Haifa we had a chance to see one more time the Baha'i Shrine and Gardens while eating Maxim's Hummus.

Maxim restaurant

Anger, sad, fun, the beach, remember, forget - Things are mixed together everywhere, I guess, but it seems that they are even more mixed in Israel.
So diverse, filled with conflicts and beauty.


Expressions By Devin said...

Those are some Amazing Pictures!!!So beautiful!!!

Tamar Hammer's Blog said...

Thanks Devin!

Italo Svevo said...

Beautiful pictures of Haifa!

Tamar Hammer's Blog said...

Thanks Italo!
Haifa is a beautiful city also in "real life" - it was a pleasure to take these picture.