Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Isn't the North of Israel an Amazing Region?

This morning’s paper reports on another massive increase in tourism here in Israel, 41% above the first 4 months of last year. There seems to be no doubt we will hit the 2.8 million target for this year.

As well as being good for the economy, this increase offers so many more people to see the real Israel, an Israel certainly not reported in the international press. A recent letter from a contact in Ashkelon says ”We are indeed having a bit of a rough time, 12,14,20 shells a day landing in or around the area. Not only does the BBC / Sky not report it, even our news hardly reports it any more!”

In a recent discussion at the offices of the the local city council, I happened to remark on this increase in tourism and was told that there seems to be reluctance on the part of tour offices to include Haifa in the itinerary of tourists. The local council has offered any group staying a minimum of 2 nights at a city hotel, a free guided tour of the city, yet there still seems to be a reluctance to accept this offer.

Now I know I am prejudiced since living here in Haifa for more than 26 years but I leave you to judge, where would you find such a beautiful daily drive on a visit to the supermarket as that in the picture? There is so much to see in this city of ours.

After attending the Machal dinner for the 1948 war veterans,see last blog, a group of us got together with our Machal friend to take a tour of Acre. Now I have been to Acre many times with friends of ours but our guide, Danny, who lives in Acre was able to show us many new things and we spent 5 hours until our feet felt as though they were dropping. Interestingly, he also commented on how the tourists seem to miss out his city. The tour of the underground Crusader city