Monday, April 14, 2014

Mini Vacation with Tal and Saarya

Tal and Saarya and I have returned from our annual Pre-Passover mini-vacation.

We go before Passover because a) it's still "off-season", so it's cheap, b) it avoids the Passover crowds, c) it's the perfect time of year for hiking in Israel, and d) it forces us to have our apt ready for Passover early, but allows us to go into Passover feeling refreshed rather than post-cleaning frazzled (at least in theory). The problems are a) it forces us to have our apt ready for Passover early, b) we sometimes hit the holiday of some other religion (such as Druze), and c) not everything is open before Passover (e.g. certain swimming pools and attractions).

Each year we stay somewhere different. This year we stayed at Rothschild Guest Hospitality (a strange name), which is a simple place to sleep on Kibbutz Hagoshrim on the Dan river. The owner is nice, the place is clean, comfortable, simple, and really inexpensive, though it comes with no breakfast. It's situated in the beauty of nature, surrounded by fruit trees and flowers.

Kibbutz Hagoshrim has a popular rafting business that was one of the highlights of our trip. Really lovely and ideal, though we couldn't get the raft to stay straight; it kept spinning around. The kibbutz is within hiking or driving distance of several entrances to the Dan, Snir, or other tributaries, but it contains within it the most beautiful short walk I've ever done in Israel, right below the hotel (the most beautiful long walk is the Tel Dan Nature Reserve). It descends into this fairy forest tunnel of bamboo, pine, and wood-slatted bridges criss-crossing over a stream. The earthy feel and smell reminded me of hiking in Scotland. The kibbutz has other amenities, such as a pool, a bar, a restaurant, paintball, some kind of flying activity, a gallery, min-zoo, etc, etc.

There is a hotel on the kibbutz in which you can eat your meals, but we self-catered from Supersol and a prepared food place in Kiryat Shmoneh called Tadmit (good food, although heavy). Unfortunately, we didn't take pictures: couldn't bring a camera with us on the raft, and then it was shabbat.
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