When your partner in crime works full-time and has to commute an hour+ to and from work, it doesn’t leave a lot of time during the week to get up to any shenanigans–and you know that I love shenanigans and tomfoolery.
But the weekends are totally different.
We’ve had two full weekends in Israel (where I wasn’t crazy jetlagged) and we’ve been taking full advantage of our days off by exploring Tel Aviv and the surrounding area.
Last week, we drove for just over an hour up to Haifa to see the Baha’i Gardens. The gardens are supposed to be beautiful and there’s a great view of the city.
We approached the gate and were asked to spit our gum out because it’s a religious ground. We walked up the first flight of stairs and saw a large group of people taking pictures at first balcony. Why were so many people taking selfies when the view from the top would be so much better?
Ah. It was because the gardens closed an hour before we got there. So much for random adventures with very little planning!
Lesson learned: always check the hours of places that you want to visit, lest you be disappointed at the gate.
As we were walking down the streets in search of our next adventure, we heard sounds that could perhaps be a soccer or basketball game. Then lo and behold! A soccer ball popped over the fence and into the streets, a mysterious metal door without a door handle opened, and a guy scurried out of the door and after the ball. I broke away from Kyle without explaining to him what I was doing (I’m drawn to soccer like a moth to the flame), beelined it for the open door, and plopped myself down on the sideline.
We finally found a soccer game! Yahoo!
Neither of us were dressed to play, but we’re definitely going to bring our boots next time… because if there’s anything that I’m good at, it’s bullying random strangers into letting me play soccer with them.
We spent the rest of the day getting lost through the winding alleys.
The next day, we went to the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. It’s a quick walk from our hotel and one of few things that’s open during Shabbat.
This past weekend, we drove down to Masada National Park, which lies on the southeast corner of the Dead Sea. Because it was a relatively hot day, my knees are not in the best shape, and we were feeling tired, we decided to take the tram up to the top.
Would I do it again? Absolutely. Especially as I looked down from the comfort of the tram onto the poor saps that were struggling up the winding trail with the sun blazing down on them. I could see the sweat dripping off of their faces. Rookies!
We opted out of the audio tour (they were pushing for that hard); instead, we walked around at our own pace and made up historical facts about the site until we could do some research on our own. I feel like Wikipedia is all that anyone ever needs for factual information, right? If it’s on the Internet, then it must be true.
After we trekked through the ruins of Masada, we floated in the Dead Sea. And it was super weird. I felt like I was in some giant 2nd grade science experiment.
“Look kids! You can drop in a full-grown woman into the Dead Sea and she won’t sink, no matter how hard she flails around in the water! Shhh kids, let’s watch her struggle.”
The weirdest thing at the beach were the public changing rooms. They’re not individual stalls where you can change in and out of your swimsuit; instead, it’s one giant stall with a door that just swings open for the whole world to see. I almost went into the men’s changing room and caught a peak of some random man’s goodies… or perhaps it wasn’t an accident.
I’ve had an incredible time here in Israel and I can’t wait to see what kinds of mischief we can get up to in our month remaining.