Friday, September 14, 2007

A Day in Bahai Gardens, Haifa





Another “light” blogging work for me today. The pictures are courtesy of my French friends Julien and Sylvie, who took these magnificent Bahai Garden shots the second time they went there. The following text is courtesy of RP Embassy to Israel attaché Alvin Conchas III. Thanks guys!

It was just another “extra holiday” in Israel. I love this country! As a newcomer in this country, I enticed my colleagues to visit one of the most scenic spots, i.e., Haifa. We took the train early that morning in order to save time. Our destination was the famous Bahai Gardens. Haifa is located in the northern part of the State of Israel. It offers not only scenic spots for the tourism industry but also commercial activities owing to its port.

I was quite excited to visit Haifa although it was not my first time to set foot in that place since we had an outreach program a couple of months ago. The excitement stems from the stories I heard from our Parisian visitors, Julian and Sylvie, who gave enormous and colorful testimonials that Haifa was really a wonderful place to visit. One more thing that is interesting is that Haifa is a model community where Christians, Arabs and Jews live together with fewer animosities as compared to other places in Israel.

Upon arriving in Haifa, we began to feel the scorching heat of the sun. Perspiration began to cover my face and my back. I really thought that Haifa would be cooler as compared to Tel Aviv-Jaffa since it’s relatively situated on higher grounds (but not as high as that of Jerusalem). We immediately went to the bus stop and waited around 15 minutes for bus 22 which would bring us at the top of the Bahai Gardens.

Finally, we reached the top of the Bahai Gardens. Although a gentle breeze welcomed us, the scorching heat began to intensify. Upon reaching the gates of the garden, we learned that we could only enter the garden through a reservation and it would only be for limited access. Thus, we only saw the “dome” of the garden from a far. The only consolation we had was to see the whole panoramic view of Haifa and its port.

I heard that during the war with Lebanon in 2006, Haifa was bombarded with missiles. Haifa was fortunate because the Bahai Gardens were spared during that war.

We again took bus 22 and went down to find a place to rest. We had lunch and initially planned to visit other places nearby, such as the Elijah’s cave. We decided however to spend our time in the restaurant because the heat have already bested us and I feel I could no longer continue walking because the sweat had already consumed my strength.

Although our trip was short and quite tiring, it was an experience of my life that I cannot forget. There’s more than meets the eye in Israel. No words are adequate to describe how beautiful this country can be.

There will be more travels in the days to come since it is the caprice of my childhood and all these memories I get from these travels will be the fond of recollection during my old age.

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