Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Ariel Sharon Park - garbage made beautiful

The newly opened Ariel Sharon Park was constructed on the Hiriya landfill which was in use from 1952 through 1999.  The park was built using recycled materials and is slowly expanding to become the largest park in the Middle East.  Guides provide interesting explanations regarding the history of the park, as well as the overall problems with the production of waste in the world.  It is a lovely place to walk, picnic or just spend a nice afternoon.  Currently, the park is hosting the Trash People exhibit - a travelling exhibit consisting of life size figures made entirely out of recycled materials.   Even if you don't make it to the exhibit, the park is a worthwhile destination.
Ariel Sharon Park - www.parksharon.co.il
Trash People Exhibit - www.hadran.co.il
NOTE:  Cars are left in the parking lot and buses transport visitors to the site

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Nili Wine House and Restaurant - lovely place to lunch in Zichron Yaakov

Nili Wine House and Restaurant is a lovely restaurant located on the central pedestrian mall in Zichron Yaakov.  The tables located on the terraces are a perfect place to spend a sunny afternoon people watching.  The food is typical of Israeli cafĂ© style but is fresh and tasty.  The pizza is a sure pleaser.

Nili Wine House and Restaurant - 43 Hamayesdim (on the pedestrian mall), Zichron Yaakov - 04-629-2899 

First Aliyah Museum

The First Aliyah Museum, located in picturesque Zichron Yaakov, depicts the challenges and hardships faced by the thousands who made Aliyah in the late 1800s to the early 1900s.  This museum contains traditional exhibits, as well as multimedia aids, to tell the story of these pioneers.  The museum is a bit dated compared to the newer museums built in Israel and may not be an exciting place for young children.  However, it is certainly an interesting place to stop as part of a visit to Zichron Yaakov.

First Aliyah Museum - 04-629-4777 - Zichron Yaakov

Friday, September 21, 2012

Beresheet - truly a five star hotel

Unlike the case of most Israeli hotels, the (very) high price of Beresheet, a hotel built on the Mitzpe Ramon crater, does correspond to an outstanding place.  The architecture and the outstanding views of the hotel will leave you breathless.  The many public areas (including beautiful outdoor and indoor pools) are beautifully done and the rooms are tastefully appointed.  The food was not great, but it was plentiful and good.  We splurged for a room that faced the crater and had a private pool.  Yes, the pools are not truly private nor very large, but we thought it worth the extra cost. 
TIP - this is a hotel where equally priced rooms are not equal.  Location of a room is very critical since some rooms are more private and further from the service road and gas station right next door.
Beresheet - www.isrotelexclusivecollection.com/beresheet/ - reservations required

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Dalton Industrial Park - a wine lovers dream

The Dalton Industrial Park contains three wineries and a brewery, making it a great place to go"bar hopping".  At Butterfly Brewery, we had a quick tutorial and sampled the delicious beer (there is also a meat restaurant where we did not eat).  We tasted the excellent wine at Dalton but the staff of the visitor center was not particularly welcoming or friendly.  But if you are looking for the best experience rather than the best wine, Adir Winery and Dairy beats the competition.  There is a ten minute film about the family owned business followed by an excellent brunch overlooking the vineyards.  And for 25 shekels per person, we followed the bunch with a great wine tasting with a staff member. 
The wineries are located in the Dalton Industrial Park, Galillee.  Visitors Centers are open to the public but tours should be scheduled in advance.
Dalton Winery - www.dalton-winery.com  - 04-698-7683 - guided tours should be reserved in advance
Butterfly Brewery - www.bfbeers.com 04-699-1079 - guided tours should be reserved in advance
Adir Winery and Dairy - www.adir-winery.com  - 04-699-1039 - reservations for brunch recommended
Rimonim Winery (we did not visit) - www.winerimonim.co.il - guided tours should be reserved in advance

Cafe Gidi - Tel Aviv - a nice stop for food

Cafe Gidi is a lovely cafe not far from the Tel Aviv beach.  The food is very tasty and interesting.  We tried the pizza and the beet gnocchi - both of which were very good.  There is a nice outdoor space in the back.  I found the indoor space a bit tight.  I would not make a special trip but if you are in the area, this is a great place to have a good meal.
Cafe Gidi - 20 Frishman, Tel Aviv - 03-522-1178

Roberg Restaurant - OUTRAGEOUS!!!

When you walk into a restaurant located in a moshav that is literally in the middle of nowhere and the place is packed on a weekday evening, you know you have discovered something special.  The Roberg meat restaurant is a family business (the Robergs even live downstairs) that has a homey feeling; the family members circulate throughout the meal which is long and leisurely.  But do not be fooled by the lack of pretense in decor or ambience (though the views of the Kinneret are pretty amazing). Opt for the tasting menu where you will be wowed by dishes that are both creative and delicious   (fish in tempura with cherry sauce and wasabi sorbet really works!).  I am still dreaming of my meal.
Roberg - Moshav Livnim, Galilee - 04-671-5656- RESERVATIONS A MUST!