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Short trip to the North - report

Jerusalem, Israel
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Short trip to the North - report

Last Saturday, there was the "Feast of the Loaves and Fishes" at the Benedictine monastery of Tabgha, on the Sea of Galilee.

We took this as an occasion for a short trip to the North.

Since this was a last minute decision, and since the country is packed with tourists, it was not easy to find accomodation. Eventually, we found a cabin at the Nof Ginossar Country Lodging, which we booked through the Kibbutz Hotels' website on the Internet. The rate was $150 for the three of us, including breakfast - I think a very fair price, given the high season and the weekend. The cabins are very basic, but sparkling clean: simple wood furniture, tiled floors, very small bathroom, kitchenette. The meals are served at the hotel next door. Food was abundand and delicious. And while the hotel might be a little bit more fancy than the cabins of the country lodging, I felt that the latter was definitely the better choice. The hotel is a kind of a big "tour group processing machine", while the country lodging, located in beautiful gardens, is much more authentic. Many Israeli families spend the weekend there, and we really enjoyed it.

We spend a lazy Friday afternoon and evening in the gardens and on the beach of the Kibbutz and had a wonderful buffet dinner at the hotel restaurant.

Saturday morning, we celebrated the "Feast of the Loaves and the Fishes" together with the local Christians at the Benedictine monastery of Tabgha - a very joyful event!

Then we went to the Jordan River Park, because we would have loved to do some kayaking at "Abu Kayak", as suggested on tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g293977-i1733-k395… . Unfortunately, we were tod that the kayaking season has ended and the place is closed. Thus, we toured the Golan Hights, had a look at the abandoned town of Quneitra from the opposite side as described on tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g294004-i2871-k392… - went out for a little hike, and bought loads of delicious local apples. (Since last week, my wife has been baking fresh apple strudel almost every day...)

Then we went for a wonderful meal at the witch's restaurant in Nahal Nimrod as suggested on tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g293977-i1733-k395… . It has been said that this restaurant is one of the best restaurants in Israel. Well, it is a good restaurant. Maybe, it is an excellent restaurant. Whether it is one of the best restaurants in Israel - I would doubt that. As a first course, we had local herb cream soup and the house salad - excellent! Our little one was already full and happy after the first course - thus, he went playing outside with some local kids, while my wife and I ordered the main course. I had chicken in champagne sauce - excellent! - while my wife took a vegetarian casserole - big mistake! The taste was quite boring, as if they had forgotten to put the spices. It is a non-kosher restaurant. They serve meat and cheese. Maybe, one should not order something completely vegetarian in such a place.

However, they also sell excellent local cheese at the restaurant. We bought two different kinds which are very tasty indeed.

When we returned, we were stopped by the police for a routine control. Big shock: I had not been aware that my Israeli driving license had expired some ten days ago. Thus, I got a ticket from the police. I did not have to pay a fine, but: "You are in the computers now", the policeman told me. I don't know what that means exactly, but I suppose I should be very careful now.

Late at night we arrived back to Jerusalem. It was a very nice weekend indeed.

Edited: 19 November 2010, 19:05
Washington State
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1. Re: Short trip to the North - report

>"Feast of the Loaves and the Fishes" together with the local Christians at the Benedictine monastery of Tabgha

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Any pictures?

Jerusalem, Israel
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2. Re: Short trip to the North - report

No, I did not bring my camera. But the event is nice: It is the yearly celebration of the church at Tabgha. They remember the miracle of the multiplication of loaves and fishes with a solemn mass, presided by two bishops. Within the framework of the mass, they re-enact the miracle, choirs sing, and then they carry huge baskets with fresh bread from the church outside into the garden where they have a big reception with food and drinks.

I have found some pictures on the website of the Dormition Abbey in Jerusalem, which is the "mother abbey" of the Benedictine monastery in Tabgha: dormitio.net/aktuelles/…index.html

Cincinnati, Ohio
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3. Re: Short trip to the North - report

Lovely report!!

Douglas Duckett

Haifa, Israel
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4. Re: Short trip to the North - report

Thank you for the report!

It is weird that your driving license has expired and you did not get a letter that ask you to renew it.... This letter suppose to be sent few weeks before the expiration date...

Jerusalem, Israel
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5. Re: Short trip to the North - report

Well, see tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g293977-i1733-k354… , post no. 9. These are the new rules since last April: We foreigners have to show up at the misrad ha-rishui every 6 months in order to renew the license. And they seem to think that this is often enough that we don't need a letter to be reminded...

Greetings from the Oz Unit, which seems to cooperate with the misrad ha-rishui nowadays...

Israel
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6. Re: Short trip to the North - report

Thanks for sharing. It sounds like you had wonderful weekend and a terrific time, except for one glitch - bureaucracy raises its ugly head :)

San Juan...
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7. Re: Short trip to the North - report

Thanks for the report! Glad to know the Witch's Cauldron restaurant is still excellent. I loved it, but I would never have ranked it among the best in Israel. But the food is great & the location can't be beat if you are in that area.

NYC/Israel
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8. Re: Short trip to the North - report

Glad you enjoyed. Is the Ginossar Lodging Kosher?

Cincinnati, Ohio
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9. Re: Short trip to the North - report

Rdglady's note reminded me -- I particularly want to thank you, Matzchik, because I was thinking of staying in the country lodging when I come in May 2012 with my three friends, but was hoping for a first-hand report from someone I trust. You kindly provided that, and confirmed my thoughts that we will stay there.

Rdglady, I checked this website: http://www.ginosar.co.il/en/

But I was unable to find a reference to being kosher, but I would be very surprised if it is not given their desire to maximize their customer base. I'm sure someone will confirm for certain.

Douglas Duckett

Jerusalem, Israel
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10. Re: Short trip to the North - report

The guests of the country lodging (Nof Ginossar village) have breakfast and all other meals at the restaurant of Nof Ginossar Hotel next door. That restaurant is 100% kosher, be-heksher ha-Rabbanut ha-Rashit. I saw even a Haredi couple eating there.

However, the cabins of the country lodging have all their own kitchenette - and I guess the staff cannot control what the guests bring in there from outside.

Matzchik