Saturday, September 19, 2015

Our Three Day Holiday

Akko, the garden of the crusader fortress. 
Once upon a time I didn't understand the concept of the mini-break. I couldn't see the point of a three day holiday - wasn't it all a bit rushed? Then I did it a couple of times and was converted. You really do come back refreshed from three days and two nights away.
Water science at the Science Museum, Haifa

Last year we only did an overnight. It was an experiment. This year we upgraded from camping to a kibbutz challet and added on the extra day and night.

Day 1. On the last Thursday before school started, we left home at 7am, and drove north to the Science Museum in Haifa, having dropped my friend's dog at her mother near Tel Aviv on the way. There we met up with the rest of our group. In total we were five mothers with five children between the ages of 4 1/2 and 7 1/2. I won't tell you how old the mothers are but our combined ages are older than the United States of America.

The museum was great - loads of interactive exhibits, some of which you could ride on, explaining about weights and pulleys, water science, gears, pipes and tubes, and many more things that we didn't even get a chance to see. The only down side was that the weather was 38C (100F) and much of the fun was outside. In the end the best bit for the children was when they just ran into the water fountains to cool off. I think we may have eaten a picnic lunch but I can't remember. Maybe we just each gave our children food when they asked for it? We all drank a lot of water.

"Don't worry we won't get too wet"
Then we headed off to Kibbutz Shomrat to check into our challets (we had two for the 10 of us) and off again to the beach. We frollicked about in the swell and as the sun went down we ordered pizza to eat on the shore.
"We couldn't help it. It's just too hot!"

Day 2. Full Israeli breakfast at the Kibbutz, the way only Israel knows how. As well as the traditional cereal and milk, toast butter and jam, there were yogurts, pancakes, pastries, eggs, salads, quiches, fish, bread rolls and cheeses.  To drink: teas, coffee, OJ, or chocolate milk. Something for everyone.

Entrance to the shuk in Akko
We went to Akko (Acre) but as it was Friday we stopped first at a take-out shop to order food for Shabbat. We chose shnitzels, rice, potatoes, salatim, challahs, meatballs, etc... and they kept it all in their fridge for us to pick up on the way home.

Akko is famous for its crusader fortress and castle, tunnels, ancient bathhouse, museum and all things crusader. There is also a beautiful harbour with fishing boats, horse and cart taxis, and a traditional Middle Eastern shuk (market). I didn't take many photos so follow the link to see Akko in all its glory. (I only put my own [rubbish] photos or those donated by friends, in posts as after a while Blogger removes photos pasted from other sites.)

I tried to explain to DD about the crusaders.
Me: They came from England and France mostly to try to get all the Moslems and Jews to love Jesus.
DD: How did they make everyone love Jesus?
Me: They said, 'if you don't love Jesus we'll kill you.'

Stairs were built wide and flat to allow for knights on horses
The Fortress was excellently presented with images of the crusaders and clergy going about their daily business projected onto selected walls. DD was terrified, had a panic attack, and we had to leave.

We collected our food for dinner on the way home. Again I don't remember giving the children lunch other than handing DD a bread roll or an apple from my bag. The afternoon was spent at the pool or beach (we split up), meeting back at the kibbutz for dinner together on the veranda.

Day 3. It was Shabbat. After another big Israeli breakfast we went for a walk around the kibbutz, spent more time at the pool, ate a late lunch together on the veranda, relaxed, and the children played. It was a real day of rest.

We headed home in the evening passing not one but all three IKEA outlets in Israel (Kyriat Ata, Netanya, and Rishon). They were all open and we didn't stop at any of them  - what a waste! On the other hand we had two sleeping children in the back of the car and, for half the journey, a dog.


  1. What a lovely long weekend away and the weather looks divine. Mich x

    1. Depends what you mean by deivine - it was far too hot for me and even the real Israelis were finding it tough. I've done a cmplete flip since living here. To me devine weather is cool and fresh.

  2. Sounds idyllic. I would be with them in the fountain in that weather though! :D

    1. I was tempted but a 6yo can get away with walking rounf in wet clothes for the hour it took them to dry off. I think I would have been arrested.

  3. Glad you had a good break: Acre sounds really interesting and the Kibbutz breakfast sounds delicious!

    1. Both were excellent. I would like to do Acre again in cooler weather - I don't think we did it justice because of the extreme heat.

  4. From Margie in Toronto - sounds wonderful - but very hot! I am a complete convert to mini breaks as well. I'm off with a friend this coming weekend - we travel to Sault Ste. Marie on the Friday, stopping at Science North in Sudbury along the way and then on the Saturday we spend the whole day on an old style train down in the Agawa Canyon, which is famous for its Fall colours. It will then be a long ride home on the Sunday but I've booked the Monday off as well so I'll have time to recover - weather will be the opposite of your experience with the cooler temps closing in over here. Looking forward to it though as I also much prefer the cooler weather. I do envy you that breakfast!

    1. Have a wonderful holiday. I almost wonder mowadays what I would do at a pool/beach hotel for two weeks! It seems like such a long time.

  5. It sounds like the perfect amount of time to go away - not too much to pack for yet long enough to have a real rest from the chores. You make me laugh about the combined ages and then not being able to remember chunks of it! Sorry to see about the panic attack, but hope you are inspired,now DD is older and things are a little easier, to get away like this again xx

    1. I agree - 3 days is the perfect length of time for a staycation.