The port of Caesarea

After arriving in Tel Aviv and visiting the ancient port city of Jaffa, we drove in the minivan carrying our family to Caesarea.

We had a “learning tour” of the city, built in the 1st Century B.C.E. by the paranoid King Herod the Great. I guess I would be paranoid too if I knew my spouse and two sons were plotting my death. 

Herod put them to death and never trusted anyone again. But his genius and drive did build an engineering feat: a port city that was once the third largest in the world, and many palaces that survived for centuries. He also built in Caesarea a huge amphitheater that survives today as a site for concerts.

At the Caesarea ruins listening to our tour guide, Gil

The ruins of an ancient mosaic

From there, we were off to an unusual natural spring once used in ancient times by Israelites, Greeks and Romans to irrigate their estates. Today it’s an old-fashioned “swimming hole” in Nahal Hakibbutsim. The kids and adults laughed endlessly as they jumped and swam and slid down a natural waterfall. 

At the swimming hole

What fun — and a much needed break from the 100 degree weather!

Our meals at sit-down restaurants, and the hotel’s breakfast menu, offered endless plates of salads, cheese, meats, breads, fruits and then deserts. 

In Tel Aviv, we feasted at Yitzhak Hagadal Restaurant. The food, mostly fresh or freshly baked, was plentiful and the kids learned to eat schnitzel, which substituted for their favorite food, chicken fingers, by another name.

Enjoying Sachne, the natural water springs we went to after touring Caesarea

The best site of all that day was to watch the six children, from 4 to 13, play lovingly together, with smiles as big as the moon!

Now on to Jerusalem!

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