They may not have the historical significance of Masada or the religious meaning of the Western Wall, but for pure refreshment it’s hard to beat Israel’s several water parks.
Those who escape steamy New York City for the cooler temperatures upstate each summer can well understand the need for relief from an Israeli summer heat wave. In Tel Aviv, summer temperatures can reach up to 108 degrees, with 95 percent humidity.
Ramot Naftali, Israel — With the Sea of Galilee shimmering just out the passenger door, we turned left onto Highway 90 into the home stretch: the Hula Valley. A weekend cabin at Moshav Ramot Naftali — a mountain community overlooking what Israelis call the “finger of the Galilee” — lay just 20 minutes away.
Coasting northward with wife and two kids napping, it first appeared to be a cloud. Slowly coming focus, the majestic snow-capped Hermon mountain range, the northern extreme of the Golan Heights, looked down at the valley.
A combination of lower airfares and a variety of incentive deals for cash-strapped foreign tourists has most probably saved the Israeli hotel industry from one of the worst Passover seasons in recent memory.
But the extra effort to lure foreign tourists to Israeli hotels for nine- and 10-day holiday packages, which like Sukkot account for a significant portion of annual profits, seems to have come at the expense of marketing the annual summer excursions.
anyone who has visited the holy land knows, Israel is a thoroughly modern country with decidedly unholy traffic snarls, ubiquitous cell phones and all manner of other urban ills.
For some pilgrims, Israel’s highly developed, Westernized culture is a disappointment, as it masks the sights and sounds of biblical times. Jerusalem, for example, may be the holiest city in the world, but it can be hard to envision Temple times with the roar of buses nearby and the smell of pizza in the air.
President Obama reportedly spent just 26 hours in Oslo last month, where he collected his Nobel Peace Prize, delivered a speech and then skedaddled back to Washington to deal with health care and Afghanistan.
The Inbal Hotel in Jerusalem, whose officials say it is weathering the overall steep decline in bookings from foreign tourists this year, has added a new health club. It boasts a state-of-the-art “techno-gym,” wet and dry sauna, as well as tastefully decorated treatment rooms offering a wide variety of massages and treatments for body and soul, according to the hotel. The hotel also features a covered and heated swimming pool that is open year-round at no extra charge for guests.