Written on: 10/03/2013
We have come back recently from a trip to Haifa in Israel. It is a beautiful country and we had some very interesting excursions. Particularly, the Museum of Clandestine immigration (in 2940s). So strange that the let us in without our passports. Once it was clear we did not have our passports with us to enter the Museum they asked for my husband's knife. Once my husband showed them his pocket pen-knife.(Never heard of a pen-knife being a substitute for a passport before), We were in... We were then free to wander around submarines and gun-boats and they had lots of torpedoes.
We climbed down a whole mountain side to find Elijah's cave. But it was worth it. It was a very interesting shrine. The Ba- hai Gardens in the centre of Haifa were very beautiful and peaceful.
The only down side of the holiday was the driving. We made a mistake in hiring a car. My husband found it very difficult driving in Haifa, there were no Sat-nav maps for Israel. It is a mountainous city and the roads are very serpentine, and it was hard to read the street signs. So of course we got lost. It took us 6 hours to find our hotel from the airport. Only found our hotel, (Marom Hotel). because some people we asked for directions were kind enough to lead us to our hotel in their car, via- their own maps. We set out from the airport at approx 5pm and arrived at our hotel at 11pm at night!! A journey that should have taken about 1 1/2 hours. So I don't recommend driving in Haifa unless you already have some experience of driving in this city.
Hotel was good, clean and the buffet breakfast was extensive and very tasty. unfortunately the restaurant in the hotel was closed. and there were no restaurants within walking distance of the hotel. However, the hotel staff were very helpful and did order meals from local restaurants to be delivered which were a reasonable price. Of course we didn't feel confident to drive to the city centre for the restaurants, after our difficulties in driving to the Hotel.
We used taxi cabs for our excursions which were reliable, and no more expensive than we would have paid at home, and you don't have to tip taxi cabs either. Most everything seemed to be around the same price as we would have paid at home. When we did manage to eat out in a restaurant for our evening dinner, it came to about 160 Israeli shekels which is approx £3o. In all I think we had a very good holiday. It was an experience not to be forgotten. It was a place that did not seem to be a tourist hot spot. We found it refreshing that it was not very commercialized.