After emerging from the desert covered in a thick layer of dust and salt, we made for the seaside kibbutz of Nahsholim, which means “tidal waves” in Hebrew. With a beach and ruins dating back to the time of the Canaanites, Nahsholim was resplendent with plumeria and numerous other flowers.


Pink plumeria

The northern beach had a sign admonishing us to not swim in the clear green Mediterranean water.

Don't swim?

In the evening, we drove up to the town of Zikhron Ya’akov and wandered off in search of dinner. We came across a pub called “The Hobbit”, complete with wizard decorations and not very low ceilings. The drink menu was in English, but the food one was in Hebrew, which made ordering somewhat difficult. We managed to get pretty good burgers and enjoyed listening to 1990s rock in the dark room of the pub.

The Hobbit

The next morning, Mor and I went to the restaurant in search of the breakfast provided by the hotel. I’m always timid about kosher dairy meals, but this was perhaps one of the best I’ve had: scrambled eggs; halva; fresh, stewed, and dried fruits; olives; and pickled fish. The 12 types of labane, yogurt, and cheese didn’t really appeal, but I was incredibly pleased with the food selection.

Later, some of us decided to explore beyond the resort beach. A small knoll stood to the north end of the cove, where we could see ruins from an ancient fortress. Excavations in the area have apparently found items left by Napoleon’s armada, and a group of archeologists were hard at work (not pictured) recovering relics and old pottery shards. When you have a site that’s been inhabited for roughly 4,000 years, you’re pretty likely to find all sorts of artifacts!

North from Nahsholim

Where the rocks meet the water, pools had been carved into the stones. Was this part of an ancient palace or fortress?

Herod's fortress

Ruins and waves

Timid exploration of the rocks yielded to jumping into the deep pools, mostly protected from the waves.

Swimming in the pools

Swimming group

After splashing around, it became apparent that the pools were deep enough to accommodate jumping, so Ben climbed a rocky knob and sprang into the water.

Ben launches

Kathleen followed suit.

About to enter

We spent the rest of the morning jumping off the rocks and exploring the small grottoes of the area.

Invisible chair

Houston, we have liftoff

Reluctantly, we loaded up the vans and headed back to Jerusalem.