by Heather Hammerling, MITF
Over the weekend, one of the English teachers at my school invited me to her home for Shabbat. Her name is Orly, she teaches the 6th graders and we co-teach together once a week. From the first moment I met Orly, I liked her! She is extremely warm and a great English teacher. She lives in a town called Kfar Yona, which is about 20 minutes from Netanya. She not only had me over for Shabbat dinner on Friday, but invited me to spend the night and took me to see some sights I have not yet seen on Saturday!
First, I will start with the DELICIOUS dinner she made for me and her boyfriend Assaf on Friday evening. Nothing beats Israeli home-cooking, and she prepared a meal that included fresh fish, salads, roasted vegetables, and a lentil soup. After eating until I was beyond full, she took me to Caesarea to walk around with her adorable dogs. Caesarea is really special because it is a National Park and there is a beautiful area right along the port that has restaurants and museums. The harbor is amazing because it has been restored and was originally built by King Herod. We stayed for a bit, got some tea and went back to her home to relax.
On Saturday we woke up bright and early. We started our morning with a delicious Israeli breakfast-complete with eggs, salads, dips and breads! Afterwards, we went to a national park called Nahal Alexander (Alexander River). It was a beautiful day and the park was so nice because there is a huge walking path the runs along the river. We walked the entire length before heading back and going to our next destination. From there, we drove to a beautiful artists village called Ein Hod. This is a village in the Haifa district located at the foot of the Carmel Mountains. There are beautiful sculptures and many different types of exhibits and museums to see. We spent our time there walking around and taking in the magnificent views. Afterwards, we continued to drive north, stopping at the Memorial for the victims of the fire in Carmel. This was a really amazing site, and the backstory is even more fascinating. The memorial is dedicated to the victims of the worst natural disaster in Israeli history, the Carmel Forest fire in 2010 which killed 44 people. After spending some time at the monument, we made our way to our final stop–Daliyat el Carmel.
Daliyat el Carmel is a Druze town in the Haifa District of Israel. We went hear to grab a late lunch and experience the ethnic cuisine. We had an amazing lunch, that was filled with many of the traditional plates such as-stuffed grape leaves, mujardara, bulgar pilaf, fresh pita, hummus and salads. It was so delicious and so much fun to experience a different culture. We made our way back to Orly’s home and spent the evening in the company of her sister and youngest niece.
This was such an amazing experience, and something I will forever remember! Orly treated me like family and was the most wonderful host. It was such a treat to see so many different things on Saturday and be fed the delicious food.
Below are some pictures of my time with Orly!