Well we managed a day of driving and saw some of the Galilee! Our car makes me worry with the loud noises it makes when turning or breaking, so that was a reason we were avoiding the drive. Plus the hot days really tired us out.
It was much cooler today (70F) and lightly overcast but there was a layer of mist or fog. We could not see across Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee). On the drive home the most was heavier near Haifa and we had a 5 minute rain storm.
We drove to Zippori to find the organic olive oil shop that Joe told me about. It was only 45 minutes from here and traffic was good. The entrance to the village was blocked by a large gate. We waited with a few other cars and it finally opened. We found out that the gate should be open during the day and people who live there control it via their phone, so when a local came along they opened.
The gate is there for security from theft of cows and cars. There was a manned gate to get into Ein Gedi. I see many gated neighbourhoods.
We drove into the village and there was a map but nothing written in English. We drove through the village and saw only Hebrew signs. Suddenly Steve said “that’s it”. I was wishing I had written down the Hebrew version of their name from the website, but it turns out Steve could read enough Hebrew to figure it out.
It is Rish LaKish. http://www.rishlakish.com
We parked but could not see an obvious shop, but finally found it. A very nice shop, shopkeeper speaks English, you can taste the oils. I got a set of 3 small bottles with flavours and a 2 litre can of oil made from their oldest trees (150 shekels for the 2 litres I think, $43).
From there we went to the nearby Zippori National Park, remains of a Roman City. Much small than Beit Shean, but they had some very good mosaics. We had lunch sitting under huge olive trees (our old standby, peanut butter sandwiches).
The terrain there reminded us of northern New Mexico where we used to live, but with more olive trees. Dry, rocky, low trees. We could see the sprawl of Nazareth.
We drove towards Tiberius to get a glimpse of Lake Kinneret. It was covered in mist but we saw it. We drove along the shore a bit, avoiding Tiberius, then drove north to Rosh Pinna. On the TA forums several people recommended staying here but I could not find a vacation rental with a kitchen (they have a small fridge and a microwave, but no stovetop). On AirBnB they all seemed to feature a hottub in the living room. I found a nice looking rental in Safed but then had my doubts about staying in that town, and changed to Haifa, which has worked out well.
I like Rosh Pinna. It is larger than I expected and looks like an American town when you enter - modern shopping mall with chain stores - but then you drive up the hill to the old part of town and it is quiet and charming. A few restaurants, many crafts shops. We walked around and went to a viewpoint that was dedicated to a young man from the area who was killed in a recent war with Lebanon. An Israeli guy with his kids who was there pointed out all the things that were covered by the mist - Syria, Lebanon, Mt something. We were very close to the Golan Heights.
Next time we stay in Rosh Pinna.
We skipped Safed (good thing, after reading Terry’s comments) because we were out of time. I wanted to see much more in this area!
I did some of the driving home to give a Steve a break. The roads are very good with many that are 2 lane highways.
Tomorrow night Tel Aviv. Then we fly home.