A Stay at a Kibbutz Hotel

While staying at a Kibbutz hotel on the shores of the Sea of Galilee we were shown around the permanent residents area. Kibbutz means group in Hebrew so a kibbutz is a democratic group with communal ownership of property. As someone old enough to have been a student at the time everyone was keen to spend time at a kibbutz they seem to have changed quite a lot over the last 50 years.

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The Israeli Museum




Jeff Coons Sacred Heart

Jeff Coons Sacred Heart


The Israeli Museum in Jerusalem is one the the most interesting museums we have ever been to. Its main attraction is the Shrine of the Book which houses the Dead Sea Scrolls. It is an amazing building – a white dome shaped like the lid of the first jar the scrolls that  were found in at Qumram between 1947 and 1956. Three quarters of the building is underground and is meant to be based on the caves in which the scrolls were found. It is dark inside and you are not allowed to take photographs.

Shrine of the Book

Shrine of the Book


Next to the shrine is a large outdoor model of Jerusalem in AD 66 just before it was destroyed by the Romans.

Jerusalem AD 66

Jerusalem AD 66

Our guide thought this was the most interesting part of the museum and was slightly incredulous that foreigners wanted to see everything else. After persuading him we really were keen to see the rest we were allowed time on our own.

First we saw the smallest bible in the world. The whole bible is inscribed on a silicon chip the size of a grain of sugar and has to be magnified 10,000 times to be readable.

Next on to the Archaeological Wing which begins with 13th century human shaped pottery coffins and has many other fascinating objects.


Archeology at Israeli Museum

13th century coffins

But by far my favourite was the exhibition to mark 50 years of German – Israeli diplomatic relations.

Twilight over Berlin. Fifty master works from the National Gallerie in Berlin that were banned by the Nazis most of which were called degenerate.

The artists were driven into hiding or exile. All the works are very powerful and there is nothing that doesn’t have a strong message.

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Lotte Laserstein     Evening over Potsdam  1930

Lastly we just had time for a quick walk around the Billy Rose Art Garden. This is designed as a Zen garden with gravel paths and we could have easily spent so much more time there.

Love in Hebrew



Looking over Jerusalem this work by Robert Indiana says Love in Hebrew, we didn’t even have time to wait for the people to move so I could take a photo.

A place to go back to.


Eating in Israel

If my granddaughter has been with us in Israel I would have an instagram set of at least  twenty one pics of meals to choose from. However my mind is usually on eating not photographing my food. So I don’t have any examples.

All I can say is that all the food was delicious. The diced salads are very tasty and you will not find fresher fish anywhere.

As I am not a great fan of chick peas I was a little concerned that my food choices would be limited. Falafel, deep fried balls of chick peas and spices, are more or less compulsory for lunch and hummus is everywhere but I needn’t have worried there was plenty of choice and for dessert there was baklava and ice cream, lots of ice cream!

The fruit and veg in the market all looked wonderful


The sweet offerings are even better!



The coffee is excellent and the cold fruit juices are great, only surpassed by the hot cider.

The olives, dates and spices taste as good as they look.

Urban Exploration

An Age Inappropriate Escapade

When my eldest grandson wanted to take up what I am reliably informed is called urban exploration he thought I might like to go with him and take my camera.


So we set off just before dusk –  a grandma, a grandson, a responsible adult ( my daughter, his mother) and two ultra cool teenagers. As we walked through the new estate built on the hospital grounds we saw the streets named after the old hospital wards and the clock tower incorporated into the new housing.

At one time the hospital was a self contained village with 2,000 patients, the males ran the farm and the females did the laundry and sewing. In 1948 it became part of the National Health Service but Care in the Community meant it closed in 1993.

Now security at the site is almost non-existent the wire fences are down in many places and the local kids seem to wander at will. There is broken glass everywhere, many of the ceilings have fallen in and there are large gaps in the floors.

Grandson got a little alarmed as it got later (which after all was the object of the exercise) and of course the teenagers acted cool. The responsible adult wouldn’t let us go up the very dilapidated stairs or climb through the holes in the walls and she made us leave as it was getting  properly dark. So we made for the safety of the main road and home.

A successful escapade