Wednesday, May 24, 2017

. . . . and a plate of hummus to end the day. You can't do better than that

Israel – Day 2: Caesarea

Best news of the day is that I got my car after all, which means I don’t quite have to curtail my plans as I thought. A quick phonecall to my son on Monday night got him to find my driving licence, scan it and send email me a pdf of the scan which the front desk printed out. Then it was off to the branch of the rental firm I was with at 114 Ha-Yarkon St to see whether, you know, this might just be a photocopy and not the real thing, but…

My hopes were not high (and to be honest and given the advice about the very efficient public bus services in Israel I wasn’t really that bothered) but that old Roman Catholic, public school, size nine shoe, 32 waist charm worked and I was given a car, though I did have to wait 90 minutes for one to become available. So it wasn’t till gone 2pm that I was able set off and my destination was the Sea of Gallili. The satnav I had decided to rent from the car firm turned out to be an 8in iPad using Google Maps with some kind of magnetic device which was supposed to clip onto the car’s air vents. But it didn’t. Every time I clipped it on, the weight of the tablet made it turn pretty much face down so you couldn’t actually use it. And I have Google Maps on my iPhone anyway.

I looked at Google maps and saw, or thought I saw that the 20 was the road north, and after taking the wrong turn-off and heading south on the 20, I was on my way. Well, kind of. The traffic was just bloody awful: if we weren’t – all three lanes – crawling along at 5kph bumper to bumper, we were crusinging along at a very speedy 40kph until we hit the next traffic jam.

This went on for an hour till we finally joined the 2 north and I realised what had been going on – we had been driving through what, if it wasn’t one big building site developing the road, was a series of several big building site developing the road. When I saw a sign for Caesarea, I decided enough was enough and as visiting the ruins there were also part of my plans, I decided, along the admirable lines of ‘adapt, adopt and improve’ to got there instead. But I was not looking forward to the journey back to Tel Aviv. Not at all.

. . .

I like ruins and find them interesting though I have to say ruins without those crucial signs (in this case in Hebrew, Arabic and English) explaining what is what they might not be quite as

interesting. Then, after the culture came the beer and cigar and a plate of delicious hummus and pitta bread (pictured).

Today, it’s off to Jerusalem, by bus as advised, then back in time for the match – at 21.45 local time of the Manchester United v Ajax final in Stockholm of the Europa League final. It might be shown on one of the 200-odd channels my room TV set screens, but I also know I can watch it on BT Sports using my trusty Zenmate app. I have to say that, to adapt Fergie’s famous phrase, it’s always squeaky bum time when watching United, but here’s the best.

I really can’t mention the team without mentioning the appalling bombing a day ago: why do the deaths of children hit us even harder. As the father of two, my prayers go to the parents of those young ones who died.

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