Jerusalem, Travel

More Solo Travel in Haifa, Israel

Haifa’s a neat town. Traveling alone, I wasn’t looking for bars or a music scene—just beautiful scenery, the sea, and museums. Given that, it’s possible to see everything in a day, provided you’re traveling alone and don’t have to worry about potty breaks and naps and mealtimes like you do when traveling with children.

I left Jerusalem before dawn in order to get to Haifa just as the Baha’i gardens opened. There’s tons of free parking in the German Colony, right at the base of the gardens, and where my guesthouse was located. I took advantage of it, and began the treck to the gardens.

The gardens are split into three seperate levels, each of which must be entered seperately. Making my way from level to level, I discovered several parks and museums.

There’s a sculpture garden and playground hidden on the path between the middle and upper levels of the Baha’i gardens. These sculptures by Ursula Malbin are often whimsical, and clearly designed for children to play on and around them.

On my way up the mountain to the top of the gardens, I also visited the Tokaie Museum of Japanese Art, and the Museum of Avant-Guarde Jewish Art. The Japense art museum was serene and beautiful, but I was most struck by the Jewish art museum. The museum featured art from the 20s, 30s, and 40s, and it was a fascinating look into changes in Jewish identity as Jews colonized and settled Israel. It was very cool and surprisingly emotional (particularly for this non-Jew who has lived many years in countries still ravaged by the after effects of European colonialism).

After the museums and the gardens, I walked along the Louis Promenade, a shaded boardwalk at the very top of the city with spectacular views over Haifa and the port. There were lots of families out, and I was startled to discover how much I missed my children.

A few miles away from the Promenade, you can visit the Stella Maris, site of Elijah’s cave, and a small protestant monestary. The monestary has some beautiful art, but unfortunately, Elijah’s cave was closed for Shabbat.

After visiting everything I could on the beach during daylight hours, I headed to the “Old City” . The neighborhood is known for it’s art installations, one of which you can see above. It’s also known for the best falafel in Israel. Falefel Hazkenim was delicious and inexpensive.

I finished out the day by watching the sun set over the Mediterranean. I sat on the rocks for an hour, as the sky grew dark, people watching, and enjoying the peacefulness of the waves crashing against the shore.

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