Shalom from Israel and welcome to another In Israel Blog.
The long awaited Jerusalem Ice Rink opened last Thursday and Israel Inside Out was there on the first day to see the early enthusiasts take to the ice. A full report and video is available. The ice will also be open to schools and my eleven year old is due to get his first taste of ice hockey later today.
Looking forward this week’s big event is Purim – although the festival itself is next week the excitement will start towards the end of this week. Purim is a very happy festival celebrating the physical survival of the Jewish people saved from the hands of a despot. There is a tradition of dressing up and this week most people will be involved in choosing and creating their costume.
We have heard exciting reports of a new luxury hotel that will open soon in the Mitzpe Ramon area. The owners are targeting six star service and with the views over the Ramon Crater it will certainly be a very special place.
Transport in Jerusalem is a frequent topic in this blog –as we watch the Jerusalem Light Railway start its testing. One of the other key aspects is an improved transportation infrastructure based in the area of the main bus station. For the past couple of years the area between the bus station and Binyanei HaUma has been hidden. We understand that eventually a new train line will arrive in Jerusalem negotiating the main entrance to the city deep underground. I am not sure that this can count as a Big Dig in the Bostonian sense – but, as you can see from the picture it is a very deep hole and there is plenty of work left to complete.
This week’s recommended trip is to Zichron Yaakov – it makes a perfect half or full day out – it has lots of important history, some beautiful gardens, great views and the restored historic center is a great place to browse and relax in Zichron Yaakov – just like one of Israel Inside Out team members did last week.
Finally, our weather update – last week was most definitely winter with lots of rain all over – there are reports that the streams in the north are in full flow – worth a visit in their own right and no doubt they will benefit the Kinneret water levels in due course. This week seems to have started fine but cool and the spring like weather is expected to stay for most of the week.