On the away trip with the staff of the charity I volunteer for, we first stopped off at Caesarea.
I have blogged on this place before but only very briefly, really only touching on the theatre which hosts live music and TV shows today, this time I got to see this place in a bit more detail.
The museum park is mostly outdoors and is a beautiful place to visit. It is probably the most important piece of Roman history in the Middle East.
This sign shows how the harbour looked like:
By the way the name ‘Palestine’ was invented by the Roman emperor Hadrian long before any Arab people populated this land. Caearea was built by Herod, but there are signs here showing it was inhabited by Greeks, Crusaders and Muslims.
Outside a cafe at this place I ordered a hot dog with some french fries and sat outside. The elderly man who ran the cafe had a strong New York accent brought out some pizza to one of my friends at the table and I noticed a small green tattoo on the man’s arm, not a particularly interesting design but when I went up to get some mustard I saw it again, it was about six numbers. This was the unmistakable sign the Nazis used on Jewish prisoners in the holocaust camps, where as most people were rapidly slaughtered in the gas chambers not long after they had arrived by train, the ones with the tattoos tended to be those that were younger that were deemed suitable for working in the camp in unspeakable conditions. Still today there are people who try to revise history and say it never happened. I would imagine the man is probably Polish and moved to the US in late 1940s and came to Israel not so long ago. On one of the other tables he got chatting to one of the other staff, I didn’t hear what was said apart from he said he was from New York. Its a sobering thought that history has come full circle, as the Nazis closely modeled themselves on the Romans to some degree and now as this small fragment of the Middle East is now owned by Jews again and some of them have reminders of tragedies gone by.
There are two films that can be watched in separate screens that show how Caesarea was restored by archeologists as you can see today. Some other people on our trip went to scuba diving as there are parts of the ruins that can only be seen underwater.
Current prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has lived here in the town and so did Russian-Israeli Billionaire Arcadi Gaydamak who used to own football clubs in Jerusalem and Portsmouth UK, its incredible this location has changed hands through so many people.
This is an absolutely must see for any visitor to the holy land.
I will cover the Kibbutz where I stayed next…