From Karmiel to Mount Carmel

I stayed with a friend in Karmiel whilst on my journey around northern Israel, it is a little tricky to get there as bus times are a bit hit and miss, requiring a journey at Tel Aviv, Haifa, Akko or Tiberias.   The railway network doesn’t cover the greater Galilee area.

Before heading to Dave’s flat, I saw a fox outside.   He looked a bit different than a common British garden and dustbin explorer.   This one was grey rather than brown and red.   Sadly you can really only see his eyes glowing here.   Hes not scary though.

The beautiful, mostly ex-Russian community of Karmiel is very clean and tidy with well kept gardens and trees by every street junction.

Waking up in the morning I was greeted by bird song.

Whilst at the north of Israel, I got a chance to go with some people to a church close to Karmiel.

Only a few months ago there was a devastating fire that affected this place resulting in deaths of prison workers scrambling to get people out of the jails.

As this a short distance from Mount Carmel (two different places with similar sounding names) close the where the prophet Elijah went to.

This church is on the outskirts of an Arab village on top of this mountain overlooking Israel’s third largest city Haifa.

Where actually this one isn’t the closest to Karmiel where was staying, it is one hours drive away, it was worth it.

There is some beautiful views at the top of a steep hill which requires negotiating around some zigzag bends to get up there.  We would of been late, so thought we would do some photos on the way back down.

The church has the service in three languages, English, Hebrew and Russian, some of the Russian Israelis who don’t speak English or Hebrew had some of radio headsets I have seen at quite a few churches now.   There are also a few Arab believers here.

At the end I only got a quick chance to speak to people including the senior pastor David Davis, I was really impressed with this church and mentioned to him about some Jewish believer friends who had moved from the UK and Germany, he gave me a copy of his book the Road to Carmel to give to them, although I have read it myself, its really encouraging testimony, and on how he got to Israel, and worked with actors and people in the theatre industry and drug users in both the US and Israel.

I highly recommend checking out this congregation for both Israeli believers or visiting foreigners looking for a congregation whilst checking out northern Israel.   Its also an example of God working with reconciliation between Jews and Arabs.  I regret not being able to get a nice picture of the outside of this church which is how you imagine a congregation could of been back there with large archways all the way around the front, this church was built in the late 1990s.

www.carmel-assembly.org.il

Some amazing views, however not the amazing ones seen earlier driving up some zig zag roads as it was now foggy in the afternoon!

After another bus from Karmiel to Akko, to get a train to Jerusalem, which was a long journey, the bus station gets interesting views of the surrounding hills here.

On the train I got a glimpse out of the train a remainder of some famous names in IT that are here.   This time I get to spy on Google!  Ha ha ha!

Akko – getting there

Oops, this was actually meant to be part one of Akko, not to worry…

The trains here in Israel are pretty good actually.  Cheap, comfortable and on time.

Many of the carriages here are double decker, similar to the ones I saw in the Netherlands quite some years ago where I went from Amsterdam to Utrecht.  Something impossible to operate in the UK given countless bridges and tunnels not having enough height.

Two changes are required, one at Haifa and one at a small town I don’t recall the name of.

After maybe a mile and half of walking from the station, I was coming near the beach…

Akko has been through many different owners, Arabs, Crusaders, French, Turkish, Egyptians, Romans and Greeks.

The Templar tunnels, not that long but worth the small 10 Shekel fee to visit.  Headroom gets a bit narrower as you go further…

Fans of the video game “Assassin’s Creed”‘ may like to know that this city was used as the location for the game.

Here Acre has a fun collection of passageways and alleys that are fun to explore.  Check out official site at www.akkanet.net (More Muslim slanted, Arabic only)  translation here

This link from Jerusalem Post has a good run down on Akko:- www.jpost.com/Travel/TravelNews/Article.aspx?id=176791

Fire in the north and in my neighbourhood

After the tragedy that happened in the north of Israel, around Carmel it seems everyone is quite nervous of fire.

I often see people burning garbage around Arab districts, the smoke is visible on the horizon.  Ultra Orthodox Jews sometimes burn green plastic rubbish bins when making a protest about something every now and then, sometimes you can see bits of melted plastic around.

Usual ignorance and hate mean that some of the Arab media enjoy seeing tragedies like this even though the people who died were prison staff going to evacuate prisoners (ie: mostly Arab terrorists) from a jail in the path of fire.

Today coming back home after going to an engagement party of a friend, I heard a fire truck with sirens going (they have red lights in this country)  behind me whilst cycling home.

Then to my horror, they were following me into my street.   It seems the three blocks away from my apartment there was a fire.

There was two normal ‘appliances’ (what the British fire service call them, most other countries just call them fire trucks) and two police cars, and a large crane type fire vehicle as well, only it couldn’t get into the car park due to some bad parking on part of our neighbours.

I was a tiny bit nosey and went to take a look, but it seems there was only a small fire and a basket of some burnt material was taken out of someone’s flat.  I think someone probably just knocked over some Hannukah candles.   It seems probably not much damage was done, however you can imagine how nervous this country is with the events of this week.

I really hope the government can take steps to expand the fire service and improve general health & safety practices around this country.  In my house and almost every other place I have visited I never see smoke alarms, in the UK all new houses have to have them, and with rented property, Landlords have a legal obligation to have the installed.  As candles play a part in Jewish culture it should be extra important to have them here.   Many of the news here in Israel is saying there was not enough fire staff to cope with any kind of big incident.

Please do pray for the fire to stop in the north and that the damage can be repaired soon.   I imagine the charity I work for here will need to help more people who may have lost their homes or businesses due the fire.

Here is a panoramic picture of my dad and his friends when visited the beautiful forest up on the biblical location of Carmel last year.  The rocks are similar to the ones described by Elijah.

Israeli fire service web site is at www.102.co.il (seems to be Internet Explorer only, doesnt work with Firefox, unless you have IE tab 2 extension)

Mount Carmel

 

Myself, my Dad and his two friends went to Mount Carmel after staying in Netanya.

Below maybe the place on Mt Carmel where there was twelve stones mentioned in the bible – although I could just see ten of them plus the statue thing in the middle.


1 Kings 18
18 “I have not made trouble for Israel,” Elijah replied. “But you and your father’s family have. You have abandoned the LORD’s commands and have followed the Baals. 19 Now summon the people from all over Israel to meet me on Mount Carmel……

30 Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come here to me.” They came to him, and he repaired the altar of the LORD, which was in ruins. 31 Elijah took twelve stones, one for each of the tribes descended from Jacob, to whom the word of the LORD had come, saying, “Your name shall be Israel.”