Ice Cream at 4:30 am, Sunrise at 5:00
The interns took some time off this weekend and traveled to Haifa for some much anticipated R&R. After taking a not-so-quick detour to Tel Aviv for the absolute best burger I have ever, in my entire life tasted (true story), we turned our rental cars north and headed to Haifa, a costal Israeli town in which both Israelis and Palestinians live. (Historically a predominantly Arab town, Arabs now make up about 33% of the population.) The following day, armed with some sleep and our faithful robo-tourist guide, intern coordinator Robyn Kbera (“Big” in Arabic and she is as tall as they get, folks), we saw the beautiful sites of ancient Akko (aka Acre). Akko has at one point been ruled by the Greeks, Romans, various caliphates, Bedouins, Crusaders, Ottomans, Mameluks, Brits, and Israel. While touring around what is now called the Citadel of Akko, we walked along (maybe among) Ottoman fortifications, built on top of Hospitaller and Crusader fortifications, which were later used as a prison for Jewish Zionists by the British during the British Mandate. Needless to say, for anyone at all interested in history, visiting Akko is a bit like being a kid in a candy store! After inundating ourselves with history and old rocks, we rewarded ourselves with a seafood extravaganza, right along the shore and a nap back at the homestead. We were all pretty exhausted at that point, but also knew that the real highlight of the weekend was right around the corner- SUSHI! At around 8 p.m., we headed out and proceeded to drive all over downtown Haifa before our cabs could find the elusive sushi restaurant. Following our second seafood meal, a few of us were still not quite ready to call it a night. At around 4 a.m., a decision was made that when in Haifa…see the sunrise. So, following an early morning ice cream break, we saw the sun rise in Bat Galim over the heads of Israeli women and Arab boys out for an early morning swim. Ice cream at 4:30 a.m. and a sunrise at 5:00 a.m. was just about the perfect way to end our first day in Haifa.