Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A Weekend in Haifa

It's been years since the last time I've been to Haifa. Haifa is the largest city in northern Israel, it's only an hour and a half drive from our home, and it's a city full of turist attractions, from the beautiful Baha'i Gardens through the Louis Promenade to the port and the beaches. Any yet, it's been 20 years since the last time I visited Haifa. Wow. When I write it down it sounds surreal...
We wanted to go there for a weekend ever since we came back to Israel, and finally we did it. A nice weekend with two more families. After a quite calm ride, we arrived at the city. In the beginning it reminded us a few other places we've been to, but eventually we realized that this city is a bit similar to many other cities, yet it is very different. The views are amazing and the rhythm of the city is '80 like.

We began our weekend at the fabulous MadaTech, the National Museum of Science, Technology and Space.

Visiting MadaTech, Museum of Science, Technology and Space in Haifa


It has permanent and temporary exhibitions plus interactive installations in the outdoor park. All teach the kids about science in a very interesting and appealing way.

Visiting MadaTech, Museum of Science, Technology and Space in Haifa


We visited the Science Museum in Jerusalem before, but this one was way better. Plus, even though we visited on a Friday morning in July (which in Israel usually means LOTS of people), it didn't feel too crowded and we almost didn't have to queue.
These days, until after Succoth (end of September) the museum hosts the international exhibition Beyond Planet Earth, coming all the way from the Museum of Natural History in NY. It's a fascinating exhibition, but I think it's more suitable for older kids. Our 5 year old got bored quite fast and was busy mostly pushing buttons and climbing things...

Visiting MadaTech, Museum of Science, Technology and Space in Haifa

The 7 year old was more interested, but he also didn't care much for the explanations, and kept looking for the passport stamping stations that were scattered around the place (the kids could stamp their "passport" whenever the entered a different section of the exhibition - moon, Mars etc).

Visiting MadaTech, Museum of Science, Technology and Space in Haifa

I'd recommend this exhibition for kids over 10 years old (and their parents!)

After the museum we went to the hotel to check in. We booked 2 bedrooms suites at Nof Hotel. It's not a fancy hotel, but it was great. It's located in the Carmel center, right above Louis Promenade and the Baha'i Gardens, and from our 7th floor room we could see the beautiful Bay of Haifa. Price was also OK, compares to prices in Israel. It was almost half the price of the fancy hotels down the road.

Nof Hotel, Haifa


We were already starving and began walking, looking for a place to have late lunch. We sat at The Bank, that later we found out is a famous Haifa icon. Food was good, coffee was great and atmosphere was pleasant. Prices accordingly.

After lunch we went for a walk on Louis Promenade, view is gorgeous! We wanted to keep walking to the Baha'i Gardens, but the kids were tired and kept on nagging that they want to go back to the hotel. so at some point we turned around and went back to the hotel. The Baha'i Gardens will wait for next time (hopefully soon!).

Dinner we had at Pasto Restaurant with our friends. 6 adults, 9 kids (three of them under 2). Can't say I remember much of the food. I mostly remember being exhausted...

The morning after we went, just us girls, early in the morning to Haifa's flee market. I've heard a lot about this market being the real deal. Well, I agree.

Haifa's flee market


The market is a real gem. It's not big, but the stuff is great and prices are reasonable.

Haifa's flee market


Then I saw this lamp. I immediately knew I had to have it. I was so disappointed to see that some of the glass was broken.

Haifa's flee market


Haifa's flee market


Haifa's flee market

After the market and then breakfast with the families, we went to the zoo. Now a confession: I hate zoos. I hate seeing the animals in cages. I know some zoos take only animals that for some reason couldn't survive in nature, but since I have no way to find out which zoos are doing it and which aren't, I just prefer to avoid all. In spite of that, since we had the kids, I find myself visiting a zoo at least once a year. I try to have fun with the kids and at the same time to explain to them the problem with animals in a cage. So after this preface, here's a proof my kids actually have fun in zoos...

Haifa City Zoo


The bear, on the other hand, seemed a bit tired...

Haifa City Zoo

For the kids, the highlight of this whole weekend, by the way, was riding the golf car to the exit of the zoo...

After the zoo, we spent some time at Gan HaEm, a nice park with a playground and even a merry-go-round.

Gan HaEm Haifa


We got back to the hotel to check out then had lunch at Abu Yosef, a restaurant famous for the fresh Hummus.
We planned to stop at the beach for an hour or two on our way back home, but here's what happened instead -

Going home


And The Baby...

13 comments:

  1. Lol. Looks like you guys really had fun. That poor bear looked bored and I love the sound of fresh hummus.

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    1. We did, it's a lovely city! If you're ever in Israel...

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. What a fun adventurous day you had! Thanks for letting us tag along. What cute kiddos you have!

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  3. Looks like a great time. Thank you for letting us in on your world. I LOVE the lamp!

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    Replies
    1. The lamp is gorgeous, I know... Too bad the glass was broken...
      Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. Tal! It looks like you had such a good weekend and I love knowing that we had so much fun that the kids were that pooped :).

    What was your favorite part?

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    1. Thanks Shay, we did have a great time! I think my favorite part was the flee market, but that's not fair. I'm a sucker for flee markets... My second best, then, would be the science museum. It's really cool!

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  5. WOW....def looks like a great time was had by all. One can always tell the value of a trip with kids by how fast and deep they sleep on the ride home! I would have LOVED being at that flea market as I am collector of obscure things. Nice post!

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    1. LOL, that's so true! I think all three were asleep before we even left the city. The market is great, if you're ever in Israel...
      Thanks for stopping by!

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  6. Looks like you all had a fun weekend and that does look like a great market. I especially love that rocking horse.

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    1. It was really fun! I also love that horse, you know it's folding?! I think it's handmade.
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
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    ReplyDelete