You will have to ask very nicely, but if you do and Racheli is willing, then you will get a real treat. The pomegrante that grows in Arad is super sweet and the seeds are large and tasty as a result of the soil here. You can see the plate that Racheli has filled up from only ONE....
Karin finally graced us with a visit in January 2003. She was hesitant at first because of the terrorist activities that had been happening here, but I guess she finally became convinced it was actually as safe here as anywhere else. You can see by the silly grin on my face how happy I was to have Karin here.
Here you can see our group. We met at Nir's apartment (he is Karin's Israeli boyfriend). Now this is typical of Israel, we called Karin at Nir's and made arrangements to come visit, but we brought along another two friends, Estar and David and this is before we had met Nir.
Now how does this group look, we have Alex from Mexico, David from the US, Zohara from Israel, Me, Karin from Canada and Nir from Israel (Tal from US/Israel, took the pic).
As you can see there is not much left on the table, wonder where all that food went??
Karin asked how we were prepared for Saddam's threat of attacking Israel with chemical and biological weapons. Well you can see here that she got a first hand experience of trying on my gas mask that each and every person in Israel has. I think her words while trying it on were:::
Itsht Nuutth toooo baaad (translated without the mask on "Its not too bad".
Karin was such a brave person, both for coming to Israel when many visitors were canceling their trips because of the terrorist situation here (it is a lot safer than it seems actually), and also for trying on the gas mask, I decided to make Karin an honorary memeber of the Arad Rescue Team. You can see us here wearing the official shirts and hats of the unit.
Karin, we loved having you, now you have to come back for all the things we missed.
Arad-Massada walk. This is a yearly hike (in February usually) that starts from Arad (at a height of +600 meters) and goes to Massada (height -200 meters) which stands about 200 meters above the Dead Sea (the Dead Sea level is about 400 meters below sea level). You might meet some nice people and the area is fantastic, especially the view of Massada as you top the final ridge before the descent to Massada. The total walk is about 23 kilometers.
PS: The picture is my daughter, with Massada in the background as seen from the Roman ramp, when she received her award for finishing the whole walk.
Arad is a wonderful place because you have a bit of modern civilization and all its niceties, juxtaposed against the shrinking Bedouin population who reside primarily in the Negev Desert area. I'm not sure what the Bedouin population in Israel is today, but outside of Jerusalem - as you make your way south to the Dead Sea (and Martin's place in Arad) - you'll look across the arid topography and find a few camels and some tents....sometimes even a satellite dish!
These are the Bedouins...nomadic desert dwellers who inhabit the Sinai and the Negev, as well as nearby Jordan. Only about 10% of the bedouins still live in tents and remain nomadic; the rest are now in urban settlements after Israel was established in 1948.
Towns in the Negev like Beersheba for example, offer a Bedouin Museum and a closer look at their traditions and culture.
But as you drive around Arad, you'll inevitably bump into some local Bedouins and/or their camels, just out taking a stroll along the road (hence the sign!).
It's a real interesting holdover...then again, it's one of many that you'll find in Israel, which in itself is the biggest example of an anachronism!
wadi boqeq is a canyon located about half an hour drive from arad, right next to the dead sea.
wadi boqeq offers some really nice hiking and beautiful scenery and makes a really good daytrip from arad.
there are a a couple of small waterfalls where you can refresh yourself in the wadi if it gets too hot.
Karin came to us in Arad for a visit and she "got the works", Zohara put out a very special feast for her. But Karin, we are sorry the weather did not let us make a BBQ for you. For that you will have to COME BACK TO US.....
Almost forgot, Karin went with us to pick up Tal from the shopping mall in BeerSheva (Kanyon HaNegev is the name) and while we were there we took the opportunity to try out a new restaurant called "Aroma". The pic was taken there.
There are many paths in the desert, some are beaten and a lot and some are unexplored or simply unfamiliar (unless your name is Martin_S.) Don't try to play hero and go discover the desert on your own. If you do decide to explore the area then remember one thing: don't try to lift rocks or even small stones because this is where scorpions like to hide.
Tatke enough sunscreen and water and make sure that at least one person knows of your whereabouts.
The story of Arad, our desert city, started WAY BACK in 1964 when it was established. At that time there was no road connecting it to the nearest town of Beer-Sheva, 40 kilometers west of Arad. There were only a few dusty unpaved roads inside the town limits connecting the 60 some houses like the one you see in the photo. As people made gardens and parks, the homes became beautiful and people continued to build and the town to expand. Today this first area, called Rishoniem, which means "the first" has degraded and is now mostly abandonded. A pity since this is the birth place of our town.
After having experienced hurricanes (Florida), earthquakes (California), tornados (Illinois) and tidalwaves (Hawaii), I was so "proud" to see little Israel begin to show its muscle in the natural world. So I present to you Israel's first TWISTER.
Okay, okay, so it does not match the violence and danger of the American brand, but since it is home grown wanted to share. It did manage to throw (well "Push" anyway) our car off the road and onto the shoulder of the road when it hit us and if we had not been expecting it might have gone down the embankment.