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Day trips from and within Haifa (part 2)

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The Clandestine Immigration Museum in Haifa on the seashore level, 204 Allenby Road, tel. (04) 853-6249, tells the story of the movement for “illegal” immigration of Jews to Palestine through a British blockade before and after World War II.

Haifa played a key role in that struggle, and it’s one of Israel’s great stories. You can also walk from there to Elijah’s cave, the traditional site of his confrontation with the prophets of Ba’al, and a site revered by Jews, particularly Sephardim.

Bahà’ì

Also, don’t miss the spectacular Bahà’ì shrine and gardens. Haifa is the world center of the Bahà’ì faith, a peaceful, gentle faith that teaches that the prophets of all faiths, including Moses, Jesus, Muhammad, and Buddha, were sent by God.

The gardens are on nineteen terraces that reach from the port level all the way to Yefe Nof, the street along the top of Mount Carmel near where most of the hotels are located. To see the gardens fully, you need to go on a tour offered by the Bahà’ì authorities; self-touring is limited to certain areas.But if time is limited, you can get a good sense of the breathtakingly beautiful gardens from the overlook on Yefe Nof Street, at the top of the gardens. Also, make sure to see what the gardens look like from below at night; it is one of the loveliest things I have ever seen! You can get great views from the German Colony area along Ben-Gurion Boulevard.

Hiking in Carmel National Park

 If you are interested in some exercise and nature, you can drive or take a bus to the University of Haifa, with stunning views from the top of Mount Carmel. From there, you can hike into the large Mount Carmel National Park on the far side of the mountain, with trails through beautiful mountain pine forests. There is also a wildlife park there called Hai Bar Carmel, where the Israel Nature and Parks Authority seeks to reintroduce into the wild the animals of biblical Israel— Persian fallow deer, wild sheep, gazelles, oryx, wild asses, and Griffon vultures.

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