Travel: Taking things indoors

While the sun’s beating down outside, sometimes it’s a relief to go inside and enjoy some cool time in interesting places.

BORDER POLICE MEMORIAL AND MUSEUM 521 (photo credit: Ann Goldberg)
(photo credit: Ann Goldberg)
1. BORDER POLICE MEMORIAL AND MUSEUM – near Irron Interchange, opposite Kibbutz Barkai
Although technically a section of the Israel Police, the Border Police is considered part of the army, and its members have been involved in many of the most dangerous missions since the first intifada.
It deals with internal security and anti-terror issues, which have, unfortunately, increased dramatically over the last years. These are the soldiers who are often sent overseas, and many were involved in Operation Solomon in 1991 when thousands of Ethiopian Jews were airlifted overnight to Israel. As part of the police force, they are also involved in the ongoing fight against crime and drugs.
Different rooms and exhibits are devoted to different branches (undercover work, hostage rescue, intelligence) and the guides in the museum will tell you some of the most hairraising stories, many successes and some of the tragedies.
The memorial room has photos and stories of all the fallen soldiers and outside is a monument and a wall listing all those who have fallen in service.
The museum is open Sunday to Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tel: (04) 911-6482
Yigal Allon, one-time leader of the Labor Party and ex-deputy prime minister, was one of the founders of this beautiful, peaceful kibbutz situated on the shores of Lake Kinneret. He was born in Kfar Tavor, not far away, and the Galilee was his home all of his life.
At the time of his death in 1980, it was decided that the most fitting memorial to him would be a museum dedicated to life in the Galilee.
Three stories high and overlooking the lake itself, the museum tells the story of the history and agriculture of the area.
There is a section devoted to life during the times of the Mishna and Talmud, including a reconstruction of a community according to archeological findings.
Another room houses a fishing boat from the first century, which was discovered buried in the mud in the lake during a drought year. After being carefully transported back to the kibbutz, it was kept in preserving fluid for 14 years and is now on display. There is an audio-visual presentation about its discovery and the painstaking transportation and preservation.
The museum is open Sunday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tel: (04) 672- 7700
3. DVORAT HATAVOR – Shadmot Dvora This “land of silk and honey,” at the foot of Mount Tavor, the only active silk farm in the country, is always a favorite with children. Apart from learning about the life of the bee, seeing the bees up close and learning how silk is produced, there are also always interesting activities, such as making chocolate honey and deliciously fragrant beeswax candles.
While you are being shown around, you’ll hear about the healing properties of honey and the story of Yigal Ben- Ze’ev (the owner of Dvorat Hatavor) and his mission back to Iran over 40 years ago, where he taught their farmers about sheep rearing and they taught him about silkworms, which resulted in him bringing the manufacturing of silk to Israel.
There is also a petting zoo and an opportunity to feed the goats.
The site is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day. Tel: (04) 676-9598
The Israeli Museum of Caricature and Comics, situated at 61 Weizmann Street, is one of the few museums in the world dedicated to this art.
Just walking toward the entrance is fun as you “meet” some of the best-known cartoon characters in the courtyard.
One of the permanent exhibitions gives the history and development of comics in Israel and displays the works of Israel’s most popular and well-known caricaturists, such as Dosh, Shmuel Katz and Friedel Stern.
If you’ve lived here a few years and read the popular press, you’ll recognize some of Israel’s most pointed and poignant cartoons as we laughed at ourselves and our politicians and tried to understand the world’s attitude toward us. Some things seem so much clearer in a cartoon than in words.
The museum is open on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Tuesday and Thursday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. To arrange a guided tour call (03) 652-1849.
5. MEI KEDEM – Alona Park
This archeological site is a 280-meter water tunnel, part of a six-kilometer section built in the Roman and Byzantine periods to supply water to Caesarea, which was growing rapidly in size and population. It is situated in a beautiful Mediterranean forest not far from Zichron Ya’acov.
Visitors can see a film explaining how the water system worked and how this engineering feat was achieved. Then you are taken down into the tunnel itself. Depending on your height, the water can be up to waist deep and is a pleasure on a hot day, especially as you can enjoy the water without the sun beating down on you.
It is recommended to take a flashlight, shoes for walking in water and a spare set of clothing. It is possible you will be able to dry out in the sun quite quickly, but if you’re on a tour bus the driver may not be happy if a bus-load of soaking passengers climbs back onto his vehicle.
The site is open Sunday to Thursday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (04) 638-8622 There is no need to book in advance.
Tours start every half hour and last approximately one hour.
6. DUBROVIN FARM – Hula Valley
This reconstructed farm near Yesud Hama’ala in Upper Galilee gives you a chance to see and (carefully) touch life as it was for the early pioneers at the beginning of the last century. The Dubrovins were a Russian Christian family (who later converted to Judaism) who came to drain the swamps, settle the land and farm it. Malaria was a constant companion and several of their children and grandchildren succumbed to this ever-hovering disease. They didn’t give up despite the terrible hardships and the next generation continued to live on the same farm. In 1968 their son, Yitzhak, donated the homestead to the Jewish National Fund.
Now visitors can walk around the rooms the Dubrovins lived in, all built around a main courtyard; see and touch the furniture and equipment they used and read some of the legal documents of the time.
There is an audio-visual presentation about the Dubrovins’ life and the draining of the area’s swamps.
The farm is open 9 a.m. to 5/6 p.m. (winter/summer), Friday and holiday eves until 5 p.m. Tel: (04) 693-7371
7. IGUDAN, the Dan region’s wastewater treatment and reclamation project – Rishon Lezion
Igudan doesn’t sound like the most exciting place to visit, but it gets full credit for designing a visitors’ center that is both fun and very informative.
You won’t be able to help coming away from a visit determined to take more care of the environment – and that is the whole reason for its existence.
Visitors are led down “beneath the Dan region” through a typical “waste pipe,” and by looking through various periscopes and peeking slots are introduced to a day in the life of the wastewater pipe. Through films and slides the water recycling process is explained with all its various ways of filtering through screening, sand and clay and finally aeration tanks.
After the visitors’ center, you will continue the tour, guided in your own vehicle, and see the enormous ponds outside where the process continues.
Igudan is one of the most advanced treatment plants of its kind in the world and so hosts many international conventions and visitors who come to learn their methods.
Eventually, after many purification processes, the water is sent down to the Negev for irrigation through the National Water Carrier. It has its own pipe system, colored purple, which can be clearly seen on the route down South.
Tours last two hours and take place Monday through Thursday at 9, 11, 1:30 and 3:30. Call to book a spot. Tel: (03) 955-5222