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Druze villages on Mount Carmel

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Cincinnati, Ohio
Destination Expert
for Israel
posts: 12,492
reviews: 141
Druze villages on Mount Carmel

Next May, I will be staying in Haifa for three days with my friend Joy, and I am looking for some new experiences for both of us. I have never visited Daliat al-Carmel and Isfiya, the two Druze villages on Mount Carmel near Haifa. For those who have been there, are they worth a stop? Besides the restaurants, what is there to do there? Is it easy to meet and talk with people? I ask because having some experience with the Druze would be the main point of the visit. That is a side of Israeli life with which I've had no experience.

Also, we will be in Haifa on Thursday, May 8, 2007, which is Yom Ha-Atzma'ut, Israel's 60th anniversary. That will be a very exciting time to be in Israel. Since Betina will have moved to the Tel Aviv area by then, we have lost our local contact in the city, sadly. We'd love to get a flavor of what people do for the holiday. Do you think it would make sense that day to head up to Carmel National Forest because it will be full of families having holiday barbecues? That park is another place I have never been. Any other suggestions?

I am hoping there will be fireworks over Haifa Bay the preceding evening as the holiday begins, but we'll have to wait and see on that.

Can you tell I have been totally obsessing about this trip already? :-)

Shabbat shalom, everyone.

Douglas Duckett

Haifa
posts: 266
reviews: 2
11. Re: Druze villages on Mount Carmel

I've found some Druse hospitality business - http://www.el-carmel.com/English.doc

Don't have any personal experience with them, though..

Amsterdam, Holland
Destination Expert
for Bhutan
posts: 1,805
reviews: 137
12. Re: Druze villages on Mount Carmel

Hi DD,

Have a look at some sites and you might find some Druze villages in the Galilee:

www.galilee-tour.org.il

www.peqiin.muni.il

www.ladp.gov.il/test/kisras

Hope you can get more information from these sites.M.

Paragon
posts: 1,624
reviews: 45
13. Re: Druze villages on Mount Carmel

I tried the el-carmel site and could not get anything on the English page at all.

Kathy Walters

Paragon, Indiana, USA

Cincinnati, Ohio
Destination Expert
for Israel
posts: 12,492
reviews: 141
14. Re: Druze villages on Mount Carmel

Thank you all for all of your helpful suggestions. I often marvel at the helpfulness of the people who post on this board, and it's nice to be on the receiving end for a change!

I think we will probably go ahead and go to Daliat el-Carmel and Isfiya for a few hours. We will be in Haifa (and I apologize for posting this in the Jerusalem forum by mistake) and I want to be in the city at 11:00 a.m. for the sounding of the sirens on Yom Ha-Zikaron (Remembrance Day). So I am looking for just a 2-3 hour visit around lunch and early afternoon. I figure the drive there will be beautiful -- I understand the road goes along the crest of Mount Carmel with great views in both directions -- and we can have lunch at one of the restaurants in the villages and then just wander around. I'm OK with that; I didn't really need an intense Druze experience; I just wanted to go through a village and get a sense of it.

We will still be in Haifa for Yom Ha-Atzma'ut (Independence Day) the next day. Juliajudith, do you have suggestions for the best places in the city to get a feel for the holiday? We will be staying at the Dan Gardens Haifa on Yefe Nof in Central Carmel. I was hoping that on the evening beginning the holiday, there will be fireworks over Haifa Bay -- is that the case? And I'd love to find some of the street dancing that one of the other posters described. many the Central Carmel district would be good for that?

And would going to the Carmel National Park the next day be a good place to get a sense of how everyday Israelis celebrate the holiday? (I was assuming families may be there celebrating and picnicking.)

Thanks again!

Douglas Duckett

Haifa
posts: 266
reviews: 2
15. Re: Druze villages on Mount Carmel

Druze villages: the drive there is certainly beautiful. Your plan of going there for lunch is good, just note that the atmosphere can be a little subdued - the Memorial Day will continue till the afternoon - the ceremonies in the cemeteries begin with the siren at 11am. The restaurants should be open though.

Yom haAtzmaut celebration - one of the celebration focuses is usually at the Gan haEm - in the Carmel District. I am not sure about street dancing though - seems a little "out" to me. I see it sometimes in summer on the beach promenade, but not in town. I'll check the celebration program closer to the event.

There will certainly be fireworks in several places in Haifa - Yafe Nof street or the Lui Promenade are great places to watch them.

Carmel Park - as you probably already know, it is not a park proper, more of a forest with a lot of hikes (not wide trails, more of paint markings on rocks and trees) and a lot of picknick places around. It will be full of smoke, people grilling meat , loud music and general noise. Probably authentic, but I would not go there or at least not count it as a visit in the park. It would me more of an anthropology study :-). It is still possible to find a beautiful quiet place there but you need to know where to look and to go farther from the parking area :-)..

You can fit a short hike in the Park with the Druze villages visit on the day before - the road to the villages actually crosses the park.

Another possibility of an authentic Yom haAtzmaut would be to go to some military base that is open on this day - a lot of those open for public on this day.

If my family and I are in town around Yom haAtzmaut we'd be happy to meet with you and your friend. We can do a barbecue (in our own backyard) or go hiking somewhere..

Shalom from Haifa,

Julia

Cincinnati, Ohio
Destination Expert
for Israel
posts: 12,492
reviews: 141
16. Re: Druze villages on Mount Carmel

How kind of you to share that information, Julia! I like your idea of visiting a military base on the actual holiday. That may be better than a visit to the park, though I can enjoy the anthropology as well as the park. :-)

I may take you up on your kind offer for stopping by for your barbecue. Again, how very kind. I'll be in touch closer to the event.

We're very excited to be able to celebrate this important day actually in Israel.

Douglas Duckett

Oakville, Canada
posts: 135
reviews: 5
17. Re: Druze villages on Mount Carmel

I was in Daliat al-Carmel last year and we bought some wonderful bedspreads; typical Druze art, purple, wonderful. Please go!

18. Re: Druze villages on Mount Carmel

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