Quick trip to Israel

The idea of this short July trip to Israel was not to have a much of a planned program, but rather to spend easy quality time with family and old friends. Yet, when looking at the pictures taken during this week I realize that once again I was on the move most of the time. Will I ever learn to take it easy and just stay in one place and relax for a change? Should I?

david and miri varon

The trip started and ended with my brother David and his wife Miri. Their lovely home and great family is the base camp to almost all my visits to Israel and it’s like a second home to me. Also starring in this image is Sparky, my brother`s favorite horse.
tavor winery

On the way north to the Galilee, we stopped in Kefar Tabor. The old village was established in 1901 and has kept its charm and beauty. As we noticed a sign of a local winery we could not resist a visit for tasting and shopping. Netta , the winery host was very helpful and charming. Thank you, Netta , for the wines and the tip for the lunch place . ein gev restaurant

The Fish restaurant in Kibbutz Ein Gev was recommended to us by Netta at the Tabor winery. The Fish & Chips was simple and good. The smoked trout was a surprise on their list. I love smoked fish , so I just had to try that. The taste was good but the fish was a bit dry as it was smoked earlier that day and warmed again in an oven. Kibbutz Ein Gev is situated on the eastern coast of the sea of Galilee. sea of galilee

We found this little private beach right next to the boat harbor of Kibbutz Ein Gev . The afternoon temperature was 38°C and the water was probably about 30°C, yet it felt refreshing.Mati Yanai

The spontaneous idea for this trip came after I spoke to my cousin Mati who lives in a cattle farm in the Galilee. She said that it has been ages since we spent time with her in the farm, chatting late into the night. Two hours after the telephone call I booked the tickets, and 2 weeks later we did spend 24 h with her, which was great. The silence, the beauty of the mountains around and the extraordinary woman and her stories is a combination of experiences that drag visitors to the Yannay farm from all around the country.saleh the cowboy

Saleh is Matí`s “right hand” in the farm. Besides him being a well experienced cowboy he is a great ,warm hearted man. As we had breakfast on the big veranda facing the mountains he came with fresh picked figs for dessert…hertzel and merja hertzel hertzel on the beach

I met Hertzel when we were 18. Together we served 3 years in the Golani combat unit of the IDF. We’ve been friends ever since. It was great to spend quality time with him on the very edge of the country, Rosh Hanikra beach, right next to the Lebanese border. wheat germ

Hertzel is a health freak. He starts every morning with freshly squeezed wheat germ juice, swimming in the ocean and exercising on the beach.hummus in akko

Hertzel showed us around the ancient quarters of Akko and introduced us to one of the best Hummus places in town, “Abu Issa”. And indeed it was fantastic! After tasting this simple fresh deli, no other ready made Hummus will taste as good. For Hummus lovers, LIKE, big one!tel aviv beach and breakfast

Tel Aviv can offer a lot for visitors, from all cultural aspects to architecture, night life and culinary experiences. We chose our hotel to be within a short walking distance from the beach as this is what we mostly miss during our long cold and wet seasons in Finland. A simple morning walk along the beach, swim and then fine breakfast in one of the many places available right on the shore line.uzi alex and merja

We met Alex in his design studio in Tel Aviv. Alex is one of my Golani comrades with whom I shed blood, sweat and dreams during our military service in the 70’s. Back then he was doing our portraits using any material available, or making funny little sculptures from soap bars. He has come a long way since those days and is a well merited and known designer today.

Going on summer vacation

It is time to put work aside, to empty the calendar for July and do what I like to do on my free time. Spending time with my loved ones, enjoying late breakfasts, picking wild flowers and berries, getting lost on the tiniest roads in Finland, like I do happily every summer. A short trip to Israel is on the list as well, no press trip, no productions, no duties. I deserve that. Some kind of visual report will follow my lazy July. Stay tuned and have a wonderful summer. finnish country sidefinnish landscape