Friday, May 25, 2012

Excursion to Acco

Shalom, chaverim! Last week I shared with you the nefarious doings of (allegedly) Israeli-trained spy pigeons and killer sharks.  However, that may be just a little too much excitement for you, gentle readers--especially those readers from Bellingham, Washington, or perhaps those from a  particularly small town in Wisconsin. So to make sure no one's resting heart rate and blood pressure rises to unsafe levels, I'll go back to a more placid subject--Elul's and my little day-trip to Acco, the town next door.

We had a day off from Ulpan a few weeks ago, and we were getting restless. I'd also finally received my belated birthday present, which was a killer new camera, and wanted to try it out. I'd been bugging Elul about an upgrade ever since we went on our excursion to Tel Chai with our Ulpan class. On that trip, I got a bad case of sudden-onset camera envy after seeing my Ukrainian classmate's impressive lens and snazzy eyepiece. Now the Ukranians are envying me! Hah!

The town is about a fifteen-minute drive from Nahariya, going south on the main road that leads to Haifa. It's a quick train ride there, but the train station is a twenty-minute walk to the Old City, so we took a "sherut" instead, which got us much closer for less money. Right now, you can't get from Nahariya to Acco by walking along the beach--Elul and a friend tried it, but were thwarted by a stream--but I understand there is a plan to connect those respective beach roads in the future.

Acco is an extraordinary city that is also Unesco World Heritage site. From what I saw, the national and local governments have done a very good job of simultaneously keeping the Old City intact and attractive to visitors, but also maintaining it as a living, functional, workaday place for local residents. True, Jews and Arabs tend to live in separate areas of the city, but Acco is known throughout Israel for its exceptionally peaceful relations between people of different religions. There also seemed to be plenty of work available, which is always good for maintaining harmony in a community. Acco also has a sister city in Deerfield Beach, Florida, which is where Elul's mother lives. Another mark of good taste!

Although we haven't yet forked out for tickets to visit these places properly, Acco has a number of shrines and places of worship that are important to Islam, Baha'i, Druze, Christianity and Judaism, which draws visitors from all over the world. Acco also is a small port city, and has pleasure crafts as well as fishing boats moored nearby. Not only that, but alongside the port is one of Israel's most famous fish restaurants, "Uri Buri." Speaking of food, the Shuk in the Old City is also where we always go to get our coffee beans, which we haven't yet found in Nahariya.

So now that you've patiently waded through all this informational text, now it's time for me to show you my snapshots. If they're not showing up in the email version of this post, please go directly to my blog at And, as your eyes glaze over, please be sure to slap a fixed smile on your face and maintain a steady rhythm of "ooh,""ahh," and "how fascinating!"

Partial view of Acco's Old City, from the seafront.

Typical street architecture surrounding the Old City.
Residential area, close to the Shuk.
"I wish I had a tee shirt that read 'My friend went to Uri Buri and all I got was this inedible painted rendition of fish!' "
Everyone, and I do mean EVERYONE, seems to have passed through Acco at one time or another.
Emergency Vitamin C supplement station.
"Mommy, we're having a whale of a time!"
This fake foliage is looking pretty...tired. Ba-da-bump!
I have approximately four gazillion pictures more of Acco, including some very cool street art, but that will have to wait for another time. Shabbat shalom, chaverim!


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