The only metro in Isreal
This morning, we headed to the Tel Aviv train station and took a train up to the port city of Haifa. The city of Haifa exists from the base of the biblical Mount Carmel all the way to the top. We found our hostel, dropped off our belongings, and headed into the city. Looking at a map on paper, the city looked easy to navigate, but once we realized that some of the sites were on the mountain, we thought better of walking. For this very reason, Haifa is the only city in Israel that has a metro system. It's one line, from the bottom of the mountain to the top, with a few stops along the way. There's no driver, and it's on some sort of strange pulley system that I never quite figured out.
The Ba'hai gardens
We boarded the train at 10:00 AM, the time where all of Israel takes a moment of silence for the victims of the Holocaust. Fortunately, we were aware of this, and were honored to take the moment of silence with the rest of the country.
We took the metro to the top of the mountain, and began a beautiful promenade overlooking the city and sea below. A short distance from the metro stop, we came upon the incredible area down the mountainside known as the Ba'Hai Gardens. Actually, we somehow managed to walk past these huge gardens and had to turn back before we finally found them...but anyway! The gardens were indeed breathtaking! Perfectly kept lawns with beautiful flowers and trees. It was about that time that the garden workers let us know that the Shrine of the Bab, the temple at the end of the gardens, was closing in some 30 minutes.
We had to run down the mountain and made it into the shrine before it closed. The Ba'Hai are known for these beautiful gardens, and apart from perhaps some of the gardens of castles in Europe, I have not seen anything so beautiful.
We got lunch at a quaint little restaurant that served traditional Middle Eastern, I got a pita sandwich with some goat meat and a bunch of other goodies...and man was it good! Our next stop was Elijah's cave, where it is believed that Elijah stayed after killing the prophets of Baal. We finished our day in Haifa by taking a promenade along the Mediterranean before stopping for some dinner near the Shrine of the Bab. We needed our sleep, as we needed to head to Tiberius first thing in the morning!