Monday, September 22, 2014

A day out

Where to take some visitors who have been to Israel many times and seen all the main sights for a day out?  Living in central Israel that's a challenge, since they've been to Tel Aviv, the Herzliya marina, Caesarea and the Roman ruins and so on.   So we took them to three places off the beaten track:
1. The Parrott Farm at Kfar Hess.  We used to take our grandkids to the Parrott Farm when they visited us.  It is quite remote although only 30 mins drive from Netanya.  You go east to Kfar Mond, a settlement named after Lord Mond, who was a Jewish patriarch in England and who bought the land there many years ago.  There is also a small museum of his former house in Kfar Mond.  Kfar Hess, named after the Jewish socialist Moses Hess, is beyond Kfar Mond.  In order to find the Farm we followed the signs, but went around in a circle (twice) because we could not see how to enter it.  The way someone told us was inaccessible to our car, so we got out and walked a long way down a dirt path until we found the Farm.  Then the owner told us we could enter on the other side from the nearby road, but the entrance is deliberately not marked because he doesn't want people to drive in (thanks a lot).  The parrots were impressive, some very large macaws that are so tame they perch on your hands, heads and shoulders.  Then we toured the Farm seeing many rare parrots of every imaginable shade and color.  Also some petting animals (goats, sheep, rabbits, guinea pigs), and some exotic ones (coatis, porcupines).  A very nice place to visit, especially for the kids.
2. The Sarona Chocolate factory at Ein Vered.  Ein Vered is very close to Kfar Mond, only a little further east but on the other side of the highway.  Once again it was hard to find, we followed the signs, but we had difficulty mainly because the sign pointing to the entrance had fallen down and so there was no way to know except to ask.  It is a nice modern little place with a shop and a small cafe, but we were unable to tour the factory itself because it had been rented by a group, so it's a good idea to phone ahead.  We did buy some nice chocolates, but unfortunately we had no way to cool them in the car and the remainder melted.  It was still a very tasty goo.
3. Utopia at Bahan.  Further north up Rte. 4 and east on highway 57, Utopia is located near Bat Hefer.  It is an ideal place to visit with kids, consisting of a large enclosed jungle type of environment, very humid, with a waterfall and many exotic plants, especially orchids, growing wild.  There are also numerous parrots and other birds in an aviary and you can walk right through their enclosure. Outside there is a large complex fountain, a maze and animals to pet.  But, it was also very hot and so we older adults retired for a cool drink.  There is a large plant center there and you can buy all sorts of lawn ornaments, including dwarfs if that is what you like.  One tip, do not go in shorts, the mosquitoes are very active there.
Altogether a nice day out.  Pity our grandkids are all grown up.


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