By Deena Levenstein
Are you cold? If so, that means you aren’t in Israel at this perfect time of year – Passover/spring time – when the sun is shining and temperatures have risen to balmy perfection.
No worries. For now we invite you to live precariously through us.
The Jewish spring holiday of Passover, which this year begins Friday, April 3 and ends on Friday, April 10, 2015 (or one day later outside of Israel), is one of the best times of year to visit.
Eat, drink, bike and climb: here are four things fun and tasty things to do this Passover in Israel:
Eat Ben & Jerry’s Passover-themed ice cream
Ben & Jerry’s Israel sometimes taps into Jewish traditions in order to offer creative flavors. One year Ben & Jerry’s Israel offered matza flavored ice cream for Passover. Interesting but this year they’re perfectly on target with a flavor that has truly excited the locals – it is a charoset flavored ice cream –vanilla ice cream with cinnamon and wine-soaked apples.
Granted, there is nothing like (my) charoset which is a spread made of dates, spices, wine, nuts and apples, but it is a close second.
Drink from the plethora of Israeli wines
Speaking of the seder, another long-standing tradition on seder night is to drink four cups of wine. Considering the number of wineries and wines in Israel, the only problem is choosing. Itay Gleitman guides the way with his suggestions for eight Israeli wines that could be perfect for the festive meal without breaking the bank.
The vintner craft is in a major state of renewal here but it is nothing new – it only lay somewhat dormant during Muslim rule. One research group has taken it upon themselves to scour Israel’s natural landscape in search for ancient grape seeds. I visited the winery of Dr. Shivi Drori, the researcher heading this project. It was beautiful and fascinating.
Bike the new trail in the Negev (new!)
And now that you’ve eaten and drank to your heart’s content, it’s time to move that body!
There is a new 18 km, single track cycle trail in the Shokeda Forest in the western Negev. It is an extremely challenging route that is completed on mountain bike in the forest that was first created by KKL-JNF in 1955.
Climb the Big Bambu (last chance!)
Built and opened in June 2014, this amazing art instillation is more than just something pretty to look at. It’s a huge structure built by identical twin brothers Mike and Doug Starn out of bamboo and string that people young (over age 5) and old are welcome to climb. Part of its charm is its location in the Israel Museum’s art garden. The Big Bambu has gotten rave reviews and so if you can still stop by, it’s highly recommended.
It closes April 11, 2015.
We wish you a wonderful Passover holiday!
What do you love doing in Israel in the spring?
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