Select Team Member Jean Levin International Trip Showcase

Apr 27, 2022Staff Profile

Travel Adventure to Israel

Destination Israel, a small slice of earth, which fits between Sydney & Coffs Harbour (North/South) and Sydney & Bathurst (East/West) a land steeped in History, diversity and controversy.

Home for next few weeks was a Moshav ( co-operative agricultural community) in the Golan Heights. There are 132 Moshavs in the Golan Mountains, at the base of the mountains is the Kineret a fresh water lake which lies 210m below sea level.

The nearest town and more importantly coffee shop is a 45min drive down winding roads with the most breath-taking landscape of undulating pastural land, fruit orchards and dairy farms. We (my husband and myself) were present for the change of season from field of dry grass to thick snow cover and finally the absolute beauty of soft pastural land filled with wildflowers.

For a period of my stay I worked on a dairy farm, looking after new born calves for the 1st 60 days of their lives, after which they would be move out of the “nursery” and into larger groups to socialize, start eating grasses and grains to produce the quality of milk the dairies are known for.

Every town and City has a Shuk (pronounced shook) which is an open air dry market of fresh fruit, vegetable, cheeses, breads, irresistible pastries and of course the spices, herbs and grain. The aroma of these open sacs of spices draw you into the centre of the Shuk, where the hustle, bustle, and heart of a typical Middle Eastern Market exists.

Whether you are walking in a small town, major city or forest, history is tangible. Every step you take you are tramping on the grounds of someone’s religion, ancient ruin or area of conflict. We stayed in an Airbnb In Yafo, (To have some “city” time) an ancient port near Tel Aviv and around 4000 years old. Art galleries, designer clothing stores, top restaurants and flea markets all nestled together on these ancient narrow cobbled roads/alleyways. Juxtapose to this is the city of Tel Aviv, a thriving modern commercial centre like any other in the 1st world. Jerusalem, talk about old, you can enter the Old City, walk down the via de la Rosa, the very lane where Jesus was carried on the cross, continue to the Western Wall, the last remaining wall of the 1st Jewish Temple and onto the Al Aksa Mosque with its magnificent golden dome reflecting the light of a middle eastern sunset at dusk. The Bahai Gardens in Haifa, was another highlight – The 200,000 square meters of land designed by an Iranian architect. The Temple was unfortunately closed due to Covid 19 but walking down the expanse of these magnificent gardens is quite beyond words. Not a leaf out of place or a pathway untended.
These were just some of the colourful highlights of our trip, there are so many, many more places, experiences and wonders of the ancient world to behold. International travel during Covid 19 shutdown was challenging. Having to route through everchanging “green zones’, flights being cancelled at the last minute and then the required PCR test to board flights are our dates by hours, finding a PCR testing center at short notice in a foreign country, a nightmare……..but I valued the opportunity and cannot thank my colleagues at Select Windows enough for their generosity of time I was afforded.