Akko? What the Heck’s in Akko?

Good evening all..hope everyone has had a fab week so far. I know I have! For starters, I woke myself up at 4am on Sunday morning to watch the big game! UConn in the final four? I just had to! Between the hours of 4:00 and 6:00 I popped in my headphones and streamed the game live. I had about 14 heart attacks and woke up my sleeping roommate multiple times (I think she’s glad that the season’s over), but it’s a good thing I watched because WE WON!!! Not only did we beast the game with Kentucky, but we also went on to become 2011 NCAA champions!!

Being in another country while all of this is happening is kind of sad, I just want to be at UConn flipping cars. Okay, maybe not flipping cars, but it would be fun to see everyone cheering and creating mayhem around campus.

It’s okay though, I’m rallying the community of Kiryat Shalom into a UConn-loving mob. I’m sure everyone in my extremely religious neighborhood will be very responsive to this idea. In support of my team I will be exclusively wearing UConn clothing around Tel Aviv for the next week. The sad thing is that I definitely brought more than enough UConn clothes to make this goal a reality.

I think my roommates are frightened by my school spirit. What can I say, I’m proud to be a Husky 🙂 Go UConn!!

So besides the basketball, this week in Tel Aviv has been a seriously fun time. Temps were in the 90s on Saturday, which still boggles my mind–I can’t quite grasp the concept that it’s April and I’m sweating my butt off. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining! But I can’t help but think that if it’s this hot now, how hot will it be in July?? Melting may be an issue.

We got some serious beach time in on Saturday and I swam in the Mediteranean for the first time! It’s a bit chilly now, but I know that in a few weeks it will be bath-tub-esque. I look forward to that point in time.

On Monday we went to Akko, which is a medieval city located in the North of Tel Aviv (close to the Lebanon border). It’s a very old port city (though not as old as Yafo) and there are loads of ruins from thousands of years ago. Unfortunately, the day started off cold and rainy (though it did improve later!). I told my friends to portray their emotions accurately. This is what went down:

At least Sarah’s happy! Don’t worry, our attitudes improved with the weather 🙂

We toured through the Citadel, where the ancient city walls are located.

We went through a Turkish bazaar, which smelled distinctly like fish. Yum?

We left the fishy bazaar and ducked down through some ancient tunnels underneath the Citadel.

Quite the journey! The Citadel was really interesting. Only 4% of the actual structure has been excavated…archaeologists are still digging away. Fun fact: I went here last time I was in Israel (about 4 years ago) and the entrance was completely different because so little of the structure had been uncovered. I saw the old entrance, which is technically a window, and it now sits about 15 feet above the “new” entrance. It’s crazy how things have changed in just 4 years time!

After the Citadel we went to Kibbutz Lohamei, which was originally established by Holocaust survivors. The Kibbutz is a living/breathing memorial to those who died during the Shoah.

There is a museum on the Kibbutz called the “Ghetto-Fighters’ House Museum.” It was really interesting/moving as we walked through. There were many different art exhibits, which is different from most of Holocaust museums I’ve been to.

After the day in Akko we came home to a pretty relaxing night. We went to the beach in Hertzeliya, just north of Tel Aviv, for a night walk on the ocean…it was beautiful! A totally different experience from the Tel Aviv beaches, it reminded me of Kiawah Island, South Carolina. Yofi!

Today was just a regular old study day and right now I’m sitting with all of my roomies playing cards. Every night all ten of us sit around and hang out, which reminds me a lot of college nights. I miss college a ton, but I guess being in Israel with 40 great people is a suitable replacement 😉 Lyla Tov!

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