Today we ventured out on public transportation. Considering that we do not own a car in Brooklyn, this should be trivial. However, apparently there is no official Haifa bus map. Nothing produced by the city or by Egged (the bus company). So says the woman at the tourist information center downtown. Given that challenge, I’d say we did pretty well today. Our apartment is just off of a major thoroughfare, Derech Hankin. Not so good for a pleasant walk, but excellent for catching several bus lines. Today we caught one bus to Carmel center to admire the view from halfway up Mount Carmel (we live near the top) overlooking the Mediterranean Sea below. Then we walked down past the Bahai Gardens & Temple to the German Colony with its pretty red, tiled roofs. We stopped for lunch at an excellent arab restaurant where the host of my workshop when I was here in May took us. Without any prompting from us, Noah ordered the date juice. After lunch we caught a different bus to the “Grand Canyon” mall, just behind the neighborhood where we live. Its name is a pun because Kanyon means mall in Hebrew. I don’t know if Grand is the right word to describe it, but we did pick up a few kitchen things we needed, some pillows, a water gun for Noah (that’s what he asked for) and Na’ot sandals for Roy. He wants to fit right in. Then we caught the bus back home again.

Not Coke, date juice.

Adventurous little palate.

Most people we have spoken with here seem to think that we need a car. We certainly will if we want to travel on the weekends because public transportation shuts down for Shabbat, but we are wondering whether we have to buy or can get by with renting just for travel. In one direction we have a regular Shufersal grocery store & in the other direction the organic grocery, so on a day-to-day basis, it might not be necessary. Haifa is not that big, but the way it is laid out because it is built on a mountain makes it difficult to travel anywhere directly. We will see how our commutes go for a few days before we make any decisions. I can catch a bus to the University of Haifa just a block away and the Technion is walking distance, although Roy will be slowed down by walking with Noah. We did bring his scooter.