In addition to Noah’s graduation, we spent our last week in Haifa on a farewell tour saying good-bye to our favorite people, places, and food.

We started out the week going on a short hike on Mt. Carmel between picking Noah up from school and meeting Yaffa’s family for dinner in Usfiya – one of the Druze villages just past the university at the top of the mountain.

the trail follows a narrow wadi (gorge) through dense woods

it involved a lot of scrambling over rock, which Noah enjoys "more than a playground".

Sarah & Yaffa & a table laden with Druze salads

Our friend Mikael threw us a farwell bbq at his place with a group of other Technion-ites and our friend Osnat made us a farewell Shabbat dinner, including a dish that she recreated from notes taken at a special dinner in Athens to commemorate our trip together in May.

When we hiked earlier in the week, Noah was pretty tired after a full day at school, so we didn’t get far. We decided to go again while he was in school Fri. morning and we made it through the wadi and up to an area of Mt. Carmel called “Little Switzerland” with stunning views of the wadi below and the sea to the east, and more salamanders and lizards than we’d ever seen in one 4-hour period. This part of the hike also took us into the heart of where the forest fire burned in December. It was encouraging and amazing to see all of the new growth and still awesome to see the scope of the damage. Sorry no pictures this time, but we ran out of the house quickly so that we’d have enough time while Noah was in gan.

The night before we left, we had had some final closure to our year by having a picnic dinner on the beach with several friends, including the same family we had dinner with on the same beach our first week in Haifa.

Sarah, Julia & Ron

Noah & Ella