Thursday, November 18, 2010

Walking in Israel

Nadene Goldfoot

One reason why there are so many slender Israelis in Israel is that so many walk. Automobiles are expensive, and the bus system is used to get around for most people. Then there are taxis and the sheroot, a very long taxi service.

You could walk from the West Bank to the Mediterranean in 2.5 hours. Yes, walk. Places are very close. Israel consists of 8,000 square miles, so it's not very large. It doesn't take long to walk all of the country. Going from north to south, you would cover 263 miles. Going from East to West, you could cover anywhere from 9 miles to 71 miles only. The shape is long but very very narrow. The old joke for train travelers was not to stick your arm out of the window or it would be in Jordan.

When I lived in Haifa in 1980, my husband lost his wallet in a taxi. It meant calling the states and cancelling a lot of credit cards. That was quite a lesson. We walked everywhere from then on until we bought a car. I would walk so much in my sandals, because it was so hot, that my feet became bloody. The good part was that I lost weight. What was great was that we could walk from our Ulpan (boarding school) to the Mediteranean Sea and find ourselves on a beach. I was forced to walk every day because we had brought our female German shepherd with us, and she did look forward to those walks.

Walking in Safed, which is in Northern Israel, was quite interesting being it was built on a hill about the same height as Jerusalem. The main street went around in a circle. If you needed a store off the path, it meant walking up and down the hill. Then you felt like you were in San Francisco.

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