Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Red South

To celebrate Spring arrival, I joined a guided day trip to the 'Red South' - 'red' referring to the wild red flowers  (anemones) growing from December to March in  various parts of the country, the southern part being one of them.

The weather was glorious - perfect for an outdoor escapade. During the trip we were treated with fresh strawberries, cookies, coffee, lemonade, cold water - stored in the underneath baggage compartment  of the bus - and that made it all very pleasant.

The view of the red poppy-like flowers near kibbutz Beeri, in the north-western Negev desert, was lovely, though not breathtaking, as no red carpets covering vast fields were seen . After all, it's the last month of their blooming season; the red carpets of anemones can be seen here mainly during January-February, so we were told.  

red anemones

Kibbutz (communal settlement) Beeri,  has turned the region into a bicycle country with trails to suit every level of cycling. In front of the gate to the kibbuttz , there's a bike center called  La Medavesh (The pedalist),  where one can rent a bicycle, get tips and maps. buy refreshments,etc..
(By the way, Michelle Bachman, the american republican politician has served here as a volunteer in 1974).

Our trip  included some interesting sites: wheat fields, bridges (the Rope Bridge), rivers (Tzehelim and  Habesor which are subject to annual flooding following heavy rains),   memorials (ANZAC) , and the port of Ashdod.

South of Beeri region - the "rope bridge" hanging over the Besor stream. It's 80 meters long. To take a picture while on the shaking bridge is not easy at all, as the hand shakes too.

the hanging 'rope bridge' - a  bit of a frightening experience

not the work of DAESH but of my photographic incompetence

Some four kilometers north of Beeri - The ANZAC memorial in commemoration of the australian and new-zeelandish soldiers who fell in battle during first world war. From the top one can see  Gaza Strip which is not far from the kibbutz (there are some eleven settlements near the border with Gaza Strip).

stairs leading to the upper part

upper part of the structure

top of the memorial

view of Gaza strip in the distance

At 1:00 p.m, still near Gaza Strip, we had lunch at a kibbutz, named Yad Mordechai in memory of Mordechai Anielewicz, a leading figure in Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943. 
This kibbutz's honey , jam, and olive products are leading brands on the israeli market. (I'm a fan of their "778" light blueberry jam which I use as a replacement for sweets - a tea spoon of jam has only 12 kalories).

dining hall of Yad Mordechai

lunch time

After lunch we headed towards the climax of our trip - Ashdod Port and its visitor center. The port , dominating the city of Ashdod, is located some 40 kilometers from Tel-Aviv. Here we were not allowed to take pictures except in and around the visitor center. At the visitor's center we were presented with a movie and explanations on the port's history and its impressive technological development.

visitor's center


We then took a guided bus ride within the port  to have a close look at things: offices, warehouses, railroad station, heavy engineering vehicles, transport /ship repair companies etc...

At the end of the ride we were offered as a memento, an envelope bearing the original stamp issued at the port's 50th Anniversary. Nice.


The Reader's Tales said...

Hello Duta!
I really enjoyed reading your tour. Now, I feel as if I was there with you. You know, I have never been to Israel, so this is a discovery! Have a great week :-)

DUTA said...

The Reader's Tales,

Thanks. I'm glad you feel as if you were on the tour with me.

Vera said...

Interesting tour, and enjoyed sharing it with you.

Pam said...

Sounds like a great day, Duta! I give you kudos for crossing that rope bridge! There's no way in hell I would've done that! Your pics of it are great! The flowers are a great sight to see for sure, none blooming here now.
When we were in Amsterdam years ago, we had a long visit at Heineken Brewery with a couple hitchhiking across Europe. They had lived in a kibbutz in Israel for a long time and we were engrossed with their stories of Israel and the kibbutzes.
We've always wanted to visit Israel, it would definitely be safer than visiting Paris and other cities, even here in Chicago!
It must be beautiful in your corner of the world, and I can't imagine looking in the distance at the Gaza strip.
Interesting with the port and your jam usage, a great sweet replacement to remember.
Great tour, I enjoyed reading this post and wish I were there...

Tanya Lynne Reimer said...

So beautiful! Wish I was there and not stuck in this snow storm. Looks like a relaxing trip full of beautiful things to see.

Velva said...

A great day trip and bus tour. Thanks for sharing.

Velva-Tomatoes on the Vine

Saleslady371 said...

Hi, Duta!
I agree with the preceding comment; I feel like I'm right there with you on this tour! This is a gift for me as I have been to Israel and love it so. Would that be you in the Anzac Memorial building photo? Have a good week!

Red Rose Alley said...

This looks like a very nice tour, Duta. The red flowers are wonderful. You know, I always have to stop and gaze whenever I come across red flowers. The lunch sounds great, and the guided bus ride, pleasant. I'd love to see that railroad station. My grandfather worked on the railroad, so it's interesting to me. That was nice that the bus provided lemonade and cookies for the trip. What a sight to see a field of red anemones. : )


DUTA said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DUTA said...


Thank you for your kind words.
Yes, I must admit I was a bit frightened; the bridge was "trembling" and so did I.
The kibbutz is a very interesting kind of settlement; there's a lot to learn about it.

DUTA said...

Tanya Lynne Reimer,

Well, I definitely prefer our warm weather to cold snow. The trip was relaxing, but at the back of our head we know there's always a possibility to get some rockets from Gaza strip direction.

DUTA said...


Hi Velva.Thanks for stopping by. I agree with you - it was a great day trip. Hope for more of the same.

DUTA said...


Glad to here you've been to Israel and love it. Yes, that's me at the ANZAC memorial.

DUTA said...

Red Rose Alley,

Red flowers are indeed a lovely sight. The railroad station within the port is quite a relevation. The port is a very active place and it's very interesting to see how it works. It's the main gate to a country's economy.

DUTA said...


Thank you. Guided and organized tour has its advantages and...disadventages, but all in all it was quite all right.

Ola said...

enjoy your spring! we will have still wait it like for a month!

DUTA said...


Thanks, I wiil. Indeed, in Europe it'll take another month for spring weather to arrive. Even here, in our warm climate, we'll probably still have now and then some bouts of cold and rain until the end of March.

The Reader's Tales said...

Happy Women's Day, Duta :)

Linda said...

What a fascinating and beautiful tour, Duta! The hanging rope bridge would be scary for me! Thank you so much for sharing, I really love your posts! :)

DUTA said...

Happy Women's Day to you too!

DUTA said...


Glad you like my posts and my tour. The hanging bridge was scary for me too, but I did it.

Sue (this n that) said...

Hello Duta, a great post. I liked how those nice refreshments were available by the bus company.
The anenomes look so beautiful in the fields.
My word, I'm not sure if I would've been brave enough to stand on the hanging bridge - well done to you!! I really enjoyed the scenery and reading your commentary... thank you. Cheers for now :D)

DUTA said...

Sue(this n that),
Hi Sue.
Yes, I have to say the refreshments were a nice idea; the scenery and the anemones - quite lovely. The hanging bridge experience - not something I would like to do again.

magda said...

Duta, καλώς όρισες!
Είχαμε πολύ καιρό να επικοινωνήσουμε!
Χάρηκα που είσαι καλά και έκανες μία τόσο όμορφη εκδρομή!
Εδώ η άνοιξη δεν ήρθε ακόμη. Βρέχει και χιονίζει στα βουνά.
Μπράβο σου, που την κρεμαστή γέφυρα την πέρασες!
Πολλά φιλιά

Jenn Jilks said...

What a wonderful trip! I'm so glad you shared it.
We're back into a deep freeze and I enjoy the reds!

DUTA said...

Jenn Jilks,

Well, the weather was wonderful, and that was really important. I can't imagine going on a trip in a freezing weather, but you do that all the time in Canada, and you enjoy it. It's a matter of getting used to things, I believe.

Sharon Wagner said...

That is one long bridge. It sure doesn't seem like spring here. No red or blue. Just white.

Alicia said...

You visit the most amazing places!!! That bridge though! I just don't think I could go across it. In my older age now I find that heights don't agree much with me. But kudos to you for going across it!

DUTA said...

Sharon Wagner,

I agree with you - the bridge is rather long. As for colors, where do you see white? The soil itself is mainly yellow(less soil) as we are at the beginning of the Negev desert. The great irrigation achievements of the last decades have turned the region into a green oasis with alot of flowers in varoius colors.

DUTA said...


It was not that terrible, but now I understand those of us who took only a few steps on the bridge, just to get the feeling of it, and came back. Clever people!

Kim@stuffcould.... said...

Oh the red flowers are pretty even though fewer. You are brave to walk that rope bridge....kudos you did it safely

DUTA said...

Kim @ stuff,

Hi Kim,
Red is a catching color, whether it's flowers, clothes, furniture, and everthing around us.
As for the bridge, I hope its safety is constantly checked by the professionals as it's a popular attraction to many.

Nikki (Sarah) said...

Hi Duta, loved reading about your trip. Makes me want to visit Israel. We have a suspension bridge here too in the Vancouver mountains and it's scary but fun to cross. Good for you for walking across it.

DUTA said...

Nikki (Sarah),

The truth was I felt a little tense before and during the trip as the border with Gaza Strip is not a quiet one; now and then there are rockets and fire arms from their direction. Everything went smooth, thank God.

Saleslady371 said...

The comment box wasn't available on your current Baker post so I'm here to comment! I have a hard time passing up those bakeries no matter what country, city, mall, etc. I visit! I liked your last line about the nutrition vs. comfort foods we all like to delve into! Guilty!

DUTA said...

Hi Magda,
sorry, the translation from greek doesn't look very good..
Our weather is also rather fickle; that's spring.

DUTA said...


Thanks for the info. I got the comments box fixed (I hope so).
I believe nutrition is highly responsible for our health. Comfort foods make us feel guilty sometimes.

Poppy said...

Hi Duta,

Really enjoyed following you around your wonderful excursion to so many interesting and beautiful locales. The red anemones, although not plentiful at the time of your visit, still would have stolen my heart. Thanks for sharing!

Happy weekend,

DUTA said...

Thanks Poppy for your kind words. I totally agree with your remark that although not plentiful the red anemones steal one's heart.