Caesarea, the ancient port city is located mid-way between Tel Aviv and Haifa. In general it takes about 25-35 minutes on high way from Tel-Aviv to get there (if there is no traffic jams).
A little bit of history: The ancient port city was established in the 3rd century B.C.E. as a small Phoenician harbor called Strato’s Tower. In the year 90 B.C.E. the Hasmonean king Alexander Yanai took over the place and by the end of that century, King Herod the Great constructed magnificent city – deep sea harbor. The city got its name in honor of Herod’s Roman patron, Augustus Caesar. Caesarea was serving as one of the most important maritime centers in the eastern Mediterranean during Romans and Crusader periods.
As you can understand each inch of this city is full of reminders of forgotten greatness of ancient Empires.
To me, it is the place with atmosphere of old port-city.
I like to visit it, just a couple of hours before the sunset.
The smell of the sea, the fresh wind and the rustle of palm trees create a magnificent scene for the main act – the sunset. The mysterious moment – is so stunning, a little bit sad and completely unpreventable.
But before it – there is a lot of time to enjoy the old streets of the ancient city.
You can enjoy historical excavations, visit local gift shops, enter in to the sea (in season) or just enjoy the breeze from the sea sitting on the bench looking over the horizon.
If you are hungry, there are several restaurants overlooking the sea shore. They serve mostly Mediterranean cosine but there is also a sushi restaurant (OMG, think about it you can eat sushi in the tower built by Crusaders :) ).
There are a lot of places where from you can have amazing sea sight.
On my walk I met a wonderful cat. I called him a royal cat – he was full of dignity and had very self-sufficient look.
And yes, the civilization is just behind the corner – the power station. Many people would have claimed that this closeness of “civilization” ruins the atmosphere of old city but I disagree with them. I think it creates effect of the time machine – depending where you are standing you can see either future or past.
When you plan visiting Israel, I suggest you to add Caesarea to you “places to see” list.
Story by Maria (CallOfEarth)