Hey, all. My scheduled article is delayed again this week– owing to it being Eurovision, White Night, personally having completed a three-week binge of the MCU, and now moving to a much cooler neighborhood.
Oh yeah, and An Armada of Cats: Travels in Israel is coming out next month.
But I felt terribly guilty about always putting these articles off, so instead I’ve decided to open the thread for a little Q&A and light discussion, starting with a list of five places I would like to have visited for the book but couldn’t for lack of time and/or budget:
Kadima-Tzoran – Kadima-Tzoran is actually two politically unified towns in the rural northern fringe of Israel’s urban center. The latter part, Tzoran, is a relatively new city built by Americans on a strict grid and mostly composed of single-family homes, and is one of only two places in Israel where hockey is played.
Nahalal – A centrally-planned farming village in the Jezreel Valley that has produced a disproportionate number of national luminaries, such as Moshe Dayan and Ilan Ramon.
Yiftahel – As Israel is not a terribly large country, large parts of my journey overlapped with the route of the Israel National Trail, a sort of imitation-Appalachian Trail that runs the length of the country. Unlike the sort of “enforced wilderness” you encounter in America however, the National Trail offers lots of stopovers in farms, villages, and the like. Here, you can actually hike to somewhere. One such place is Yiftahel, a cabin relocated from West Virginia in honor of the trail’s dedication in 1995 that is used as an outlet for local wineries.
Gan Ner – A town of fewer than 3,000 people deep in the eastern reaches Jezreel Valley. Despite its small size, it boasts one of the top pro basketball teams in the entire European conference, Hapoel Gilboa Galil. Most of the players are American prospects.
Ghajar – The only town in Israel that is mainly populated by Shi’a Muslims, and the only town claimed by three different countries. It was already part of the disputed Golan Heights, but in the 1980s, the village expanded over the line into Lebanon. It is the only place I could legally enter that country probably ever, and I wouldn’t even need to show a passport.