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B + 19 : Tel Aviv - Jaffa : Not going further south

Updated: Apr 15, 2021

We arrived today at the further most southern point of our trip this year: Herzliya Marina - 15 min north of Tel Aviv. The Carpe Diem is too big to fit into the small port of Jaffa.

But first we went to Akko or Acre, the 3'000 year old town with Phoenician roots. It was also the last town the Crusaders held in the Holy Land before being kicked out by the Mamelukes in 1291. The Genovese and Venetians maintained both large trading Cantors here.

Akko's fortified sea front - most of the Turkish walls are still standing

Akko's strong double walls prevented Napoleon in 1799 to conquer the town - a fact that all tourist guides proudly mention. Napoleon had lost his siege artillery in the Battle of Abukir (close to Alexandria) where Nelson sunk the French Fleet.

The nicely shaded anted-courtyard of the Crusader Citadel in Akko

The Citadel's courtyard was filled for centuries with debris and rubble. It was discovered by chance by English prisoners of war and excavated after WW1

The Knights' dining hall serves today as exhibition centre for modern art

Ottoman stone canon balls which now serve as decorative spheres - wonder how much time it takes to chisel one single ball - these balls were used in siege warfare in the 15th century

We left the Citadel through the secret, 400 meter long escape tunnel - so cool!

We met this guy three years ago on another trip. He still squeezes pomegranate juice but upgraded his tools to a brass press. Fresh pomegranate juice is so refreshing

Akko's mosque - there are only Arabs living in Akko's old town now

Unfortunately, Akko's Inn or caravanserai is closed for refurbishment - such a shame. It is about four times as big as the one we had seen in Nicosia earlier this week. There must have been traders from all corners of the world trading here. Akko remained an important harbour for the Genovese and the Venetians even when the town was lost to the Mamelukes in 1291.

We were told that five minutes away there was a courtyard which housed the Venetian Traders for centuries and decided to have a look. The courtyard is not completely split up into residential houses but a plaque remembers the Venetian presence here

Akko still has a traditional market where they trade spices as these hot peppers - they smell so good - you find them by their strong scent

Time to say goodbye to Haifa and head south to our final destination

Tel Aviv's modern skyline is visible from far

The harbour of Jaffa is too shallow for the Carpe Diem - we have to stay in Herzliya Marina - just next to "Tel Aviv" Silicon Valley where most of Israel's technology companies are head -quartered. Visited here in 2010 when looking for cyber security software - very impressive companies - mostly run by ex-Mossad guys. It took our captain a fair bit of time to put the boat into the marina and he was rather nervous - later we learnt that we had just one foot of water under the keel

But we arrived after three weeks in the Holy Land!

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