Places to visit in Nesher, Isfiya

Nesher suspension bridges and Druze bread in Usafia


The Hanging Bridges are one of the most visited attractions in Nesher. People from all over the country come here to walk along the almost eighty-meter bridges. The trails are absolutely safe and well equipped. The entire park is built on one level. There are a kiosk and a small cafe in the park, but since you got here for the beauty of nature, do not deny yourself a real culinary delight - a bakery and a family restaurant in the neighboring Druze village of Usafia. Here hospitality is a custom, traditions are valued, and bread is life.

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Evgeny Praisman (author)
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11.72 km
2h 36 m
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Aljud is a famous and highly respected bakery. Its fame is regarded not only in the Druze villages themselves, but also in Haifa, and the settlements of the valley at the foot of Mount Carmel. People come here in the morning to buy the freshest and delicious pastries. These are mostly fragrant loaves of bread with all sorts of additives and flavors, with a crispy crust and warmth, which is kept by the delicate dough for a long time until you come home and let it out into the silence of the house. Aljud dough is kneaded in machines, but in the morning, you can see real hand kneading. Bread is baked in the traditional Tabun oven. This oven is an earthen stove that came to us from biblical times. The conventional stove looks like a large truncated cone; at the bottom, there is a hole for firewood. The modern oven is a gas stove, built of bricks with clay walls. There is a small restaurant at the bakery. It looks like a few tables at which you will be served unpretentious but delicious and unusual food. It is wholly based on bread and breadcakes and resembles a mixture of Balkan and Italian cuisine. For example, something very similar to pizza, only from a slightly different dough and a completely different filling. Some loaves with cheese will remind you of Georgian khachapuri, and some others will remember sweet nazuki. Various types of baked eggplant, lots of herbs, spices, tomatoes, pickles, and eggs are the basis of a small family bakery restaurant. Baking and selling bread is a serious business led by the father of the family and his sons. Women follow the menu and the variety, but the restaurant looks like just a tasting room, where you are more likely to try different unusual things than to eat. Everything is unusually tasty, cordial, and home-like, as can only be done in authentic villages, where hospitality is a custom, traditions are a value, and bread is life.

Unpretentious parking around the corner turns out to be very useful when cars stop near the bakery in the morning, and it is often not only where to park - you can hardly drive.

From the asphalt parking lot, a trail leads to a small cafe and a terrace - the beginning of a short (only 1.5 km) route along the Ktia creek.

Uploaded by Evgeny Praisman

The Ktia Creek originates from the top of Mount Carmel and collects the winter waters of the eastern slope of the mountain into the Nesher Creek. Before 2004, this small but deep creek was chosen by developers as an uncontrolled place for the removal of construction waste. But a joint initiative of the municipality of the city of Nesher and the National Land Fund of Israel allowed preserving this corner of wondrous nature in the center of the city limits.

The broad and almost flat path along the high bank crosses the creek in several places by hanging bridges. These bridges are the main attraction of the park. The natural forest consists mostly of Canarian pine. It is taller and more extensive than the Jerusalem pine, which is common on Mount Carmel.

Uploaded by Evgeny Praisman

There are two bridges across the stream bed. They are about sixty meters high and about eighty meters long. The high-rise building at the top of the mountain is Haifa University. The valley of Zabulon is visible in the lowland. The valley is named after one of the twelve sons of Jacob. The tribe of Zabulon received their land in this valley, and they were engaged in navigation, using the convenient mouth of the Kishon stream flowing in the valley. The ship is the coat of arms of the Zebulun tribe because of their shipping skils. It is not difficult to guess that the stream, over which the bridge is built, also carries its waters to the Kishon River.

Hanging Bridge is the correct name for this type of bridge. You can practically never use the name suspension bridge in architecture and bridge engineering. The prototype of the modern suspension bridge was the bridge that came into use in Europe at the beginning of the nineteenth century. However, even the ancient Egyptians built such bridges.

The basis of the construction of such a bridge is a pylon - support through which a vertical cable passes, which is subsequently attached to the ground. The most significant danger of such a bridge is its aerodynamics - it can "fly away" both in stormy weather and due to excessive vibration amplitude. The most elegant and beautiful hanging bridge to this day is the famous Golden Bridge in San Francisco.

The slopes of the stream are part of the Mount Carmel Nature Reserve. Boars, jackals, mongooses, porcupines, many species of birds and insects are found here. In the evenings, wild boars calmly walk in the park.

The high-rise building of Haifa University is the starting point for many of Mount Carmel's trails and routes. Its shape and size are not just an architect's whim. Mount Carmel was considered North Masada, and the university was built as a fortress on top of the mountain.

Returning along the trail back to the parking lot, let us remember that, like many parks and recreation areas in the country, the path is developed in memory of the Israeli Defense Forces soldier Ori Binamo, who died after preventing a suicide attack in 2005. Abraham Binamo, Ori's father, was elected mayor of the municipality of Nesher for a term of office from 2013 to 2018.

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