We’ve been having a tough time at work of late. Two prosecutors are on maternity leave and even before that, we were understaffed, and consequently, overworked. However, we had a welcome break on Wednesday and Thursday, for our annual outing. This is customarily a three day event, but, due to the mountain of work, was curtailed to two. We usually alternate, one year going south, to Eilat and the following year, somewhere in the north. This year’s outing was supposed to take place in May, but too many people were away or unable to come, so it was postponed till November. That being so, we had intended to go to Eilat, the weather in November being too unreliable for the north, but there were no hotel rooms available, so northward we went. In the event, we were exceedingly lucky, as we were blessed with exceptionally good weather, with temperatures in the mid to upper twenties Celsius. We stayed at the Rosh Ha’Niqra Holiday Village, in chalet-type accommodation. The food, while not exactly cordon bleu, was tasty and filling – what I would describe as "kibbutz-style". Furthermore, since the place is practically empty at this time of year, we had our pick of the best rooms.
Rosh Ha’Niqra is right on the Israel-Lebanon border, a matter of three and a half hours or so by road, but we didn’t go there directly. On the way up north, we stopped in Acre, for a tour of the Old City. Then, after lunch, we visited the Strauss Dairies Visitors’ Centre in the Bar Lev Industrial Park. It was actually quite interesting to see how all those different cheeses and yoghurts and dairy desserts are processed and packaged. How many of us, spreading our cottage cheese at breakfast, stop to think how it got into those colourful little plastic tubs? Oh, yes, we also saw how the containers and packaging are made. Best of all, of course, was the "Tasting Room", where we got to sample the finished products.
We didn’t get to Rosh Ha’Niqra until after five o’clock, when it was already dark. Then, in the evening, after supper, we sat on the terrace outside one of the rooms, sang to the accompaniment of Yair’s guitar and played silly games like "Truth or Dare". (I confess, at this stage, I chickened out and retired to my bed.)
The following day, on our way back to Jerusalem, we stopped in Haifa, to have a go at "Karting". I think this is what is called "Go-Karting" in English. I’m not sure, as this was the first time I had encountered such a sport and I was rather apprehensive, as I do not drive. Frankly, it was rather frightening. I managed to crash my vehicle into a wall made of tyres on (I think) my second circuit. Even so, my team managed to come in second (out of five). I suppose it was fun, in a way, but I’m not sure I want to repeat the experience. Anyway, here’s an idea of what it’s like:
And here are the winning teams, with our medals:
The second half of the day was given over to a visit in the beautiful Bahai Gardens, with their 19 terraces (19 being a number of special significance in the Bahai faith). These hanging gardens are a sea of tranquillity amid the bustle of Haifa, which, besides being Israel’s chief port, is also a major industrial centre. As no words of mine can do justice to their beauty, I will say no more about them, but invite you to look at the pictures which I will be posting at a later date.
Our annual outing is officially denoted "a study trip", for the purposes of petitioning the Court not to schedule hearings for the duration of the trip. As you can see, we managed to combine education and fun. It’s a pity it was only two days – particularly so as I discovered, to my consternation, that I was supposed to be the Prosecutor on Duty over the weekend, a fact which had somehow slipped my notice, as it wasn’t registered in my diary. That meant only a very curtailed weekend, to be followed by three days of back-to-back court appearances tomorrow, Monday and Tuesday. Had it not been for the tiyul (trip or outing, in Hebrew), I don’t know how I would have been able to face it.
So, tomorrow it’s back to the grindstone. Well, I suppose that I should be grateful that I have a job to go to. The current global economic crisis is already causing redundancies. We had a couple of days of escapism (I rarely listen to the news when I’m on holiday), but now it’s back to the real world.
Have a good week everyone, or, as we say in Hebrew, Shavua Tov.