As the restrictions of the third closure are slowly removed, masses of travelers welcome the opportunity to return to the open spaces and enjoy the wonderful bloom of February. This month, as every year, the south of the country is covered with red anemones waiting for visitors. These days, the traditional “South Red” festival of the Gaza Envelope is also taking place, which this year is more important than ever for businesses that have been closed most of the year.
To make the festival a reality, the organizers of “South Red” have decided to change the concept, and the veteran anemone march and anemone race will be spread over several days and hours – so that anyone who wants to join can do so by prior arrangement. Also, visitors in the middle of the week will enjoy up to 50% off dozens of activities and free guided tours, all with the aim of encouraging travelers to come not only on busy weekends. Travelers arriving in the middle of the week will also be able to enjoy more open roads and less congestion at the flower centers and attractions. Those who want to combine business and pleasure, can do so at Red Space – an outdoor work complex set up in a quiet area with tables and work areas, mats and pillows, a coffee corner and a Wi-Fi connection.
Throughout the week and throughout the month there will be free tours of the flowering centers and historic sites under the guidance of the JNF and the Nature and Parks Authority. Anemone blooms and free fall in the Yemen field.
Many of the travelers in the area at this time of year are looking for the large anemone carpets for a successful Instush picture and a short picnic. If you are one of these, the major focal points are in the benefits of Ruhama, the Cake Mountain and the Shikma Trail. But of course if you are coming to the Gaza Envelope area, you should not give up on the guided flowering tours. One of them will take place at the Rishonim site in Ruhama – the first Zionist settlement in the Negev. The site is a real gem, where settlement stories are combined with landscapes and open spaces. The on-site instruction includes a short film, an exhibition of photographs from the settlement period and an observation of a well that operates as it did about 100 years ago.
The price for a participant over the age of 5: NIS 20.
On Fridays and Saturdays in February, nature tours and benefits will leave the site. Price per car: NIS 30, tours will depart at 11:00 and 13:00.
The Rishonim website, phone: 077 – 7295778, more details on the “South Red” website: habsor.co.il
Also during the week, the JNF will take a variety of tours, one of which will pass through the Nir Moshe Forest. This is a car tour on a beautiful 3.7-kilometer scenic road. The guided tour will include the story of the settlement project in the northern Negev In the area.
Mondays, tour hours: 9:00, 11:30, 14:00 free of charge.
Meeting point: At the entrance to the Nir Moshe forest (next to the wind chimes. Turn right after entering the forest).
Duration of the trip: about two hours.
After the tour, you can continue independently to visit the grave plot of Arik and Lily Sharon on Anemone Hill.
Details and registration on the “South Red” website
In the locality of Givot Bar, a few minutes from Rahat, is “Einot Bar” – a boutique hotel and center for water treatments and experiences. The center, which overlooks the desert landscape, is a perfect place for anyone who wants to take a break from the routine and recharge their batteries during this difficult time. Travelers from all over the country come to “Einot Bar”, some choose to stop for Watsu treatment with water, a workshop and a light meal, and others disconnect from reality for a night or more.
Einot Bar was established several years ago as a social business whose entire purpose is to distribute water medicine. The center brings together about 15 therapists who come from all over the country, and in the pre-Corona days came to study at the center from all over the world. They decided to build the guest rooms that border the center due to the demand of the public, and today you can find two huge family villas and two suites for singles or couples.
The emphasis in “Einot Bar” is on “vacation for the soul”, so families or couples come to the complex to rest and combine water treatments and workshops, and the focus is on tourism within zero kilometers – this means that everything served is local (beers, brick, pitas) Local initiatives, artists and businesses.
If you are touring the area during the “South Red” period, you can hop on a 45-minute Watsu treatment, in an indoor heated pool, and listen to soothing underwater music.
Price for water treatment and pre-ordered meal:
NIS 390 for treatment + NIS 90 for a meal.
During “South Red” – half price.
Price per night: NIS 600-1,000 per couple.
For details and reservations: 077 – 7295877, and on the “South Red” website
As part of “Open Houses”, Judaica artist Ronen Horev invites travelers to visit his studio in Maagalim. This is a wonderful opportunity to meet a local artist and watch the glassblowing work, to see the delicate creations he puts out under his hands, combining glass, wood, stone and iron.
In his studio / gallery you can see Judaica items he has created over the years: mezuzah cases, menorahs and various ornaments. Visitors will be able to hear an explanation of the sources of glassblowing, how to work with glass, and also see the process of glassblowing.
An hour-long tour, Sunday-Friday.
Tour price: NIS 10-20.
Additional information: Ronen Horev – 077 – 7295846, and on the “South Red” website
Blacksmith workshop with Amnon Greenspan, a blacksmith with about 20 years of experience. Greenspan’s workshop sits in an authentic building on Kibbutz Ruhama. The building, which is now surrounded by magnificent works of art, has undergone several hands over the years. Veterans remember it as the home of the Ruhama Brushes Factory, and later as the kibbutz cinema.
Today Greenspan, who runs the blacksmith shop, offers travelers a tour of the place, which includes a demonstration of an iron production process. The workshop is suitable for the whole family, and it allows young and old to see up close the traditional tools of the blacksmith, the working method that combines fire and water, and to hear fascinating stories about the history of blacksmiths. If the subject intrigues you, Greenspan also runs four-hour art workshops, where you can create a work of art or a useful product that you can take home.
Visiting options and workshops:
Visit on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays – by prior arrangement by phone.
On Sundays and Wednesdays, at 10:00 and 15:00 by pre-registration.
Duration of the workshop – four hours, at a price of NIS 400 per person.
Price for the tour – NIS 15-30 per person, by prior arrangement and reservation.
Additional information: Amnon Greenspan – 077 – 7295761, and on the “South Red” website
what are we eating?
Since sitting in restaurants is not an option during this period, travelers will be offered a variety of picnic baskets waiting at the various sites, so all you have to do is choose the basket you like and order in advance.
If you want to go for sure, a great option is a “treat in the basket” – a picnic meal packed in a wooden box. Behind the “Treat in the Basket” project is Tohar, a mother of four aged 31. In Tohar’s packages you can find pastries, salads and other delicacies from local producers. Its picnic boxes are suitable for couples and families, they are equipped with all the accessories for a meal in the field and are surrounded by aromas of pastries that have just come out of the oven.
Kosher, Sunday-Friday. 270 – 450 shekels.
More details: 077 – 7295897, and on the “South Red” website
Another option is a picnic basket from Barry Dairy – a culinary experience that combines the excellent cheeses of the dairy and pastries from the lollipop confectionery of chef confectioner Yaki Sagi.
In each basket you will find: three types of cheese, breads, dips, chocolate yeast cake and lemonade. It also contains a checkered tablecloth, sewn in the kibbutz’s sewing room, a cutting board for cheeses and perishable utensils.
Price: 270 shekels.
Purchase and collection: At the La Pedal complex at the entrance to Kibbutz Bari, it is recommended to book in advance.
More details: 077 – 7295767, and on the “South Red” website
The festival will run until March 6, more details:
Source: Maariv.co.il – תיירות by www.maariv.co.il.
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