Shrine of the Bab and lower terraces at the Bahai World Center in Haifa, Israel
Visit the Shrine of the Bab, a pilgrimage site built in 1953. It's said to hold the remains of the Bab, the spiritual predecessor to the Baha'i faith's prophet Baha'ullah. Canadian architect William Sutherland Maxwell unified Middle Eastern and European styles here. Then, visit the symmetric Baha'i Gardens with their 19 steep terraces.
Three cable cars in Haifa, Israel
Take the cable car up to Mt Carmel (546 meters) and enjoy the magnificent views. Visit the Stella Maris Carmelite Monastery, Latin for "Star of the Sea." Admire the church's beautifully painted ceiling and dome. Stretching back to the Crusader era, the monks originally inhabited the mountain caves.
Stroll around the picturesque, restored German Colony at the foot of the Baha'i Gardens. German Templars who came to establish a Christian community here built the houses in the 19th century. Cruise to Israel to admire the pretty stone houses, browse the little shops, and meet the locals in the lively cafes.
Fill up for your Haifa adventure with some burekas, a crispy phyllo dough pastry often filled with vegetables, spices and cheese. Enjoy Middle Eastern fare like falafel wraps slathered in tahini sauce or lamb shawarma brightened up with herbaceous parsley in the Wadi Nisnas or Hadar neighborhoods. For desert, taste sweet baklava, with layers of flaky pastry and pistachio sweetened with honey, or knefah, a light cheesecake soaked in sweet syrup.
Haifa's largest shopping mall is the Grand Canyon and includes over 200 designer and boutique shops. In the Haifa Flea Market, you can find vintage and secondhand items, including handmade silver and gold jewelry. During your Israel cruise, look for decorative plates and ceramics hand-painted with traditional geometric patterns or Holy Land-themed designs.
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