Daily Prompt – Brick

Ancient bricks

As I was traversing the Daily Post, I noticed that yesterday’s prompt instigated us to take a look at Brick.  Not a real problem, as I came across some nice brick, just yesterday:

Section of fortress wall

This section of ancient brick was part of the crusader fortress at the Apollonia National Park, on the northern edge of Herzliya.  The fortress is an impressive structure, particularly when looking how it was built on the cliff slope.

This section must have been from one of the inner walls, as the outer walls were more than 2 meters thick and beyond 4 meters in some areas.

Technical Details

This image was captured with a Canon EOS 5D Mk III using an EF 24-105 f/4L lens.  Exposure settings were 1/320 second at f/10 and 400 ISO.

Inspired by the Daily Prompt – Brick

Sunday’s Food – Israeli Cheesecake

It has no calories!

While I wasn’t sure what to select for today’s food moment (although I do have some ideas in store), it came to me, literally!

At the end of dinner at a fantastic restaurant on the beach in Herzliya, I asked for the check.  The waiter, who had made excellent recommendations for my dinner, asked me if I would mind taking a  little extra time, as the restaurant would like to provide me dessert, on the house!  As I was in no hurry, I accepted and this arrived:

2016-05-21 19.48.55 HDR-2
Light Israeli Cheesecake

It is a light Israeli Cheesecake, which was absolutely delicious.  The consistency is much lighter than standard cheesecake, and it has a bit of citrus in it to lighten the overall experience up even more.  The berries and apricots were a wonderful addition.

So, if you ever find yourself in Herzliya, be sure to go to Yam 7, which is right on the beach behind the Dan Accadia hotel.  The main course was prepared to perfection, as I had a tapas with seafood sashimi, shrimp in a tomato based sauce, octopus and calamari tzatziki and hummus.

The Crusader Fort at Apollonia

A Beautiful National Park

On this rather warm day, I decided to got for a rather long walk from my hotel to the Crusader Fort at Apollonia, which is just north of Herzliyah.  It was well worth the walk!


The fortifications

The town was settled by Phoenicians in the 6th or 5th century BC, and named Reshef after Resheph, the Canaanite god of fertility and the underworld. It was then a part of the Persian Empire and governed from Sidon. Phoenicians of Reshef produced precious purple dye, derived from murex mollusks, which they exported to the Aegean.

Water Pool

During the Hellenistic period it was an anchorage town, ruled bySeleucids and renamed Apollonia, as the Greeks identified Phoenician God Reshef with Apollo.

Under Roman rule, the size of the town increased. It was an important settlement between Jaffa and Caesarea along Via Maris, the coastal road. In 113 AD, Apollonia was destroyed partially by an earthquake, but recovered quickly. The harbor was built, and trade with Italy and North Africa developed.

View from chamber

During the Byzantine period, the town extended to cover an area of 70 acres (280,000 m2). In the 5th and 6th century AD it was the second largest city in Sharon valley, after Caesarea, populated by Christian and Samaritans, having an elaborate church and a prosperous glass industry.

Fortifications from the North

In 640 AD, the town was captured by Muslims, and the Semitic name Arsuf was restored as Arabic transliteration of Reshef. The town’s area decreased to about 22 acres (89,000 m2) and, for the first time, it was surrounded by a fortified wall with buttresses, to resist the constant attacks of Byzantine fleets from the sea. Large marketplaces appeared, and pottery production developed. In 809 AD, following the death of Harun al-Rashid, the local Samaritan community was destroyed and their synagogue ruined.

Looking North from the Fortification

In 1101, Arsuf fell to a Crusader army led by Baldwin I of Jerusalem. The Crusaders, who called it Arsur, rebuilt the city’s walls and created the Lordship of Arsur in the Kingdom of Jerusalem. In 1187 Arsuf was captured by the Muslims, but fell again to the Crusaders on September 7, 1191 after a battle between Richard I of England and Saladin.

John of Ibelin, Lord of Beirut (1177—1236) became Lord of Arsuf in 1207 when he married Melisende of Arsuf (born c.1170). Their son John of Arsuf(c.1211—1258) inherited the title. The title then passed to John of Arsuf’s eldest son Balian of Arsuf (1239—1277). He built new walls, the big fortress and new harbor (1241). From 1261, the city was ruled by the Knights Hospitaller.

Landscape Beauty

In 1265, sultan Baibars, ruler of the Mamluks, captured Arsur, after 40 days of siege.  The Mamluks razed the city walls and the fortress to their foundations, fearing a return of the Crusaders. The destruction was so complete that the site was abandoned. In 1596, Ottoman tax registers recorded a village there with 22 families and 4 bachelors It appeared, just named “village” on the map that Pierre Jacotin compiled during Napoleon’s invasion of 1799.

Hope you enjoyed this little tour of the National Park of Apollonia.

Friday Travel Day

As I just completed my travel from Boston to Tel Aviv, I will post some travel photos tomorrow and beyond. 

However, for those who can’t wait, let me tell you where I had dinner in Herzliyah: Benedict!  The only catch is that Benedict serves breakfast 24/7!  

The place was hopping, which is no surprise given their menu. I had Spinach Eggballs, which are little balls made with egg and a spinach with just enough creamy sauce to make me happy!  

Go check them out at http://benedict.co.il/en/ 

photo roberts blog 2

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