Today was another adventure without a set destination that ended up taking me to a new location ‘abloom in beauty and views. I like venturing out on these sorts of road trips because you don’t have any expectations of what you’ll come across and that is where the fun begins. (Of course, I always have my handy-dandy map in the bucket for those times when I get too confident with my adventures… and get lost.) Lately I have been taking the 411 Road West, out of Rehovot towards Jerusalem, because that road is both stunningly beautiful right now and fun to drive. Today when I arrived at the 3 Highway, I decided to go with the turn that lead to the Neve Shalom village and see what was going on there.
I wasn’t aware, at the time, that the place I was driving to was the first settlement (village) in Israel where both Jews and Arabs (Israeli-Arabs) specifically choose to live together, peacefully, to show that it was a possible feat. I did notice that there were tons of buses going to and from the village and a lot of people were honking and waving at me while I was taking photos along the road, so maybe it is worth a trip back to further explore. I did see a cafe and a cute looking B & B close to the entrance, so I assume they get plenty of tourists.
The views from the village are stunning, overlooking the Ayalon valley, you could see for miles (kilometers?) in all directions. Here is a gallery of photos from around the village (the road leading there), with tons of red vespa splashes thrown in for measure:
About the ‘Oasis of Peace’, from Wikipedia:
Neve Shalom (Hebrew: נְוֵה שָׁלוֹם, lit. Oasis of Peace), also known as Wāħat as-Salām (Arabic: واحة السلام) is a cooperative village jointly founded by Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs in an attempt to show that the two peoples can live side by side peacefully, as well as to conduct educational work for peace, equality and understanding between the two peoples. The village is located on one of the two Latrun hilltops, midway between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Falling under the jurisdiction of Mateh Yehuda Regional Council, in 2006 it had a population of 200.
If you would like to more about the village itself click here for further information.