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Israel Road Trips, via Vespa: Route 395 Judean Mountains

Ready for a road trip?

Click Vespa Adventures: Israel Route 395 to see the video from the ride.

This past weekend I headed up to Kibbutz Ma’ale Hahamisha  and was able to film parts of the ride there. I started in Rehovot and took the 411 <  44 <  395 route, which includes some of my personal favorite roads to ride on and drive through here in Israel. Route 395 is found half way between highway 1 and Bet Shemesh at the Eshtaol Junction, going West to Jurselam via Ramat Raziel and near the unique village of Ein Karem. It reminds me so much of driving in the steep Colorodo Mountains or near the Nevada-California border in those rolling mountains back in the states. I always loved driving in those types of environments because it presents quite a challenge to any driver, let alone one on two wheels. (And the views are always rewarding.) You must be able to handle the curves well because there is little room for mistakes in altitudes such as these. But the reward and payoff are without question:  the views are imense and there are plenty of stops a long the way if you so choose to stop for, say, a picnic or hike along your drive. This was the first time for me taking the vespa out on this route and the weather favored me, so I figured that I would film the ride as well. 

The camera harness/set up on the ‘pa:

Pretty basic setup, but it worked okay. Maybe a few too many bumps, but I was able to record everything important.

I took this drive on Thursday around 2.00 pm, so traffic wasn’t at all bad and I could take as much time on the curves as I needed. Since I was filming, a lot of my attention was divided between that and the road, so I wasn’t really able to fully enjoy the first drive as much. Although because of this, I was able to focus on something other than my worries about the curves, so yay for filming. The drive back to Rehovot, on Saturday afternoon, was a nice ride as well. The traffic was a bit heavier, but I pulled over when I needed to so that the others behind me could get on their way. I listened to one of my playlist I had created, and though it wasn’t as sunny and the skies were duller, I was completely engulfed in the ride. It truly was a great feeling when I made it back to the Eshtaol Junction with such ease and control on this second ride. Half-way between the route, you come to a point in the road where it cuts down to rather narrow one lane road. You look beyond the side of the road and realize how high you’ve climbed and watch as the valley spreads out all around you. Being able to sit back and look around in the car is all good and well, but there is something about facing the elements on the vespa that had me doing the Julia Roberts “Pretty Woman” hand gesture once I made it out alive and in one piece.

 This route makes me happy, both as a person who enjoys driving through mountainous terrains and driving roads that demand excellence. The views don’t hurt either. If you are ever in the area, put this on your to-do list. If you aren’t planning to visit, then just watch the video up above and enjoy ‘Born Losers’ from Matthew Good (-another terrific and favorite song to listen to on rides).

As always, safety and excellence in your riding. Cheers folks!

About kaie w. bird

A freelance photographer in Israel that likes to scoot about while documenting just about everything. P.S. I am a horrible editor. Forgive me.

12 responses to “Israel Road Trips, via Vespa: Route 395 Judean Mountains

  1. ShimonZ

    Can’t say I enjoyed the music that much, but the video was marvelous!!!

    • Haha… I’ve noticed that I’ve really responded to this song in particular when I am out driving in the cities. I think it distracts me from my feelings when other drivers aren’t as courteous nor sweet as I’d prefer them to be. Maybe in that context this song makes more sense(?). But thanks for saying the quality is good. = )

  2. “The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see.” attributed to G. K. Chesterton.

    I’m completely sure you are a traveler! 😉

  3. That’s amazing!! You did a great job!!

    From Brooklyn with love,


  4. Love the post! Thanks for sharing,

  5. Brass Peacock ⋅

    Hi kaie!! Thanks for the comment 🙂 what is the furthest you’ve ever driven on your Vespa? We are planning a beach trip (1000miles round trip) and can’t wait to document it! You seem so cool. Happy scooting!

    • Thanks to you also! I’m a newbie to this whole scene and Israel isn’t as big as the states, so I think my farthest trip so far has been from Rehovot to Jerusalem. About 1 1/2 ish. Lol. (I guess the ‘NYC to L.A.” trip here would be from Tel Aviv to Eilat, but that is really bold drive for me just yet.) Do you have your own to drive? I will look forward to those posts about the beach road trip! 1000 miles is nothing to joke about and I can’t image how great of a trip it will be!! Best of luck! = )

  6. Pingback: Vespa Maintenance: 10,000kms Service for a Sick and Spunk-less Vespa, Part 1 « roxyvespa

  7. Pingback: Last Week in Israel: Saying Shalom, via Vespa Adventures. « roxyvespa

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