Vespa Adventures: Oy! Pesach Driving.

Israel for Pesach? Advise: Stay away from the highways!

Driving during Pesach is only for the brave here in Israel and maybe those looking to catch up on their reading. Beware:

“Traffic jams were reported throughout Israel on Monday, in the first sign of what has become an annual nationwide gridlock ahead of the Passover dinner.”-From

For Israelis, Passover is usually a time for family travel, particularly those who are not observant and don’t mind missing the family seder. With the kids off from school for two weeks and most companies offering half days during the holiday’s four intermediate days, it’s the perfect time to take a trip. (College students and most military personal also get this time off, so basically everyone is everywhere and things are crowded.)  Continue reading

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.  Continue reading