Thursday, July 17, 2008

Tuesday - Caesarea

I had already earlier made arrangements with Anna (Conceptis webmaster) that I will reserve Tuesday to her. So in the morning Igor, Anna's husband called that they were going to pick us from the hotel. Picking up here means that I went into their car and the others followed by our car. Igor is Dave's partner in Conceptispuzzles. You can read the story of the start on Conceptis website: How it all began.

Here is a picture of Anna and Igor

The destination was Caesarea (I typed it wrong earlier), which is a town in Israel on the outskirts of Caesarea Maritima, the ancient port city. It's history goes even longer but the city underwent a great number of changes under Herod, who among other things renamed it Caesarea in honor of the emperor. In 22 B.C.E. he began construction of a deep sea harbor and built storerooms, markets, wide roads, baths, temples, and luxurious public buildings. Every five years the city hosted major sports competitions, gladiator games, and theatrical productions.

We saw an interactive slide show about the history compared to now, a movie and walked among the ruins. We walked on the hippodrome and wondered about those poor souls whose meaning of life was to give entertainment for the rich by chariot racing and dying just to let people see blood. We saw part of the remains of the spa where the slide show guide suggested that Herod got rid of enemies by drowning them. Poisoning would have been too obvious but accidents can happen in a big pool… We also saw the big theatre which has been restored and is available for big concerts nowadays.

At this point it was very hot, not totally unbearable though. The sun in Finland never shines from straight above my head! The time was excellent for a lunch. I ate just the salads and bread which all are so excellent here, the rest of us had various fish portions and Anna and Igor ate meat. I lose my appetite on hot weather and hummus, eggplant and all the other numerous vegetables they carry to the table are totally sufficient to me.

After eating and a cup of coffee (the necessary nutrient for Finns) we went to the beach. To the kids it seems to be the most enjoyable activity and I think it is just a waste of time. This time it did not matter since I had good company meanwhile. Igor does not like swimming either and we had the most enjoyable discussions while the others were soaking themselves in the water. Jukka and Anna joined us most of the time and did not try to get a tan like the kids were.

Igor is originally a nuclear physicist and I rarely get the chance to talk with people like him :)

After getting back to the hotel we were supposed to rest for a while, but my mailbox was again filled with stuff I had to take care of and I was also making plans for the next day on the mobile. My rest just faded away without me even noticing but so what! I am on holiday.

Since I am staying here for two weeks, I decided to buy a prepaid connection from an Israeli provider. In Finland our phones normally are not locked and I just changed the SIM-card to my phone. Actually the guy selling phones and connections in the Grand Canyon mall did it and opened the connection. The service was so incredible that I rarely get that in Finland. Now I can call local phones much cheaper than from my Finnish connection. The price of calls between Finnish and Israeli phones is in the highest category. I had the idea before but Marika confirmed that she does that always in foreign countries. (The Finnish system will make it very hard for iPhone to get a footstep in Finland. People are usually not willing to bind themselves with the same connection provider for 2 years!!)

In the evening Anna and Igor picked us up again and we went having dinner in a Japanese restaurant. Olli is a great fan of sushi and likes to eat it on his journeys. The problem in Turku is that we have only one restaurant serving sushi. Jukka is the only one who does not eat it, but he ordered chicken and told that it was the best chicken he ever has eaten. Here is the “plate” I shared with Olli.

Our family is totally impossible when 5 people are supposed to be ready at the same time and leave as soon as possible. Before leaving to the restaurant when the chaos was worst, Olli built this and Katri completed it:

Even though I visited here last year, I don’t seem to stop getting surprised about the technology here. I have always considered Finland a place where we use the latest technology but Israel is very much ahead of us.

First today was the slideshow. As a teacher I have seen a lot of them and also in very new buildings. Nothing like the one I saw in Caesarea I have ever seen. It was actually two shows running together side by side and showing how the city looked like in the old times and nowadays.

The other surprise was the way Igor paid for the parking in front of the restaurant. The size of the device was that of a credit card, and it had been preloaded. Igor just pushed the right buttons, opened the car window, hooked the device and shut the window. It was in the car safely, could be seen on the outside and there was no reason to walk to pay the parking fee. Amazing!

Zemanta Pixie

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