You might know Israel as the good ole Holy Land, yet many now know the country isn’t only focused on its past. With an overwhelming amount of start-ups, it’s also called Tech Nation.
This is why witnessing Israel in winter is one hilarious ride.
Israeli folks have won Nobel prizes and other recognition – though clearly nothing related to handling winter. Located in the Middle East, the first landscape connotation one might have is the desert. To be honest, it’s hot here most year long, so I guess the occasional falling tree in winter is nothing to invest resources in.
Now, trees don’t fall everywhere, yet at least a couple fall down in the middle of the street somewhere around this land every winter. This country might be small – it can fit 20 times inside California – yet the chance of a tree falling over you is still pretty low.
The Biggest Storm in 10-20 Years
Of course, chances of hazard increase in those rare moments when Israel gets a real-life winter. No, you won’t find picturesque frozen ice to document, but you might see a country almost paralyzed for a few days.
That’s what happened early in January, when the biggest storm in 10-20 years hit Israel. Some people waited a few extra hours in traffic, others couldn’t get anywhere because the train system couldn’t handle the extra rain, and yet others went kayaking on one of the country’s busiest highways.
Unfortunately, yours truly had to be sick that week of all weeks. Moreover, it came at the culmination a largely sick year and kept getting worse as the storm continued, so going out to play with winter had to take second place. The photo you see above is from a previous winter in Netanya, Israel.
While I had a hard time staying inside considering I finally got a real winter, and while I kept questioning my decision, I ended up feeling better physically and I have plans to experience winter next month.
Fortunately for you, there are other good citizens in the country. They went out and took videos instead of staying home, drinking tea and hoping the storm continues for another few weeks.
Following you’ll find some of the videos that were uploaded to YouTube – I hope you enjoy them.
A Note About Dates
You might notice dates on some of these videos. Dates in Israel are written a bit differently that, say, in the US. If you see a date such as 7.1.2013 – the video wasn’t shot on July 1, 2013, but rather on the 7th of January, 2013.
Judaean Desert gets flooded (by agriportal):
Floods in Hadera, a city close to Haifa (by Tsur Yohananov):
Using a water craft instead of a car in Hadera (by adirostami):
An inside mall in Modi’in, a city close to Jerusalem, gets flooded (by yedioth):
Ayalon Highways in Tel-Aviv flooded. A weatherman said on TV (not on the following video) that it was a dream come true for him to see this, and he had no idea if he would ever get to see it in his lifetime. This particular video is by Zahi Shaked:
A train “floats” on water in Tel-Aviv (by Zahi Shaked):
At last – kayaking on a highway. A 51 year old dude took out a kayak and set out to enjoy life on a flooded highway. He drowned (!) near Israel’s only international airport, yet fortunately he made it out alive and will be able to tell the unique story for the rest of his life. If he won’t, surely his friends will.
These guys were luckier (video by bencarmel5):
And to end – some greenery from northern Israel. Floods in the area of the Kinneret, AKA Sea of Galilee (by xgshv):
Have you ever considered going kayaking on a highway?