Inspiration: A Quiet Place in the Galilee

On my family’s recent visit to Israel we spent a couple of days relaxing in a beautiful, quiet zimmer (guest house) in the Galilee. The guest house, Hemdatya, is located in Ilaniya, the first Jewish agricultural settlement in the Galilee, which was established in 1900.

The guest rooms are converted old structures. They were a part of a farmhouse complex built at the beginning of the previous century. The current owners lovingly restored them, paying much attention to detail and  sound ecological practices. The resulting accommodations are fully up to modern standards, yet keep the old atmosphere intact. The place is a truly magical sanctuary where three generations of my family were able to relax together.

I arrived in Israel with a suitcase-full of handmade gifts for all members of my family. These gifts looked very much in place in everyone’s respective rooms in the Galilee.

This is the laptop bag I made for my sister. I love how it looks on the beautifully-painted tiles of the floor in her room:

For my mom, I made a purse with a matching cell-phone case. Both her gifts looked very much at home on the old, roughly-woven stool we found in my parents’ room:

The handmade i-pad cover I made for my father likewise looked nice on the wooden counter:

All the guest rooms shared a courtyard covered with wild, tall and gorgeous annuals. These amazingly big flowers shone in many different shades of pink:

Each of the rooms had a little patio or terrace outside. There we relaxed in the evenings, enjoying a glass of local wine. This, for example, is the grapevine-covered patio outside my parents’ room:

The floor in their room, my dad said, had the same pattern his grandfather’s house featured in Jerusalem at the turn of the previous century. The mud-covered walls and restored fireplace added a nice touch:

I liked many of the little details and special decor throughout the complex:

And the furniture, too:

Most impressive of all were the amazing breakfasts. Local Circassian women prepared the food from scratch, using  locally-grown vegetables (some from Hemdatya’s very own vegetable garden!). The breakfasts included fresh cheeses made from milk collected from the owner’s goats. Well, let’s just say that I am sure I will fantasize about THOSE for many months to come…


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