(See more on that at the end of the e-mail.)
On Saturday night as we left Kiryat Shmona, our cousin Boris saw that the tire was again low, so we stopped at a nearby gas station and filled the tire again. The next morning at Menahemia, the tire still looked OK, but Howard wanted to fix it before we headed up the Golan. Our friend Dalia directed to us a local “puncheria,” or tire repair shop.
Local "Puncheria" shop "Puncherit HaEmek"
For 35 shekels (US$9+), they took off the tire, removed a screw from it, patched it, and put the tire back on. Drivers of rental cars in Israel are responsible for tires, and this is the second time we’ve had a tire problem. The other I took care of in Kiryat Malachi a few years ago.
Highways in Israel really have improved since I first visited and lived here in the early 1970s. Then roads were narrow, made more for smaller European cars. Now that Israelis buy bigger cars and there are more big trucks on the roads, the lanes are wider and shoulders are decent size too. Since the mid-90s, there has been an explosion of car buying also. Many employees of big companies also get company cars as do my cousins in Holon. She is a computer engineer and he a water engineer.
Most Israels do not know the highways by number (except for highway 6--kvish shesh--which is actually the Rabin Memorial Road) but just by direction and junction name. Since the junction names are slowly changing to exit areas, it can sometimes be confusing. Google maps now has many of the Israeli roads and towns labeled in English now. My husband was delighted to have found a street map of Kiryat Malachi on his IPad.
a stretch of Hwy 20, the "Ayalon," the main road into Tel Aviv
Often the walls along the side of the road are covered with greenery or very nicely designed, like on the left. BTW, notice the clouds in the sky. This summer, often before 10 a.m., there have been a LOT of clouds in the sky, much more than in the past....and sometimes dark grey.
A tunnel in the new stretch of Highway 6 in the North--a rather amazing site to see in Israel
A 2-lane road in the hills east of Tiberias taken through our car windshield. See how wide the shoulders are.
A four-lane road, divided by a barrier--a safety precaution
New construction--widing of the road to a divided highway, in the lower Galilee
Israelis mainly buy European and Asian cars, including Fiat, Renault, Peugeot, a few VWs, Citroen, Toyota, Daihatsu, Suzuki, Hundai, etc. Many are cars we don't see in the US. We are renting a Daihatsu, and getting a good 36 MPG. (Tax on cars is quite high, often doubling the price of the cars. ) I own a Toyota Prius and have seen a number of them on the road.)