When you say Independence Day in Israel, most Israeli will think about barbecue. And indeed, barbecue and grilling become so popular during Independence Day that many say: “Eating is our National sport.”
But some people celebrate differently, and in this post, I will show several alternatives to barbecue.
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Nautical Independence Day In Herzliya
During the 2011 Independence Day, I went to Arena in Herzliya (but the year should not matter since it is an annual event). Traditionally at 11:00 every Independence Day flotilla starts sailing from the Arena mal.
Map of the area:
Here are several photos from there:
The yachts start to sail:
But, this man decided to catch fish:
View of boats in Arena:
Air Force Flight
Also, on every Independence Day Israeli Air Force performs a show flight along the Mediterranean Sea. This flight is made at low altitude and low speed. It usually includes several helicopters, fighter and cargo planes. Overall about 20-30 aircraft.
Times of their pass above each city is published on the internet, and that year they passed over over Herzliya around noon.
Here are several photos of them:
Aerial Independence Day
You can not mention Independence Day without mentioning fireworks. In 2017 I tried a new location, I took stance on one of the roofs in Krayot.
Unfortunately, it was too far away and without good visibility of any fireworks. This is what I was able to get:
I have been to Independence Day fireworks in different cities and have not found anything worth photographing yet. In many cases the background was horrible. I probably need to visit Louis Promenade during the fireworks.
Ramat David Airforce Base
Next morning, we drove to Ramat David Airforce Base. It is one of the open airforces bases around Israel.
Map of the area:
Several years ago we tried to visit another airforce base. We approached the station around 9:30 and got stuck in traffic for two and a half hours. That year we skipped the visit. But I learned my lesson and this time we were next to the air force bases at 8:15 (they open at 8:00).
We parked our car outside, entered Ramat David and the first thing we saw was the machinery exhibition.
The whole exhibition was held outside, on an old airplane landing strip.
This truck can lift a fighter plane:
Patriot was used in the ’90s for defense against missiles from Iraq.
From machinery, we moved to helicopters.
There were also several helicopters in the air. This is the police helicopter that demonstrated its alarms.
There were many people, thus having a clear sight for a photo was not always trivial.
Cargo helicopter that can carry a jeep.
Then we passed to fighter planes:
As you can see next to each airplane, there is a small stand with a short description.
Looking along the airplane strip with all the exhibits.
Also since the event takes place on an airplane strip, towards noon, the At gets hotter. This is another reason to arrive early.
As you probably noticed, all fighters have small red covers (for example nose cover). When we asked one of the soldiers, he said that the covers protect different sensors and they take them off only before takeoff.
At the end of the strip, after the fighters there several small planes.
And of course unmanned aerial vehicle.
The last in the line, a big cargo plane:
We heard an announcement (through loudspeakers) about the aerial show that will take place in two minutes.
These were four light planes that performed different stunts. The show lasted probably ten minutes and was very nice.
The Rest Of The Exhibition
While on one side of the strip there were mainly fighters and helicopters, on the other there were various related things.
Looking towards the cargo plane:
Various electronics equipment:
Fighter pilot’s equipment:
Food And Parking
There were two small food courts with about five food stands each. They were selling junk food. Towards the end of our visit, we wanted ice cream. As in Israel, there were no ordered lines, and everybody just got a small question. Well, it took some time and art of elbowing till I was able to get the ice cream. Explicit line separators would make this a much better experience.
But as it turned out, it was our smallest problem. Since we arrived early, there was almost no traffic. But, when we wanted to leave, many others did the same. The art of elbowing continued at the exit from the parking. Instead of two lanes, people opened more and more. At some point, I counted ten lanes. It took us about two and a half hours to exit the parking. If I knew this in advance, most likely that I would skip the visit to Ramat David Airforce Base. Horrible experience.
The whole visit inside Ramat David Airforce Base took about three hours. It is quite hot during this season so do not forget to bring water and sunscreen.
Overall, it is a pleasant experience and fun for kids. But the logistic is lacking. The whole parking experience with kids in the car is, how to put it delicately, a nightmare. Even if your kids behave, other drivers will not. At some Airforce Bases, as in Ramat David, you park next to the base and then there will be heavy traffic on exit. At others, you park in a big parking lot and then take a dedicated bus. Several years ago we took such bus while visiting Techni air base during Independence Day and there were no traffic problems.
My recommendation would be either park next to the exit (the distance we passed during two and a half hours was less than 1 km). Or try to come later in the afternoon, make sure there is no heavy traffic at the entrance to the parking. Or preferably, use both recommendations.
Independence Day At Yad La-Shiryon
What do you prefer to do on Independence Day? Tell us in the comment below.
That’s all for today, and I’ll see you in future travels!
If you have any questions then check out Useful Information For Tourists To Israel. And if you are looking for ideas on where to visit, then read Israel Trip Planner, National Parks And Nature Reserves, and Events And Festivals By Season.
Here are several resources that I created to help travelers:
- Israel Trip Planner is the page that will help you to create your perfect travel route.
- National Parks And Nature Reserves page lists and put all national parks on the map. There is also a top list, information about ticket types and campsites.
- If you are looking for things to do, here are the pages for Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Sea Of Galilee, and Makhtesh Ramon.
- Wondering what events are there in Israel? Here is the Events And Festivals By Season guide.
And if you have any questions then check out Useful Information For Tourists To Israel.