There are many festivals across the country - music festivals, camping and all kinds of other cultural events.
One of the things that we have been doing is spending one day of Hol Hamoed on Pesach and on Sukkot at an all day board games day in Jerusalem. We wind up with about 25-30 people, all of whom bring a bunch of their favourite board games - and we play all day. The event is co-sponsored by the Jerusalem Strategy Games Club and the Ra'anana Board Games Group. It is an opportunity to meet some new people, learn a bunch of new games and play some games at a fairly competitive level.
The event was in Jerusalem, which meant a lengthy drive from Ra'anana. Even leaving late it in the morning (to avoid rush hour), we wound up facing some outrageously slow traffic. It took us close to three hours to get from Ra'anana to Jerusalem, despite using Google Maps and watching for live updates as to the best available route.
|Terra Mystica - in Action|
Once there, we (my son and I) ran a five person game of Terra Mystica. This is a fairly recent (2012) board game that has been tremendously popular since its release among avid board game players. There are lots of pieces, a fairly lengthy rule book and a moderately long set up time. But the game is lots of fun for those who like European style strategy games. Some of the players loved it and some were less enthusiastic. One of the interesting aspects of the game is that it features 14 unique teams (races) each with their own special abilities. So the game is asymmetrical, which makes it different each time.
I also tried playing Belfort and Carson City, both of which were fun.
For dinner, the group members ordered hamburgers from Black Burgers in Jerusalem. The burgers came on buns - and were Kosher for Passover - and Kitniyot free....They were actually quite good (the burgers, I mean...). The buns...well...it's Passover after all. Black Burgers has locations all over Israel, but very few are Kosher - aside from the Jerusalem location. So being in Jerusalem, we took advantage and ordered the 220 g Schwarzenegger Burger - the latest house specialty. They cook it however you might like to order it - so we were able to enjoy some perfectly cooked medium to medium rare burgers and then returned to game playing on a full stomach. It is quite something that so many restaurants in Israel take the trouble to convert over their kitchens and open up for the 4 days of Hol Hamoed.
Good food, fun games and a competitive group - even if the commute to Jerusalem was exhaustingly long.
Getting a bit tired of Pesach food already and we still have 4 days to go....
Chag Sameach to all!