Irith Freudenheim
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My Exotic Birthday

My exotic birthday

It was my 59th birthday and it was winter. Michael wanted to surprise me. It was the last opportunity to be surprised before turning 60, quite a achievement age wise…. It should be a different occasion but not a flight abroad, an amazing gastronomic experience, or a theatre play. I wanted it to be connected with nature and not a 10 hour hike in the desert or mountains.

To be totally honest, I should mention a factor that must have caused Michael some trouble while planning the surprise. I had invited 10 girlfriends for a cheese fondue at home so, whatever the surprise Michael had prepared, it had to take this major aspect into consideration. So, I left it to the universe and to Michael to decide….

Not surprisingly, his surprise involved Biking. So, I figured he would take me on a ride to one more magical corner of Tel Aviv, or maybe towards Herzliya along the beach. That would have been very beautiful, but not something we had never done in the past.

Just for the record, we started biking in 1984, when riding a bike in Israel was not that widespread. We cruised through parks, streets of Tel Aviv and I used to ride a bike to work until our daughter’s birth (yes!! I was 9 months pregnant).

Later on, when the babies were born, we continued our trend and, as soon as our children started to sit down, they were taken by bike everywhere. And that might be the reason they love biking today, as adults.

Now, back to my exotic birthday surprise.

In short, I was wrong! We woke up, had a beautiful breakfast and rode until Tel Aviv University train station. There we embarked on a train with our bikes and helmets to an unknown destination. The surprise came when we got off in Acco(Acre).

We swiftly left the train station, cruised through the small city and reached the promenade. It was a calm, clear, sunny morning with a cold breeze coming from the sea. It felt like being overseas. No work, no cooking, no cats to feed…. Pure freedom, and a deep feeling of being on a holiday. We started heading Northwards along the sea along a completely unfamiliar bike lane, which is always exciting (like almost everything for the 1st time!). Leaving the beach we started getting lost along the narrow and stunning little alleys. An absolutely delightful experience.

To sum it up, I can only say that Michael’s idea was completely out of the box. It just proved once again that the “exit is inside”, and we had the most surprising, entertaining and interesting journey through the countless exotic hidden gems of the city of Acco(Acre).

Needless to mention, my exotic birthday exceeded by far my expectations.

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