Beer Sheva, the capitol of the Negev. In the past it was just a hot outpost, with the locals living there out of Idealism and Zionism. Today, Beer Sheva is one of the hottest destinations for young couples, plenty of tourism and lots of places to hang out.
The Israeli Air Force Museum
The Israeli Air Force Museum is found in the open expanse of desert at the Hatzerim Air Force Base, with the local war planes and training planes occasionally flying above the museum during the day – providing great entertainment. The museum features are mostly outdoors, with a few buildings dedicated to housing Air Force archives and artifacts. To start, there is a small building that dissects the history of the IAF and points out the various missions and operations that makes the IAF a legend in and of itself – operations such as Entebbe and the aerial raids on Tunisia and Iraq’s fledgling nuclear facility in 1981.
Outside, the multitudes of planes are to be seen – over 150 of them, with some open for exploration and photo ops. First, there is the history of the IAF collection, planes that the IAF used throughout the years, starting from the WWII-era Spitfires and finishing off with the modern-day, still in use, F-15s and Kfirs. Also to be seen, in an open hangar, are very old bi-planes and the hang gliders used by Syrian-based terrorists a few decades back – presented exactly as they were “obtained”, a true glimpse into history. In the last section of the lot, the edge closest to the museum building, captured planes from neighboring countries such as Syria, Egypt and Jordan are displayed as historic trophies – successes of a previous generation. Some of these captured planes are the showpieces of incredible stories of bravery and miracles where extraordinary occurrences were in play – the enemy pilot who mistook an Israeli airfield for his own, and was thereby captured, is one of the best tales to be heard.
The Carasso Science Park offers children, adults, groups and everyone else, fun, challenging and interactive activities. The park includes dozens of scientific games and exhibits. There are permanent and travelling exhibitions including: Nuclear Energy exhibition complete with small-scale nuclear reactor featuring augmented reality, The World of the Microchip – Innovative microelectronics exhibition and more exhibitions such as Vision and Light, Hearing and Sound, the Code of Life, Communications, Scientific Garden and much more. All of the exhibitions have been designed as games; fully interactive, fun and thought provoking, pushing children’s imaginations in efforts to deepen their love of Science through the use of a unique educational model – Exposure, Enrichment and Exploration.
Tel Be’er Sheva is the remains of the biblical town of Beer Sheva. It is located to the east of the modern city of Beer Sheva. The town of Beer Sheva is mentioned in Genesis when Abimelech and Abraham swear an oath beside a well; this story about Abraham’s well gave the town its name. About 2 hours are necessary to tour the place. The tel is not wheelchair accessible, but is easy walking, with the exception of the water cisterns which require maneuvering many steps.
Walking around the park you can find, the water system from the 8th century BCE is particularly noteworthy. In addition to the cisterns, wells and water carriers have been found. The well outside the city is 70 meters deep, the deepest found anywhere in the Negev. A large horned altar from the 9th century BCE was found, evidence of a heathen cult which occupied the town at that time. While the altar has been moved to the Israel Museum, a replica can be seen at the site. Houses, storehouses, and the governor’s palace have been found dating from around the 8th century BCE. Opposite the storehouses lie the remains of the Roman fort from the 2nd and 3rd centuries CE, which had smooth pavement.