Wednesday, August 22, 2012

On eagle’s wings

Warning: The following post may exceed the recommended daily allowance for other people’s vacation photos. Proceed at your own risk.

If my overstuffed Drafts Folder is any indication, I owe you at least three national park posts and an equal or even greater amount of Heblish posts.

But first, with your indulgence, here’s an idea that has been designated an “Ideal Late Summer Outing.”

(Previous recipients of this prestigious designation include the Bank of Israel’s visitor center and Better Place’s visitor center.)

As I’m sure you know, in order for a tourist site to be eligible, it has to meet two basic criteria:

  1. Free.
  2. Air-conditioned.

If the attraction is interesting to boot, well, that’s just a nice side benefit, but it’s certainly not a deal breaker or anything...

Laughing out loud

Which brings me to our trip last week to the Nesher Cement Factory in Ramle – aka “City in Growing Process.” (Many years ago, a large sign at the city’s entrance read, “Ramle: City in Growing Process.” Apparently the Heblish-infused title didn’t require a leading article, definite or otherwise…)

Nesher manufactures most of the Portland cement (i.e. melet for the Hebraically-oriented amongst you) used to produce the concrete (i.e. biton) that is the backbone of Israeli construction, and the company offers free tours. [Note: Advance reservations are required.]

The tour includes two movies in the air-conditioned visitor’s center and an air-conditioned bus ride around the plant and adjacent quarry.(Did I mention that the site is air-conditioned? ;-))

And now, without further ado, the long-awaited threatened pictures: (As always, feel free to click on the pictures for a closer view.)

IMG_7880The cement is mixed in this building which is covered by a free-standing dome. According to the guide, it is the largest such structure in the entire Middle East.

IMG_7889The conveyor belt leading out of the quarry.

IMG_7906The “preheater” which leads directly into the furnace.

IMG_7911A view of two cement silos.

IMG_7923A cement truck is weighed on an automatic scale as it enters the plant.

IMG_7924A display case demonstrates that “clinker” (which is turned into Portland cement) is composed of 80% limestone and 20% clay.

IMG_7926A model of the furnace. There is no cement between the bricks, which are simply wedged into place.

All in all, we enjoyed the visit.

The price was right; the tour was extremely interesting and informative; each visitor received a free, cold Tropit (a bag of sugary grape drink) on the way out; and even the KQ (=kvetching quotient) was relatively low – in spite of the fact that one or two of the Shiputzim teens had been to the factory as part of a school trip back in elementary school…

Laughing out loud

Have you ever been to the Nesher factory? What other free, air-conditioned attractions can you recommend?


P.S. The latest Kosher Cooking Carnival is available here. Special thanks to Batya for including my cinnamon buns post.


  1. I am impressed! I must have passed that 7 million times and never thought about what was inside. I wonder what else is right under my nose?

  2. wow thanks! great idea! ive also passed the factory many times and always thought it would make a great amusement park(all those slides)
    btw this morning i thought of you, my (5 yr old) daughter wanted to go on the computer and i asked her what she needs to do first, she listed them, among them lahavrish et hasaar

  3. Risa and Faith/Emuna - I guess it's one of those secrets that are hidden in plain view... :-) And you're right: it would make an amazing amusement park... :-)

    Shavua tov to both of you!

  4. Free factory tours are the best. We just came back from vacation and the favorite part of the trip was a free tour of a potato chip factory. Free, air conditioned and no kvetching at all.

  5. Laura - Another great thing about free factory tours is that unlike, say, overpriced amusement parks, there are no crowds or long lines on the tours!

    1. That is so true! Part of our trip was spent at an overpriced amusement park and we really did spend at least half our time in the hot sun just waiting on line! Next time, less amusement park, more factory tours . . . .


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