Haifa International Flower Exhibition held all this Passover week in the Hecht Park by the beach. A flower exhibition used to be an annual event in Haifa for many years, but this is the first time one has been held in 19 years.
At the beginning of the week the media reported that the exhibition was so popular that the queues were very long and people started demanding their money back. We went there knowing that we wouldn't get to see everything, and expecting it to be a bit crowded, even on the day before last of the exhibition. The organizers of this event (and others in Israel) have much to learn from other countries. I have visited theme parks and tourist attractions in England, for example, where the flow of visitors was much better managed. However, the organizers deserve credit for encouraging people to park in three parking lots near the southern entrance to Haifa and then providing shuttle buses between the exhibition and the parking lots. This worked efficiently, and I hope such systems will be more widely used in Israel.
The exhibition consisted of nine large domes with differently themed flower installations. We were able to see four of them, and seeing how long we would have had to queue for the others, we decided that four was enough.
The next dome was "The World of Water", and had flowers arranged inside model ships or standing in bottles, and there were decorations of giant fish. In one area there were soap bubbles floating above the flowers to provide an underwater atmosphere. Some of the displays were impressive, but it was difficult to capture good photographs due to the lighting.
I hope that next year this event will be better planned. If the organizers can learn something from this year's experience and from overseas attractions, the renewal of this Haifa tradition could be a great annual success.