Train travel in Israel is by-far the best way to go. It is fast, easy, and very inexpensive... which is why most Israelis seem to prefer it as well.
From the Tel Aviv airport to Haifa by taxi costs anywhere from 250 to 550 NIS... depending on how much of a jerk your driver is.
Most of the drivers we encountered were crooks. The train cost 28 NIS, and was faster.
The train is comfortable, too.
Before the trip everyone asked if I was nervous. Not at all.
I felt safer out-n-about in Israel than any of the cities in the US... and I never had to take my shoes off for security screening.
The only soldiers I ever saw were riding the train themselves.
The bus system is very extensive as well, but not as user-friendly for non-Hebrew speakers.
I never did figure out the bus...
I rearranged my last two days travel plans, and rode the train down to Tel Aviv for a few days.
We passed the protest march of the family of the young Israeli soldier kidnapped 4 years ago...
And we also passed alot of BAD traffic. The train is the way to go!
I also took the train from Tel Aviv into Jerusalem. It took about 1.5 hours and cost 24 NIS.
Very comfortable, and fun to see the scenery.
This is a southern pass into Jerusalem that Lehi's family likely took into and out of the area... very cool.
The landscape around Jerusalem was much more mountainous than I had expected. Very similar to eastern Oregon or even Wyoming.
As we got closer to the city, there was more and more cultivation and farming.
Alot of old stone ruins and walls, too.