Drone spots hobbit home on Mediterranean shoreline!

cliff dweller israelAmateur drone pilot Jesse Peters flew an aerial quadcopter over Israel’s Apollonia National Park to capture a bird’s-eye perspective of its historical ruins and rugged limestone cliffs. His apparatus caught more than the park’s natural beauty; it also filmed an unusual cliffside dwelling crafted by an artistic Jewish hermit.

The park, popular with hikers, is just north of Tel Aviv, near Herzliya. Apollonia offers up architectural antiquities including a 13th-century fortress and the remains of a Roman villa. But a more recent addition is a self-built home carved into the cliff by artist Nissim Kahlon. See the aerial video, link below:

In 1970, Kachlon – a divorced father of three – packed in his city life for a stint on the beach. His change of zip code veered off typical when he opted to live off the grid in tunnels (see a great off grid solar starter kit here) he cut into the cliffs. “I decided that I didn’t want to live in the city, I love the sea, that’s how I came here. I don’t have to pay city tax because I don’t have garbage, I burn everything and use the ashes for concrete to build with,” he told Arutz Sheva.

“I have a well for water. I don’t have a washing machine, I don’t even have a telephone, I do everything by hand,” he continued.

apollonniaHis never-ending project stars in a 2014 film by directors Ilan Moskovitch and Dan Bronfeld titled “Sipur Aploni” (An Apollonian Story). Now Peter’s drone allows us to see the unusual homestead from a new perspective.

Over the years Kachlon’s cave on the cliff has become an impressive multi-story edifice. “A city engineer who came was shocked,” he said, “I like it here alone. I’m always busy doing things and building.” He explains he used to source most of his food from the sea, but over the years catch has dried up – he blames commercial overfishing. Kachlon said he does not want to be famous, but that everyone is welcome to come and visit his creation.

apollonia cave dwellerA movie synopsis released by directors Moskovitch and Bronfeld states, “For years he lived without electricity or running water. Today Nissim continues to work on the home that he built out of rocks, trash, and sand, while the sea, which he loves dearly, constantly gnaws at the house. After years of estrangement, Nissim suggests that his 18-year old son, Moshe, move in with him and inherit the cave. A complex relationship between father and son is revealed.”

Certainly interesting, probably eco-friendly (although Green Prophet was unable to get details about construction methods and materials), and the artist’s home must command stunning sunset views.  But how do you feel about one man laying claim to national parkland?

Lead image by Jesse Peters, others from City Desert

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