The history here is quite impressive. This place has been an important harbour since the Roman times. Remains of old columns can be found scattered around the town. Julius Caesar made an appearance here in 48 B.C. The Crusaders made this their capital after the fall of Jerusalem. Richard the Lionheart took the city during the third crusade. Marco Polo passed through on the way to the Orient and the city walls still bare the scars of Napoleon Bonaparte's artillery, when he tried to conquer it 1799.
Unfortunately, Akko is barely hanging on to its magnificent history. It doesn't seem to be a matter of money. Funding is evident by the size and state of the art tourist information centre built right in the middle of the citadel. It seems a matter of priorities. The city seems more concerned about first impressions than it does about preservation. There seems to be ongoing restoration and excavation, but what has been restored seems to be lacking maintenance and governance. Pathways seem to disappear into weeds, signs are missing or destroyed and restaurants and souvenir shops are built right on top or around the ruins. In fact, getting out of the citadel, the main attraction, people are forced to exit out of a souvenir shop. It's a shame.
Though this put a bit of a damper on my experience in Akko, I'm still quite glad I came here. I enjoyed a beautiful sunrise and a great walk through the many tiny streets and passageways of the old city. At sunset I climbed up on the ramparts and watched the sun go down over the harbour.
Tomorrow I'll catch a train to Tel Aviv, Israel's biggest and most modern city; often confused as the capital.