Exterior of one of the zimmerbuses. All photos courtesy of zimmer.co.il.
Guest bloggers Andrea Donsky and Randy Boyer are co-founders of NaturallySavvy.com.
We may send old clunkers to the junk yard here in North America, but one family in Israel recycles old busses into bed-and-breakfast digs.
The Zimmerbus Bed & Breakfast, located in the tiny village of Ezuz, in the foothills of Mount Negev, sits on a hilltop overlooking the Negev desert. The retired buses have been covered with adobe and the roofs are thatched with palm leaves, making a stay at this B&B; a delight for eco-conscious travellers.
More photos after the jump.
The zimmerbus came about when Eyal and Avigail Hirshfeld overhauled an old city bus as a guest room. They've since added two more zimmerbusses -- a long concertina and an airport bus -- that accommodate families. (The Hirshfeld family has grown over the years; they now have six kids, so this is a very family-friendly B&B.;)
The interiors are rustic and cozy. The ceilings are covered with wood planks, and the same wood has been used for the frames of the built-in beds. The bathrooms in the units appear surprisingly spacious for a compact space. Family zimmerbuses have a kitchen with a full sink, small fridge, microwave, and kettle, as well as cookware, dishes, utensils, and cutlery, so you can cook your own meals if you wish.
But if you're looking for a break from preparing meals while you're on vacation, you're in for a treat. You can order homemade breakfasts and dinners, and the Hirshfelds raise milking goats and chickens, and they make their own organic cheese, yoghurt and bread. Breakfasts are 50 or 70 shekels (about $13 or $18 at the current exchange rate), and meat dinners, which include a glass of wine are 90 shekels (about $24), vegetarian meals are 50 shekels, and pizza baked in a stone oven and served with lemonade is 70 shekels for a medium pizza. Children's meals are priced at 60 percent the cost.
The family also runs Exodia, a company that offers a desert safari by camel, donkey or jeep.
Check out this gallery of photos of the making of the Zimmerbus.