This is a page on the area we are moving to next week taken from the NBN website on community information.
I will post a whack of pictures when I take some.
This is a map of all of Ramat Bet Shemesh. If you hover over the bottom right corner, you will see a name pop up. Move up one unit and you will see "Bsor/Maor Refaim Area". Click there. Now click the camer pointing to the right just above the building marked on the map as "11". The picture you will see is of our building. The camer between building "11" and building "9" gives you a good look at teh "midrachov" (pedestrian street) just behind our building.
Here is a pretty good view of coming fown the pedestrian street to our building (which does have car access and a garage)
This is a good picture of the building itself.
Entering the shopping area. It is about a 20 minute walk. Downhill. Home is another story. Most people take the bus home. Most of the stores surround a huge square that has a grassy area, some shaded covered benches and some parking.
Local shopping The shops are mostly on the ground floor of residential buildings. We can get most of what we need there. Groceries, clothing, bakery, hardware store, appliances, kitchen stuff, furniture, hats, pharmacy, whatever.
This is one of the two local grocery stores. We have one closer, but it is more expensive. It is good if you just need one or two things, but for real shopping you go down to this one. They do deliver right to your door for a small (and really reasonable) fee.
The Bank (there are a number of them, but we joined this one for various reasons including but not limited to the fact that the branch manager is a native English speaker from Detroit).
There is also a health care clinic associated with our kupah, and one of their pharmacies as well.
So all in all not a bad place to be! Everything we need is pretty much walkable, and if it is not the bus is fairly frequent. There are also really reasonable cabs all over Bet shemesh. They are flat rate between zones, so to take a cab home from shopping if on a week we buy a lot is only 15 shekel (under $5).
To rent a car for a day is roughly 150 shekel a day, so if we really need it for something (to get people from the airport, go up north or whatever) it is really not insanely expensive.
Just to compare this to last year.
Car $280 monthly
Insurance $ 150 monthly
Gas (roughly at the time we left) $200
So $630 a month just for the car.
Theoretically I could take 4 cabs a day and still come in under that!