Galilee

Mount Arbel

Ever a landscape from the past......
Galilee is the area of north-Israel between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. Between the north, Upper- and the south Lower Galilee you find the Bet Kerem valley. The lowland is among the sea and from there became the landscape hilly till the highest mountain in the north and east. The Meron reach till nearly 1200 meters. Apple yards in the north covered the landscape and date- and banana plantations surround the Lake.

There is more rain as in other area’s. Winters are very cold and snow is no exception. Galilee is known from nearly 50.000 years ago. On the slopes of the Galilee you can find many stones from volcano eruptions. In springtime this area is called flower garden of Israel. Then the slopes of the hills are decorated with great differenties of flowers. The mean colour is yellow and came from the Mimosa.

The area knows a beautiful  flora en fauna. Also in springtime the area surround Lake Kinneret is a rendezvous of birds like stork and white heron. North of this you find Lebanon and to the west the Mediterranean. The Carmel mount is also much known in history. It is the mount of Prophet Elias. This area belongs to the most beautiful sites of Israel. The city of Haifa, is built on the slopes of the mount. A special point of view is the Bahai temple with her fascinated garden and shrine.

On several places we find ravines and forests with picnic places. The green landscape is very attractive for in the Middle-East. Mountain Carmel is loved as holiday destination area as well for people from abroad as from Israel itself.

Also Prophet Elias search and found there his recourse. Not as tourist but for his escape from King of Israel. His hidden cave is on the eastside of the Carmel. Above this cave is built a Carmelite monastery. From this point has the visitor a phenomenal view over the surround. The monastery was used by Napoleon as hospital.

Daliyat el-Carmel is a Druze village and loved by tourists for the local market. You can reach the place from Haifa by road 672 or from out the coast direction by road 721.

The Druze people with their traditional head-covering (see picture below) has in Israel and outside a special independent status. Their religion has an own interpretation of the Islam. Nearby Daliyat el-Carmel you find the village Isfia with pretty and guest free people and, good food. The Druses are always in history pro-Israel and fought at time of the Six days War (1967) together with Israel. They held yearly a Remember Day. Most of the Druze people are farmers on the slopes of the Carmel.

Village Ein Hod is an art village and a worth full visit. Permanent expositions from painter’s sculptor as well much earthenware and carpet. You find this place by road7111 connected on highway4 Tel Aviv-Haifa. Another very nice trip is from this place back to road4 go one kilometre in the direction of Haifa and takes road721. Go till Damun Junction and take road672 in the direction of Haifa or down in the direction of Isfia. Follow in southern direction this fascinated road full of curves and enter after a while road70 for a visit of Zikhron Ya'akov. Baron Edmond de Rothschild is the patron of this wine village. The name of the village is in honour of the father of the baron. In this place is also the family grave of the Rothschild’s.  In 1954 Israel brought this in France buried family over to this place and gives them a state funeral. North of Haifa you find Akko, Naharija and most norths on the border with Lebanon Rosh ha-Nikra. Take the cablecar and going down to the caves. Or enjoy the wide view to the south.

Between Akko and the border with Lebanon there is a large diversity of landscapes. You like roses, visit then the Dutch Christian kibbutz Nes Amim. Naharija is well-known from the time that it is hit by rockets from the Hezbollah in the Lebanon area. This place has a very nice boulevard comfortable hotels and a clean beach.

East of Naharija among road8833, a bypass road of road89 in the direction of Tsfat (or Safed) we find Yekhi'am citadel of crusaders. This old  citadel is it worth to visit. On top of the castle you have a fantastic view over the surroundings. Nearby is the city of Ma’alot, known from an attack in the seventies on a school by terrorists. Don’t forget to visit Montfort National Park with a special observation point for a phenomenal view over the landscape of Galilee. Visit also the castle Montfort .

For more adventure people under the Israel visitor I suggest road899 near the border with Lebanon. This road brings you from Rosh ha-Nikra to road90 south of Metulla the most northern kibbutz in the east. Well known from the border point Good Fence. This trip brings you close near the border and gives you a spectacle experience. The road is going trough the landscape of Galilee by forests, high mountains and deep valleys. Several side roads for example 8992, 8993 and 8994 brings you by observation point and unexpected places. Road8967 is the entrance to the 700 meter high mount Har Pua (Har is mount) with a view till Tsfat (Safed). In springtime when the Galilee is full flowered you will stay here for ever.

In whole Galilee you find many parks , observation points, lakes and streams (Nakhal). Mountain peeks with phenomenal views as Har Tsafrir by Beit Jan among road864 between Bukei'a and Rama. Peek Har Meron with the Horns of Hittin , more as 1200 meters highs and a view over the wooded Meron Mountains gives a happy feeling that there are still woods in Israel.

The area has no historical past in case of culture. The history knows battles and old religions. And of course it is the birthplace of Christianity.

Upper Galilee is the area from Rosh ha-Nikra till Metulla. The soil here came from volcanic origin. You see this in the form of enormous peaces of lava. Now there is no more volcanic activity. Surround the city of Tiberias are heat springs. Sometimes there are light earth shocks. The area knows a beautiful nature. Between the mountains of Upper Galilee and the Golan Heights the landscape is flat Here are many kibbutzim (agriculture settlements), Parks of Nature exits after when the Hula  swamp became dry end of the fifties. Two canals where graven and changed this by mosquitoes hits area in agriculture area. Only in this area you find white and blue anemones. The whole area knows many streams who connected at least by Sde Nechemya  and forms together the Jordan River.

There are many cities with history like Rosh Pina, founded in 1882. This has been the first village in this area. In Tel Chai [picture Davka], hill of life, you find the museum of the Hagana, more known as underground battle group in the time of the British Mandate. Initial there be in 1917 a shepherd camp, founded on from Arabs bought soil. In 1920 Arabs attacked the camp and killed 8 citizens. These victims are buried in Kiryat Shmona (town of eight). Trumpeldor who says “It is good to die for your country” is one of them. For Israelites a pilgrimage place.

Take from Lake Kinneret road90 in the northern direction and at least you enter Metulla. Sometimes is the road flat and other moment there are very sharp curves and panoramic views in this unique landscape.

By Rosh Pina you can take road89 in the direction of Safed (Tsfat). Some kilometres more north you can take road91 in the direction of the Golan Heights. On this road, near kibbutz Gadot you pass the Bnot Ya'akov bridge, names of the daughter of patriarch Jacob who passing this place in the Jordan River on way to Canaan. However on the point of this bridge is has been more times the scene of battles, like in1799 between Napoleon and the Ottoman. After the British army in the First World War defeat the Turkish army they where able to march to Damascus in Syria. In1948 Syria and Israel has had here.

The village near the bridge was named Chazor (Hazor). Already in ancient time well-known and in modern time excavated by Israel popular historian, politician and archaeologist Yigal Yadin. Assyrian and Egyptian writings from1300BCE are found by excavations.

Road90 cross the small city Kiryat Shmona, more known from attacks by Katoesja rockets that are fired trough Hezbollah fighters from Lebanon. Citizens are sometimes for days in their shelters. In the centre you see some coloured painted tanks  in a park. Nearby is the entrance of a very imposing cablecar that connects up with the kibbutz Menara. Sitting in this cablecar you have a fascinated view over the area down. Far away north you see Mount Hermon and deep down the lakes from the Hula Valley with their fishponds, orchards and green fields. Halfway it is possible to go out for abseiling from the Menara cliff. Road90 ended by Metulla. Just after Kiryat Shmona you can take road99 and ended by Mas'ada on the Golan. The first 10km you travel to a water full area. Have a stop by Tel Dan and visit the waterfalls. Among this road between much green and water streams is kibbutz Dafna . This area has their history with Esther in a main role. Visit the Banias water falls (on map right under Snir). There are a parking place, toilettes and a possibility for eat, shrink and souvenirs. Buy a ticket and make an adventure hike in the ravine to the falls. Walking trough the ravine deep down with old trees and sharp walls gives you the feeling to be in pre historical time. In summer take enough water with you. At least you enter the pool with cold and clean water comes from a water falls from the top of the ravine. Enjoy sitting there and looking to the fishes in the pool and listing to the thunder of the water. The water went in a very strong stream to the south. It is also possible to make a walk to the source of the water. It takes nearly one and a half hour trough forest, ravine, stream and holes. It brings you over small goat paths, narrow bridges and sometime Roman ruins. An unforgettable walking.

The Tanur waterfalls you find right of the road just before you enter Metulla. This village (kibbutz) is more known from the time of "The Good Fence”. In the early eighties when the climate between Israel and Lebanon was good there was a lot of travel between the countries. All this travel passed the border behind Metulla. A lot of Lebanon inhabitants has a job in Israel other visit family or make trade. Since June 2000 there is no more Good Fence. After the battle against Arafat and his comrades Israel closed the border and occupied a piece of the border till June 2000 as security zone. All the time it was possible (for tourists to) to reach the Good Fence place. A favourite place to make pictures has been the two iron flags, the Lebanese cedar and the Israelite Magen David.

Kibbutz. Ginnosar (close near Lake Kinneret) is also a well-known kibbutz. Not only from their agriculture and fruit that comes in winter to Europe, but also from watches. Yigal Allon, old general, minister of foreign affairs and co-founder of the Palmach lives here till he dies. Nearby this kibbutz is a big water pump station that pumps the water to the south of the country. In dry time the water level sink till danger account. Once time a boat from ancient time was found and rebuild. Now it is an attraction to make a boat trip on the Lake with this called Jesus boat. West of Tiberias (Tverya) is the religion kibbutz Lavi. Most of the kibbutzim have guesthouses.

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