Golan Heights

Israel conquer the Golan in 1967

The Golan Heights [map] is the area east from LakeKinneret. In the north is the border nearly from Gonen till Dan. The Golan belongs to Syria however they lose it by the war of 1967 to Israel. In this bitter fight many soldiers of both sides lose their live. Till that time the UN are their in order to controls of the agreements between Syria and Israel. See picture  of monument and UN soldier with Israelite military. Israel annexed the Golan in 1981 but it is all the time a politic sensitive area.

In Iron era the Golan has been subject of struggle between the kingdom of Israel and Aram-Damasuc.  The Omride dynasty has made a long time battle against the Hadadezer dynasty, which are connected with Damascus. Hereby die the Omride king Ahab. Ahab. Then in732 BCE the Assyrian monarch Tiglat Pilezer conquer the area and became an end of the settlements. The next five hundred years belongs the area to nomads. In the second century BCE Alexander the Great conquer the area and re-start the settlements and their culture. The area belongs in early-Israelite time to the tribe of Manasseh and from nearly 636AC to Syria. Between 1948 and 1967 Syria shoots many times on the kibbutzim below in the valley. From the plateau Mitspe Golani you can see how easy it was for the Syrian soldiers to do so. Many places known their heroic moments from winning and lose.  Heavy tank battles have taken place. Susita may not forget. Special from this high situated place was it easy for the Syrians to shoot on Israelite farmers down, even till En Gev . [click photo]

There is not so much culture or art visible but don’t make a mistake. Take time for the Golan, look around and you find many interest places. North of Tiberias you find black stones from thousands year ago. But more important are the wine houses of the Golan. For example the Gamla Cabernet Sauvignon is very tasty.

The Golan Heights Winery produces premium varietals, proprietary blends and traditional method sparkling wines, marketed under the labels "Yarden", "Gamla" and "Golan". The winery was founded in 1983 and is located in the small town of Katzrin, high up on the Golan Heights.

Who follow road98, some kilometres from the Israel Disengagement Line, can be sure from a very panoramic view. Together growing the feelings how easy Syriawas able to shoot on the kibbutzim on the shores of Lake Kinneret.  Many farmers have been killed on their fields when they did their job. The original border with Syria is till Lake Kinneret. High in the north we find Mount Hermon(Har Hermon) Shlagim Observation Point is with 2224 meter the highest point of this area. In winter it is a sky-area.  You can find this point of view if you leave near Majdal e-Shams road98 in the direction of Bol'an Observation Point.  From here you arrived in Khoran.

Take south of Majdal e-Shams road 989 and after 1 km road9898 to the old crusaders fortress Nimrod. From the top of this fortress you have a majestic view surround. From this point you can go by road989to the west. It is a road with many danger curves and sharp go downs but exciting nature surround. So be carefully. After 12km you arrived by the waterfalls of Sa’ar. From this point follow road99 in the direction of Kiryat Shmona. On this way you find also the Banias waterfalls. Enter it by Snir. They have parking, toilets and the possibility for buying drinking and souvenirs. So buy a ticket and make by foot an adventure hiking. Take enough water with you. Walking trough the deep ravine with very old trees and high walls you feel yourself pre-historic times. At least you arrived at the end of the canyon by a very high wall with centuries old trees. From the top fallen the waterfall with heavy sound down in a pool with very clean and cold water. It is forbidden to swim or fishing in the pool. From this point the water gone as a wild river to the south. From there it is possible to make a long walk belong the Nakhal Khermon (Banias). The route goes over goat paths, small bridges and Roman ruins. More as a hour you arrived on the place from where the water came.  A unforgettable trip.  Take enough drinks with you, you need it. The small rivers went down and at connected with the Nakhal Dan and Nakhal Snir and make together the Yarden (Jordan River).

If you want make a dream tour among the border with Lebanon then take after Banias road999. This road brings you by the former called sky-area. Visit the small Lake Birket Ram and the very attractive nature surround. Also the National Park Horshat Tal with their rich vegetation is a worth full visit. The Golan Heights has a very special and beautiful  flora and fauna.

From mount Har Bental you have a magnificent view in the direction of the empty Syrian town Kuneitra. Following road98 to the south then at least you arrived in Hammat Gader. It is situated in the triangle Syria-Jordan-Israel. There are parts of a Roman bath house, a big sulphur pool and a crocodile farm. The smelt of this pool is like the Dead Sea by raining weather. You can swim in the hot sources which are permanent +42 degrees Celsius. This is the area of the River Yarmuk with the imposed water fall of Sha’ar. Above this fall is a bridge and also you finding the rest of a rail bridge Damascus-Haifa-Beirut.

A very nice trip is from Hammat Gader to the north. On one side of road98 you see very deep ravines from the Yarmuk and the other side the empty hills with minefields. More in the direction of Lake Kinneret you find areas of agriculture, banana plantations and green flanks of the hills. Take by Afik Junction road789 and finished by Kursi on road92 by the shore of Kinneret. Half way of road789 you find Ofir Observation Point. Make a stop and enjoy the view over Lake Kinneret. From this place follow road92 to Ma’ale Gamla Junction. From there take road869 to Gamla (Camel).  This place is attacked by the Romans in 67AD with result that thousands of citizens of Gamla chose for death and jump from the high rocks. Gamla Observation Point you find among road 808, left after Dalyot Junction. Follow the plates and enjoy the water falls of Dalyo and visit the ruins of Gamla.

In the triangle Gadot, Kiryat Shmona and Banias we find the Hula (Choela) a former swamp area.  It became dry in 1957. Many people who work there became malaria and die. Also there are many victims by Syrian fire and other Arabic gangs. Now we find many kibbutzim, lakes and a beautiful agriculture landscape.  Fields with grains and fruit decorate the area. The Hula Park has a lot of possibilities for picnic as well a long walk way with wooden bridges over the water. In the water you see many turtles and sheath-fish. For birth watches an unique place.

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