Sunday, February 26, 2012

Galilee (northern Israel)

We spent a wonderful weekend in northern Israel (near the Lebanon border) with my friend, Miriam. First we took a public bus north. This was our first experience with public buses (we have always been with a tour group before). The bus was filled with soldiers going home for the weekend (Friday and Saturday), many of them with their rifles. Everyone was pleasant and the bus was comfortable.

My friend picked us up at the bus stop and took us on a tour of Rosh Pinah, a settlement founded many years ago. The northern part of Israel is very hilly. We could see Mount Hermon in the distance with snow on the top. It was a bit misty so I did not get a good photo.  We spent a little time hiking up hill in a pleasant area with a stream and olive trees (in photo above). Then onto Tzfat (Safed) which was the home centuries ago of the Jewish mystics.  We walked around and Miriam was a terrific tour guide.  She made a lovely Shabbat dinner at her house and we relaxed in the evening.

 Our tour the next day included two Crusader castles. The Montfort ruins were too much of a hike for me (I didn’t have hiking shoes with me) and we decided not to do that, just opted to take photos from the park.  Then we went onto the Yehiam National Park. That was more accessible and I took many pictures.  Joe loves forts and really enjoyed walking around and learning some of the history of the place. First photo below is Montfort, second one is Yehiam.

Finally we stopped for a late lunch in a Druze village and had Sambozek, a type of sandwich on pita bread. It was delicious.  Sunday is a regular work day, so Miriam dropped us off at the bus stop and we made our way back to Netanya. There is a definite advantage to having white hair here – a young woman soldier gave me her seat (the bus was full). A young man gave his seat to Joe. I think I like this senior status. J

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