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Thursday, April 14, 2016

Northern Israel

I think my daughter is trying to kill me. On our first full day in Israel, she took us on a little "hike" down and up through the Arbel. First, we descended straight down the side of a mountain onto the trail by kung fu gripping onto little metal bars and ropes coming out of the side of a cliff. It kinda reminded
me of the ropes coarse in Silver Spring, Maryland, except we weren't wearing the multiple harnesses to keep us alive should our footing go off or we were to pass out from a fear of heights.

Upon reaching the trail with legs a shaking and throat raw from repeated fear screams, we began our hike along the trail. To keep my life more threatened, we played a little game of My Cow. The first one to see a cow says, "My cow." One would think this an odd little game to play on a mountain, but no, the cows were everywhere. Since cows won't go down stairs, I guess they were stuck there, forever. Unless, of course, they were to fall and become "tenderized" steak.

Every time I'd look for cows, I'd stumble over rocks, so I thought it best to watch the trail. Later, in the car, I began to win the game by claiming cattle by looking out the window. I would have won, too, had Daniel told me the cemetery rule. Yep. When he saw a grave yard, he proudly announced, "All your cows are dead!" But I digress.

It's a well known fact that what goes down, must go up. This means, we had to
climb back up the mountain at the end of our little hike. I climbed on all fours with multiple stops to catch my breath among my twenty-something kids, our young tour guide, and Superman. Yes. I'm married to an athlete. I am proud to say that my husband and I broke the record for the oldest people the guide had taken on this trek.

Since Israel is filled with history, our hike contained multiple little caves where the Maccabbis hid to save their lives. You know the holiday--they tried to kill us; we survived; let's eat.

Noah's ark came in wax.
After we left Mount Arbel, we put skirts on over our shorts and headed to the religious part of town. We saw beautiful
synagogues, as well as the art galleries in Tzfat. I might have liked to have bought something in the candle factory, but we were rushed through the shopping area. Wonder if that was planned!

We also saw a man hand weaving a tallit for the men to wear in services, and the beautiful red roof tops overlooking the ancient city.

After Tzfat, we kept the tour rolling by driving up to the Golan Heights. Perhaps you've heard about this disputed territory that was won during the 1967 Six Day War. People who don't understand the situation have asked Israel to give this land back; however, standing on these hills, it's quite evident that Israel needs them for her very survival. The land is between Syria and the West Bank. Before the Golan Heights belonged to Israel, she was constantly bombarded with rocket fire raining down from these heights. Furthermore, the Kinneret, Israel's drinking water, would be easy for her enemies to get to without control of this land. 


mail4rosey said...

My good friend went and loved it. What an amazing trip to take. I'd be scared doing that climbing you did though... I'm not very athletic, so I might have ended up being tenderized beef myself, oy!

I'm so happy for you that you got to take the trip. I'm sure it was nothing short of amazing.

messymimi said...

Congratulations on making it up and down the mountain! Yes, i think the rush through the candle shop was on purpose.

Rhonda Albom said...

Why did she take you on such a difficult hike. Reading between the lines, glad you are enjoying Israel.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

I am tired just thinking about going up and down that mountain :)

Binky said...

I would love to go there and explore all the sites and history. I might not take that climb of death, though.