Sunday, 30 April 2017

Nachal Rakefet (Rakefet Stream)

Taking advantage of the still "mild" weather and the still green scenery, we went for a hike close to where we live.
My parents are here for a visit and also my mother in law joined us.

We left one car at the Muhraka- the monastery on top of Mount Carmel and started our trek in lovely open oak forest. 

After the Khirbet Kerah Ruins, which we did not examin further, we descended to the Rakefet stream.

It is a lovely trek- mostly in the shade and relatively cool valley. The kids loved the "challenge" of climbing down the boulders here and there. Give them "wide" tracks and they will complain- but small narrow paths through bush or covered with stones will keep them going for "hours".

In the end we reached the olive orchards along the road from Elyakim to Daliyat-al-Carmel where we left another car. 

The whole trek was some 6.5km long and it took us around 3 hours including breaks.

More details on the trek: here.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Tel Meggido

Although the archaeological site of Tel Meggido is only a 20 minutes' drive away, we never visited the site in all these years.
So we thought it was about time to go and check out this place.
Tel Meggido is ancient (well… like almost every place in this country where you dig a bit in the dirt).

The oldest remains are from 3500 BCE! There are layers of cities that were destroyed and re-built on top of each other. It was a place of great importance in the ancient world- situated on the most important trade route (Via Maris). There were historical battles there and huge stables that could hold up to 480 horses, there's a tunnel that was dug underneath the city walls to access the spring outside the city- this turned out to be the most exciting part of the whole site for the kids. (How did they manage to build this tunnel without any power tools??? Amazing)

climbing down to the water tunnel

Well- apart from that it was rather boring despite the historical importance. The kids will most probably remember the water tunnel and the huge, black caterpillars that were everywhere.

Nice view- in the back you can see parts of Jenin 

According to the bible Tel Meggido (Armaggedon) will also be the place of the last huge battle in the end of times.

Ramat Hanadiv- a short walk

I love to hike, but there are some problems in Israel if you want to hike as a family. One is that there are only few circular hiking trails and there's no public transportation- so you basically always need a second car to somehow return to your car at the beginning of the trail.
Summer is hot and I really do not like to hike in the burning sun.

A few days ago we took advantage of the still "not-so-hot" weather and the still green surrounding and went for a short walk (I would not call it a hike) with friends.
Ramat Hanadiv has beautiful gardens which you can enjoy (probably better on a weekday since Saturdays are very crowded!).
But there are also a few short trails through the "bush". We bought an activity booklet for each family with nice little activities on certain points of the trail.
We started relatively early and avoided the worst of the Saturday-crowd.
There were still a lot of flowers and we saw lizards, birds and butterflies. 

The highlight was "Ein Tzur"- a spring that flows year round through an over 2000 year old tunnel that was hewn in the rock. The kids enjoyed walking through the tunnel.

There are also an ancient bath house, remains of an old farmhouse, a columbarium (dovecote) and queries.

Some nice shady trees are perfect for climbing and playing :-)