Israel
Mārom Golan

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    • Day71

      Hiking Mt Bental (by Lewis)

      October 27 in Syria ⋅ ☀️ 72 °F

      Hiking Mt. Bental was fun. Mt. Bental is in the Golan Heights. There is a great view at the top. It's also a volcano!! We got to see a bunker. There are bunkers at the top because there was a war there: the Yom Kippur war of 1973. We went in one of them. There are funny slo-mo videos of it. Andrew said (in a video) hhhhhhhheeeeeeeyyyyyyyyy gggggggggguuuuuuyyyyyyyyssssssssshh. I said...nothing!!! You should hike Mt. Bental!!Read more

    • Day76

      Being flexible

      November 1 in Syria ⋅ ☀️ 59 °F

      For the 0.005% of you following the news in Uganda, there’s been an Ebola outbreak that we were hoping (for so many reasons the least of which are our travel plans) would be contained to under 100 cases, but has recently spread in the capital, infecting 6 students and many others. We have shifted our plans and rather than going to Uganda to spend time with the Abayudaya (Jewish) community in Mbale, we will be spending 3 weeks in Luxor, Egypt at a worldschooling hub.

      One of the things that has been surprisingly difficult is finding other kids to play with. We were so lucky in Israel to connect with a welcoming worldschooling/ home schooling group of families with a bunch of elementary aged kids. We would meet at a different playgrounds where the kids would create imaginative play games, built castles and a moat with palm fronds, rocks and a water source, play math games on picnic benches, play soccer and run around while the parents shared travel and life experiences. It was fulfilling for all of us to have new people with whom to talk and interact.

      Thus, when we realized we couldn’t go to Uganda where Lewis and Andrew were supposed to go to school and have kids to play with, we tried to find an alternative place where they could socialize. Worldschooling hubs have popped up around the world where like-minded families will gather. The kids will attend a themed camp during the week that’s mainly kid-led play and exploration, while the adults can work or explore the country. There are meals and activities where the families can hang out and be around other people who speak English. On the weekends, the families can go on optional excursions like diving in the Red Sea or taking a felucca to Aswan. Andrew is super excited, Lewis is on board and predictably a bit nervous, and Rob and I are thrilled for the kids to be around other kids, for us to have other parents to interact with, and for the kids and us to have a break from each other. While we really enjoy each other’s company, it’s nice to have some fresh faces and stories in the mix. Now, on to Morocco where we will see Grandma and Papa before heading to Egypt!
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    • Day5

      Yessss, Friend, no problem

      May 7, 2019 in Syria ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

      Ein langer Tag im Bus, vorbei an vielen bedeutenden Stätten, aber leider ohne Erklärung, weshalb ich mich hinterher erst einmal belesen muss.

      Der Busfahrer bemüht sich wirklich, uns die Schauplätze schmackhaft zu machen, aber leider ist sein Englisch dürftig, weswegen er die paar Sätze, die er kann, mit Nachdruck mindestens 3x wiederholt und je nach Laune an den Anfang oder ans Ende mindestens ein "yesssss" , "friend" oder "no problem" stellt.

      Aus dem Bus sehen wir das grüne Dach der Kirche, wo Jesus Wasser zu Wein verwandelt haben soll. Der Fahrer verlangsamt extra, aber ich verzichte auf das Foto vom Dach.

      Erster Stop ist der Mount of the beatitude - Berg der Seligpreisungen, wie Wikipedia weiß. Die Basilika ist von außen sehr schön und innen herrscht wieder eine ganz besondere Atmosphäre durch den Gesang der Betenden.

      Als ich mich etwas in der Sonne entspanne, kommt auch gleich wieder ein pelziger Vierbeiner auf meinen Schoß gesprungen und missbraucht mich als Bett. Als der Bus weiterfährt, muss ich die Katze quasi von mir losschweißen und werde zum Dank mit empörtem Geschrei bepöbelt 😂

      Als nächstes kommt Banyas: einer der drei Quellflüsse des Jordan. Friedlicher Spaziergang durch ein Naturreservats, das die Quelle, die antiken Ausgrabungsstätten sowie den halben Flusslauf umfasst. Den grünen Trail entlang mit rauschendem Wasserfall, entspannend ^^

      Von hier aus Richtung Golanhöhen. Der Fahrer zeigt uns unterwegs die Grenze zum Libanon, die mit einem Elektrozaun gesichert ist und ein Dorf, das zur Hälfte zu Libanon und zur Hälfte zu Israel gehört.

      In dem Dorf und der Gegend leben verschiedene arabisch-stämmige Drusen, eine Art Sekte, die sich vor über 1000 Jahren vom Islam abgespalten hat und heute ihrem eigenen Glauben nachgeht. Ihr Wissen halten sie verborgen und teilen es nur mit ausgewählten Personen. Allgemein soll es sich aber um freundliche Menschen handeln, die gern gesehen sind.
      Ungefähr 125.000 Drusen leben in Israel. Offiziell gehören sie zu Syrien und haben auch eine besondere Vereinbarung, dass sie nach Syrien können um z. B. zu studieren

      Dann ab auf die Golanhöhen.

      Der Weg ist von süßen Schrott-Skulpturen gesäumt, von Dinosauriern bis Soldaten ist alles dabei.

      Oben sind neben UN-Touristen auch spanische Teenies, innerlich Kleinkinder, die Krieg spielen.

      Der Blick auf die Umgebung ist einmalig, ich kann sogar Damaskus sehen. Die Inszenierung des Schauplatzes ist auch anschaulich aufgemacht, der Eindruck gelingt.

      Die anschließende Weinprobe gleicht eher einem All-You-Can-Drink, denn in kürzester Zeit müssen wir alle die Gläser leeren und es wird nachgeschenkt ohne Ende. Vielleicht steigert das Verfahren den Absatz, aber viel schmecken kann ich nicht 😅

      Nächste Station ist Capharnaum, ein ehemaliges Fischerdorf, in dem Jesus gelebt haben soll. Wie so oft ist für mich die wunderschöne Landschaft interessanter als die Gebäude, also genieße ich den Blick auf den See Genezareth, der einzigen Süßwasserquelle Israels.

      Zu dem geht es zum Schluss, Badestop, aber der Wind verleitet nur bedingt zum planschen, daher liege ich im Gras und nüchtere aus 😴🤫
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    • Day27

      Golan Ridge (Bental Cone)

      June 2, 2015 in Israel ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

      Signs of the modern war that raged in these parts. We could hear evidence of Syria's infighting from this spot (mortar and tank fire). From this vantage, we could see burned out towns on the border of Syria and Israel. To this day, U.N. observers sit there, documenting gun-shots and bombs. They were very interesting to talk to.Read more

    • Day3

      Golan Heights

      April 7, 2019 in Syria ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

      Travelled up to the Golan Heights. Saw Mt Hermon with snow and the Syrian border. Visited El Rom kibbutz. This is the Northern most kibbutz in Israel and was completely destroyed in the 1973 Yom Kippur war. The Israeli army managed to hold back the Syrian tanks and took the Golan Hts. The place is known as the Valley of Tears because of the loss of Israeli soldiers here. Explored the ruins of a Syrian army post.Read more

      Beautiful - Irene

      4/9/19Reply

      Nice amount of snow on Mt Hermon. Irene

      4/9/19Reply
      Traveler

      Mt Hermon

      4/11/19Reply
      Traveler

      People of Druze belief

      4/11/19Reply
       
    • Day11

      Golanhöhen

      November 1, 2018 in Israel ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

      Die Golanhöhen sind im geographischen Sinne ein dünn besiedelter, hügeliger Landstrich im Nahen Osten. International anerkannt als Teil Syriens, befinden sich die Golanhöhen seit 1967 großteils unter israelischer Kontrolle. Israel verwaltet die 1981 annektierten Gebiete als Teil seines Nordbezirks; die Annexion ist aber von den meisten Staaten nicht anerkannt worden. Syrien beansprucht das Gebiet nach wie vor komplett und zählt es zu seinem Gouvernement Quneitra, eine schmale Pufferzone wird seit 1974 von UN-Friedenstruppen überwacht (UNDOF). Der Status der Golanhöhen ist ein Hindernis für die Friedensverhandlungen zwischen den beiden Staaten.Read more

    • Day16

      Israel (Golan Heights)

      October 22, 2017 in Israel ⋅ 🌙 13 °C

      Today we had another beautiful day of sunshine & blue sky - the weather has been perfect thus far! We started out a little later today which was good, as we needed a moment to catch our breath.
      We are still located at the Kibbutz on the edge of the Sea of Galilee & essentially travelled north east today to the border regions with Lebanon & Syria - we were exploring the Golan Heights!
      Our first stop was Mount Bental, with a wonderful coffee shop (Coffee Anan) & lookout at the top. Mount Bental is a dormant volcano & is also a strategic UN outpost used to survey the happenings over the border in Syria. If you stopped & were quiet, you could hear the odd gunshot in the distance - we later found out that four missiles were intercepted mid flight the night before...
      From here we headed down the mountain & closer to the Syrian border, where we stopped, overlooking Golan Volcanic Park, & listened to a talk given by a recently retired Brigadier General & Chief of Staff (Northern Region) from the Israeli Defence Force on the current military situation & it's recent past - it was so fascinating & informative. From here we could clealy view the border fence & crossing, the destoryed town of Quneitra on the Syrian side, & the UN Peacekeeping base on the Israeli side. The difference in the fruitful abundance of the Israeli side in comparison with the desolate wasteland on the Syrian side was immense & incredibly thought provoking...
      We were back on the road again & heading north (only a few minutes up the road) to the Druze village of Mas'ade (Masada) - The Israeli Druze are a unique religious and ethnic minority among Arab citizens of Israel. Mas'ade is a small town of approximately 3,500 not too far from Mount Hermon - the highest point in Israel & home to Israel's only ski fields (there was no snow there at this time though). We had a wonderful falafel for lunch here before continuing up into the hills, passing Nimrod's Fortress along the way.
      Our next stop was the ruins of the ancient (4500 BC) Israelite City of Dan (Tel Dan) & taking in the incredible history & beauty of this world renowned National Park. We saw where the spring that forms the Dan River is located & I even managed to dip my feet in a pool of cool waters. We saw a 700 year old flour mill & the oldest arch known in history - a Canaanite gate. After spending almost 2 hours exploring this ancient area we were back on the bus again & descending into the beautiful Hula Valley where we were just in time for a tour of the Hula Valley Bird Centre & a trip on one of their camouflaged tractor trailers to view the migrating birds come in to rest for the evening in the grassy marshlands. We saw flamingos, herons, cranes (they are so big & noisy), black ibis (a little more glamourous than the 'dump birds' we have at home), kingfishers, pelicans & ....a wild boar! It was incredible! The setting sun reflecting off the mountains boardering Lebanon created perfect picture opportunities & topped off the day.
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    • Day4

      Mt. Bental

      May 10, 2019 in Syria ⋅ ⛅ 63 °F

      Mt. Bental, located in the middle of the Golan Heights mountain range, is a 3,842-foot high inactive volcano. Bental means cinder stone. From Mt. Bental, the snow-capped Mt. Hermon can be seen. Mt Hermon's summit straddles the border between Syria and Lebanon. Partial slopes of Mt. Hermon are administered by Israel. While visiting Mt. Bental it was advised to keep to established paths in the area; Old Syrian minefields remain uncleared just off of these paths.
      During the Yom Kippur War of 1973, Israel used Mt. Bental as a mountain bunker. They were vastly outnumbered by Syrian tanks but succeeded against all odds in blocking the Syrian advances. It was one of the largest ever tank battles and was miraculously won by the Israelis with their small force of 160 tanks and 60 artillery pieces. The Syrians attacked with 1,500 tanks and 1,000 artillery pieces and were slowly mowed down by the much, much smaller Israeli force. The Israeli army suffered large casualties and by the time the battle was over, only 7 Israeli tanks were operational. After 900 of the Syrian tanks were destroyed, the Syrians turned and fled, leaving the land for the victorious Israelis. The valley below Mt. Bental is called the Valley of Tears in remembrance of the bloody battle that took place here.
      The Scriptures picture Mt. Hermon as a metaphor of majesty, blessing, and beauty (Psalm 89:12; 133:3; Song of Solomon 4:8). After 6 days at Caesarea Philippi, where Peter proclaimed Jesus was the Christ, Jesus took some off his disciples up on a high mountain. Caesarea Phillipi sits at the base of Mt. Hermon and maybe the “high mountain” where Jesus' disciples witnessed His was transfiguration. Matthew 17 records Jesus' His face shown like the sun, His garments became white as snow and Moses and Elijah appeared with Him. Then a voice out of a cloud said "This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!"
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    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Mārom Golan, Marom Golan, ماروم ها جولان

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