Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Northern Golan - May 15th - May 17th 2014

A group of us drove up north on Thursday morning.
Our first stop was at the top of the Hermon. We took the chair lift up to the highest point (just over 2000m) unescorted civilians can go, and found out why the Hermon is called the Eyes of Israel.

After taking the last chair lift down, we drove through Ein Kinya, one of the four Druze villages on the Golan, and took a short (relatively) hike in Nachal Sa'ar, which is the divider between the Hermon and the Golan.

We met the rest of the group at the restaurant near Daphna, where we had a nice dinner, and then went to the Hermon Field School.

After breakfast on Friday morning, we got on a bus and drove to Nimrod, the highest Jewish point of settlement in the country (world) at about 1110 meters. After meeting our guide, we started walking down towards Masade, another of the Druze villages. On the way we had a great lookout over the northern part of Israel, and sothern Lebanon, saw many apple and cherry trees, and assed by the Druze holy site dedicated to Nebi Ilyia (Eliyahu). Our guide took a wrong turn at some stage, and we had to scrambple over some rocks as we crossed Nachal Saar.

We stopped in Masade for a quick pee stop, and continued to the Odem forest.
The Odem Forest is a unique natural oak forest between Masade and Buqata. Our goal was to find some orchids who grow in the area, and we did find them.

Our final destination was the Oz 77 monument. We walked on the northern outskirts of Buqata, through more apple and cherry trees. At some stage were were 'attacked' by three adorable puppies.

The Oz 77 monument is dedicated to the 77th armor battalion who clocked the Syrian advance in the Yom Kippur war.

After a short rest, we walked over to the Odem Vineyard (which is right next door), and started the wine tasting part of our day. While sipping wine, Yishai, a member of the family that owns the vineyard and winery, told us about all things related to grape growing, wine making, and wine tasting. We got back on the bus and drove to the Odem Winery, where more wine was tasted and purchased.

We had a very lively ride back to the field school.

Thanks to Ephraim and Craig for organizing a great weekend, Michael for being a great guide, and Usam, our driver.

Gadi's Pictures: Thursday, Friday