Thursday, October 06, 2005

So today we all loaded up into the van/mini bus and headed off for a tour of the northern border of Israel. You know, where it borders Lebanon.

I wasn’t really nervous or anything but there were a few times when I questioned the sanity of what we were doing. Perhaps it was when the guide asked the driver to pull over so that we could take pictures, but when we asked if we could get out he said “No, you cannot get out here!”. I am supposing it was because of the Hizbollah outpost 100 metres away on the Lebanon side of the border.

Indeed we saw a few Hizbollah watchtowers here and there (note they use yellow flags.. why? I have no idea and neither did the guide), keeping an eye on the Israeli army outposts, who were in turn keeping an eye on them. Our guide reassured us that they would only watch us and that they would never do anything, especially with the army watching their every move. Our guide was pretty funny as he said such things as “See that? Hizbollah terrorists watching us. So what! Hi Hizbi!” as he waved at them. Hahaha!! Nothing like taunting the enemy every so often.

After that we drove along the Lebanon border (that's a pic of me by the border with Lebanon in the background), stopping here and there for a history lesson, and then we went south a bit to an area with impressive cliffs and caves. The view was simply spectacular as we looked out across the country, mountains and all the way to the Mediterranean Sea! (it’s the band of blue across the top of the picture) We stood right at the edge of this very scary cliff edge and soaked up the magnificent view and talked about the British, the Arabs and the Jews (a big theme in today’s talks).

We also saw a few familiar sites. We saw the Crusader’s castle that we saw during our three day hike, only today we got to see it from an entirely different angle. It was just as amazing as before. We also finished our tour today in the same spot where we finished our 3-day hike… at the Mediterranean! Oh how I love the sea…

The next few days are going to see me slipping back under the radar for a while as plans have changed slightly. Tomorrow we are heading to Tiberias for a few hours and then to the Golan where we will be staying overnight in a Bedouin-style tent for shabat. It’s on a big moshav (a semi-private farm) and apparently there is a nice river nearby for us to explore on Saturday. Saturday night we are to return to the Tzfat campus

On Sunday we will be going on another hike with the same guide we had today though I’m not clear where we are going… all I know is that we should bring our bathing suits and a towel. I believe a dip in some cold (river?) water is in our future. Sunday night we return to Tzfat, pack up our stuff for Jerusalem… but instead of going to Jerusalem on Sunday we will be staying in Tzfat one more night and then leaving directly for a hike in the Judean desert on Monday morning. We will stay overnight out in the wilderness and then we will finally be back in Jerusalem Tuesday night. I will bring back many tales and pictures of my adventures to share. Have a great weekend and I’ll see you next week!