Friday, March 4, 2016

Tanks for the Bikes!

TODAY'S PHOTO ALBUM: Israel - Tour - Day 3

WOW! What a day. Woke up to a beautiful blue sky and cool temps. After breakfast, we hurried off to the Agamon Hula bird reserve. Geoff and I got a couple of beat up old bikes and hit the path. It was absolutely fabulous. I have to thank my nephew Andrew, for recommending it to us. He came here when he was in Israel a couple of years ago. Anyway, we had the place to ourselves and took our time watching the Grey Crane migration. In December there were 30,000 birds here. Today, maybe 10,000 to 15,000. Very soon they will all be gone. It was a real treat. By the time we left, the groups started coming in -- phew!

Our guide, Nachum, is a veteran of the tank brigade. He served in 1967, missing the 6 Day War by 2 days. Now, while he is not working or collecting cars or fixing watches, he raises money to support the troops - mostly providing clothing and maybe more importantly moral support. He asked if we would be interested in going to an Israeli post along the Lebanon border. We didn't have to think twice. No churches, no pilgrims, just soldiers and tanks! Sign us up. The guys were truly wonderful to us. Nimrod gave us a tour and then we got to play with a tank. After about an hour or so we thanked them very much and moved on to the Golan Heights.

Driving back down to the Hula Valley, Nachum pointed out the Eucalyptus trees along both sides of the road. These were planted to camouflage the traffic from the Syrians. The trees are very tall and grow fast. We also passed through a town that still has their bomb shelters if they hear sirens. Passed many army posts on of all sides - not to mention mine fields. On the brighter side, we drove past avocado, orange, apple, apricot, and almond trees. The fields are abundant with fruits and vegetation.

Before heading to lunch, we stopped at the kibbutz that makes Naot shoes. We didn't have time for a factory tour, but I went to the store in the hopes of finding some sandals. No luck. Moving on we drove up to the Druze village in the Golan Heights where it was time for lunch. During lunch we drew up plans of how to get around Jerusalem when we get there.

One last stop on the way back to the hotel, the Valley of Tears. Here we met up with a Hummer army group, who of course, knew Nauchem. More photo ops with the guys. This spot overlooks Syria and it is a memorial to the victims of the Yom Kippur War.
Yom Kippur War or the 1973 Arab–Israeli War, was a war fought by the coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and Syria against Israel from October 6 to 25, 1973. The military combat actions during the war mostly took place in the Sinai and the Golan Heights, territories that were occupied by Israel since the Six-Day War of 1967. Egypt and Syria wanted to regain the Sinai and the Golan Heights respectively. Egyptian President Anwar Sadat wanted also to reopen the Suez Canal. Neither specifically planned to destroy Israel, although the Israeli leaders could not be sure of that.
Time to head back to the kibbutz. Our hotel is in the Upper Galilee. This kibbutz specializes in optics. They also have fruit trees and I'm sure there is a garden around here. Going out to dinner tonight but maybe in the morning we'll have time to look around some more.

Next time... Crossing the border to Jordan

TODAY'S PHOTO ALBUM: Israel - Tour - Day 3

1 comment:

  1. Awesome! I'm glad you enjoyed Agamon Hula, it looks like it was a lot nicer day when you went than when I went :)

    It's also cool that you got to go inside a tank. I got to pose sitting on the front of one, but not inside.