Sunday, April 04, 2004


It's been a busy few days. On Saturday we went up north, and it was wonderful. We left at eight in the morning, and arrived at Rosh Pina by eleven. Rosh Pina is a small town that was first settled in the late 1800s, built on the side of a mountain. We had coffee and cake and walked through the oldest part of town, with its cobblestone streets and old stone buildings full of art galleries and craft stores.

Here we are in Rosh Pina

After that we drove to the Hula reserve, a huge nature reserve that used to be a swamp. We walked the length of the trail, most of it a boardwalk over the remaining swamp, and saw pelicans and buffalo and lots of turtles. The whole swamp was full of papyrus plants, and maybe I would have picked one and made me some paper if it weren't, you know, illegal.

The Hula Reserve

After that we drove up to the Tel Dan, another reservation that was absolutely beautiful. The Dan River is one of the feeders of the much smaller Jordan River, and also the site of the ancient city of Dan, where naughty King Jeraboam set up an alter to a golden calf. (See 2 Kings) We saw the ruins of the altar and the city gates, then walked through the park. The trail was almost completely made up of stones in the river, so that we were basically walking on the river itself. The trees hung over the trail, so it was like walking through a big green cave. It was beautiful. I took many pictures.

Yesterday Tammy and I ate brunch at a moshav, or farm settlement, in their little restaurant overlooking a field of wildflowers. The food was fresh and yummy and we ate ourselves silly. After that we headed north of Tel Aviv to Netanya, a beach town, and drove to a ranch north of the city, where we went horseback riding on the deserted beach, through cliffs and sand dunes. It was, again, beautiful. I've never ridden a horse on a beach before, but it was all very romantic, as evidenced by the fact that one of the Israeli guys riding with us kept hitting on me, in spite of my horrendous Hebrew. I have discovered it is incredibly hard to speak Hebrew atop a horse on a beach. He didn't seem to mind though, and after we drove away, he pulled up in front of us at a red light and his friend hopped out of the car, walked to my window, and proceeded to hand me a slip of yellow paper with his friend's number on it, saying I should call him. Interesting. We shall see. It was a strange way to be picked up.

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