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The Golan Heights, Haifa, and Galilee

by - September 11 2010

The Golan heights is a mountainous region on the border with Syria and Lebanon. Golan is most famous for being the site of battles between israel and it's northern neighbours, but it is also the site of some great hiking trails - though you should make sure you stick to the trails as there are still minefields and unexplored bombs around.

The Israelis are much more hard-core about their hiking than the Brits or Americans. There is no walking path, just a series of coloured stones and occasional ladders. The hike followed the path of a river gorge and involved scrambling over boulders, wading through rivers, swimming across pools, climbing ladders, and climbing down through the face of a waterfall. Despite the apparent difficulty of the hike, the hikers included families with young children and even a few fat middle aged women. The Israelis are hard-core.

On my way to Golan I stopped at Haifa. Haifa sits on a rocky peninsular sticking out into the Mediterranean and looks spectacular as you approach it on the motorway. Inside, the Baha'i gardens were rather pleasant.

I stayed at Tiberius on the sea of Galilee. This is Jesus-land. Pretty much every little town is where Jesus did something or other. The small town of Migdal was the home of Mary Magdelene - it wasn't her surname, but a reference to where she was from. I went for a swim in the sea of galilee and confirmed that I can't walk on water.