Tag Archives: nature

Yam l’yam: Start at Achziv

Last week I walked yam l’yam again, from the Mediterranean Sea to the Sea of Galilee. In 3 days you actually walk across the width of the country (that’s how small Israel is). Each day is a great hike but together the 3 days are more than the sum of their parts, enabling you to experience a cross-section of the Galilee. Each day hike is different, challenging in its own way, with varying topography, vegetation and accompanying history. I invite you to consider this amazing hike on your next visit to Israel.

For a more complete description (with photos) of the hike, see my post from last year at https://israel-tourguide.info/2015/12/21/yam-lyam-hiking-sea-to-sea-3-days/.

Here are the introductory lines of Naomi Shemer’s poem Night at Achziv beach.

The wind and the darkness and the water
Remember from yesterday night your steps
The froth that erased your footprints
Knows that you were here alone

I was up just after 4am and took these photos of the sea and sky before morning light at Achziv.

First shot

Early morn

When light broke I shot some photos of the beach.

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Jerusalem Park: Lifta

This week we went to Lifta, a ghost town that was an Arab village on the side of a steep hill at the western entrance to Jerusalem. The site has been populated since ancient times because of a natural spring located there. In the Bible, the village is mentioned as Nephtoah (נפתח), on the border between the Israelite tribes of Judah and Benjamin.

Lifta

In the last official land and population survey In 1945 Lifta’s population was 2,250, all Arabs, and the total land area was 8,743 dunams. The farmers of Lifta marketed their produce in Jerusalem’s markets. The population was driven out/fled during the Arab-Jewish hostilities of 1947/48 during the efforts by the Haganah to relieve the siege of Jerusalem. Today 55 of the original (more than 400) stone houses are still standing but the village has never been repopulated.

 

Lifta 2

Lifta is on the edge of the newly developed Jerusalem Park, made up of 4 parks, a greenbelt that extends over some 1,500 hectares (3700 acres), surrounding Jerusalem to the north, west, and south. This is a great place for visitors and Jerusalem residents to explore, with walking trails and bicycle paths. You can get a map of the park at Emeq HaArazim, just below Lifta at http://www.jerusalempark.org.il/download/files/park-arazim-hires.pdf.

 

The plan is to maintain existing woods and forests including ancient cedar, arazim for which the park is named, and olive groves and to restore and plant orchards and indigenous broad-leafed tree species.

Anemones at Lifta

Further inside the park at Einot Telem, the ancient terrace agriculture typical of the area with its irrigation system will be recreated at the site of a small Jewish settlement – Bet Talma. The land (60 acres, 23 hectares) was purchased in 1906 and a two-story building intended for a soap and oil factory was planned (but not completed). In 1922 five Jewish families settled at Einot Telem, naming their settlement Emek HaArazim (the Valley of the Cedars). The site was abandoned during the 1929 Arab Riots and further settlement attempts were unsuccessful.

Jerusalem under Snow

Some tourists may be surprised to have woken up this morning to Jerusalem covered in a blanket of snow and unprepared for the colder temperatures of a Jerusalem winter. A local guide can ensure that you are prepared, keep warm and find places to go no matter what the weather. This morning was bright and sunny so I went for a walk in the neighborhood and took these photographs, a different view of the city.Hursha in snowWe live in the German Colony and nearby is the old leper hospital built in 1887 by renowned architect Conrad Schick.

Jesus Hilfe leper hospital

Trees in woods

Tree

Strange to have snow fall after the almond trees have blossomed. In our garden, the peach, apricot and apple tree were blossoming when the snow fell. The fields were covered with yellow mustard flowers and red anemone before they were covered by snow.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Sea

Although Israel is a small country it has about 200 km of Mediterranean coastline. There are many places along the coast where you can stand and look out to sea. In this post I’ve included 5 photographs of the sea, along the coast, from Ashkelon, Ashdod, Caesarea, HaBonim and Atlit – same sea but different geological features as we move up the coast.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Photo of the Week – Nahal Peratzim

A popular day trip from Jerusalem is to do Masada and Ein Gedi and then end the day with a float in the Dead Sea. I guided a family on this route last week. In thinking about it I want to suggest a different Judean desert trip. Visit the pools and waterfalls at Ein Gedi but instead of doing the crowded Nahal David (a nahal is a dry stream bed) hike to the hidden waterfall in Nahal Arugot, do Masada in the afternoon and end the day with a walk through Nahal Peratzim as the sun sets and the moon rises, a great family hike. This photo is Nahal Peratzim, a canyon between high walls of lissan marl. Clicking on the image will display it larger. Please share this post with your friends by clicking on the icons at the end of this message.

Nahal Peratzim

The technical details – the photo was taken with a Nikon point and shoot camera in April (ISO 100, 8mm, F7.6 at 1/100 sec).

Photographs on this website are © Shmuel Browns (unless marked otherwise) – if you are interested in purchasing one of my photos or using one of my photos for your own project please contact me.

Photo of the Week – Red Canyon Colors and Textures

When driving down to Eilat you can turn off of highway <90> and drive along highway <12> that runs along the border with Egypt. There’s a great family hike on the way, watch for Wadi Shani and hike the Red Canyon. This photo was taken at the entrance to the canyon. Clicking on the image will display it larger. Please share this post with your friends by clicking on the icons at the end of this message.

Red Canyon

The technical details – the photo was taken with a Nikon D90 (digital SLR) camera with a Nikkor 18-70mm lens in February (ISO 400, 18mm, F10 at 1/160 sec).

Photographs on this website are © Shmuel Browns (unless marked otherwise) – if you are interested in purchasing one of my photos or using one of my photos for your own project please contact me.

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Photo of the Week – Banias Stream

Last week I was guiding on the Golan, the weather was glorious and we hiked to the Banias waterfall in the Mount Hermon (Banias) nature reserve. If you haven’t been there for a while, the parks authority has installed a wooden walkway where you walk just above the Banias stream. FYI, the same admission fee also gives you entrance to the Banias archaeological park.

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The technical details – the photo was taken with a Nikon D70 digital SLR and 18-200mm lens in September (ISO 200, 18mm, F7.1 at 1/30 sec).

The Banias Spring emerges at the foot of Mount Hermon and flows powerfully through a canyon for 3.5 km, eventually cascading over a cliff, not the highest but probably the most impressive waterfall in Israel. Nine kilometers from its source, the stream meets the Dan and together they form the Jordan River that flows into the Sea of Galilee.

From Banias we drove to the village of Nimrod, the highest settlement in Israel at 1110 meters to taste some artisan cheeses at the Witch’s Cauldron and Milkman restaurant. On display were some oil paintings by the artist Diego Goldfarb (whose gallery is next door) – I liked  one of the Banias stream (photo taken with my iPhone). If there are any artists out there who would be interested in doing paintings from my photos please contact me.

Banias

Please share this post with your friends by clicking on the icons at the end of this message.

Photographs on this website are © Shmuel Browns (unless marked otherwise) – if you are interested in purchasing one of my photos or using one of my photos for your own project please contact me.

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