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In apocalyptic literature, Mount Megiddo, the hill overlooking the Kishon River valley is identified as the site of the final battle between the forces of good and evil at the end of time, known as Armageddon (mentioned in the New Testament in Revelation).
The word Armageddon comes from Hebrew har məgiddô, meaning "Mountain of Megiddo or "place surrounded by hills". Megiddo was the location of many decisive battles in ancient times. The town Megiddo is approximately 40 km west of the southern tip of the Sea of Galilee (or Lake Tiberias to the Romans).
It is located 15 km south-west of Nazareth.
Written Jul 19, 2010
Ramat Rachel is a kibbutz located south of Jerusalem, as an enclave within Jerusalem's municipal boundaries. Overlooking Bethlehem and Rachel's Tomb and situated within the Green Line.
East of the road which links Bethlehem to Jerusalem, a hill of obvious strategic importance commands a panoramic view southwards over the city and beyond. Kibbutz Ramat Rachel, located atop this hill, has a bird's eye view of the Bethlehem - Jerusalem road.
Written Jul 19, 2010
There are plenty of crusaders relics in Israel. This fortress is one of the better looking ones. The Hebrew name is Kokhav Ha'Yarden (the Star of Jordan). The Arabic name is "Kaukab al-Hawa" (the Star of Winds). When you visit here and stand at the top, overlooking the Jordan valley, you'll understand both names. You will also see why it was called "Belvoir" (Fair View) by the crusaders.
Updated Feb 24, 2010
How long does it take take to cross Israel all the way from north to south?
Less than one day if you are driving (a distance of about 470 km). But there is another way, an 850 km-long hiking trail from the northern end of Israel (Tel Dan) to its southern end (Eilat).
There are many well-marked nature trails all over Israel. The "Israel Trail" project ("Shvil Yisrael") undertook to incorporate many of the existing trails, plus new ones, into a unique continuous trail, crossing the whole country and including some of the best views and some of the most interesting sites. Many different landscapes, mountains, fields and meadows, rocks and deserts, springs and flowing streams, archeological sites, all of these can be seen along the trail. And the great advantage is that you get to appreciate the true nature of the land. Hiking the Israel Trail is a hike through history. You can feel the spirit of the land of the Bible, something you often miss driving on the highways. On the other hand, on the Israel Trail you can also get a more intimate feel of everyday life in modern Israel.
So - look for the orange-blue-white mark of the Israel Trail, and start walking!
Don't let the 850km length intimidate you: If you have enough time and energy you can choose to do a long stretch of the trail, but you can also choose a short segment of a few kilometers only.
Updated Jun 13, 2009
For those who like hiking, the Jerusalem Post produced a great book in English with approx 25 walks, from simple one hour ones through to 15kms circulars. Although written back in 1991, many of the walks are still current and are easily traced (although because of the current security situation, the walks in the Judaean desert/hills to the east of Jerusalem are not a good idea). Walks are also categorised in terms of ease (or difficulty!) and approx length. Readily available in book shops, I have used it a lot, particularly in the Golan Heights and the Galillee region. Chances are you'll meet very few people, particularly on the longer hikes (except at the beginning or where the track takes you to past a more popular spot). Some of these walks really do take you off the beaten path.
Images are from the El Al walk in the Golan Heights - a 15kms hike through the south-eastern Golan Heights. It's 7 hours, and hard work!
Updated Apr 13, 2008
Utopia is an orchid park near Hadera / Netanya and Bet lid junction on a kibbutz called Bachan.
You can find here orchids , winged animals for children , butterflies.
The park is open from 8:00 to 17:00 during the week.
A ticket will cost 50 nis.
Written Mar 8, 2008
The parrots ranch is located in Kefar Hess , in the middle of the Sharon , close to Kefar Saba and Raanana (on Route 4).
Inside the ranch you will find a big room with parrots , other animals to feed and to pet.
This is a place mainly for children but even adult people will enjoy holding a parrot.
Entrance will cost 25 nis for an adult and 35 for a children (not a mistake here).
The place is open from 10:00 to 16:00 during the week but on friday 10:00-15:00 and saturday 10:00-17:00.
If you want a parrot you can also buy here.
Written Mar 1, 2008
a small art gallery with art from israeli artist reuben reuben. has some very nice pictures, and very low entrance fee. you can see the development in reuben's work: from his early work, to his later work.
Written Jan 6, 2008
Located in the region of Samaria or the 'West Bank' for the media fed person lies a wonderful unobstructed view of the Jordan Valley, the hills of the Shomron and a distant view of the Dok Fortress over hanging the city of Jericho.
To get to this shangri -la take highway 1 out of Jerusalem heading west towards Jericho. At Ma'ale Adumim Junction make a left, this is highway 458 and it will take you to the turn off for the nature reserve.
As always caution and discretion should be used in this region and under no circumstances should you be in this area after dark.
Written Dec 8, 2007
There are two Beit El's today- the biblical place located in the now Arab village Beitin and the Jewish settlement across the valley that was incorporated in 1977. The pictues here are from the settlement which also lies on historic grounds. It should be understood that each location is approachable but it should be tackeld with a guide who knows the areas and protocol for the region.
The importance of Beth El can be found in Genesis 35
1 Then God said to Jacob, "Go up to Bethel and settle there, and build an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you were fleeing from your brother Esau."
2 So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, "Get rid of the foreign gods you have with you, and purify yourselves and change your clothes. 3 Then come, let us go up to Bethel, where I will build an altar to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and who has been with me wherever I have gone." 4 So they gave Jacob all the foreign gods they had and the rings in their ears, and Jacob buried them under the oak at Shechem. 5 Then they set out, and the terror of God fell upon the towns all around them so that no one pursued them.
6 Jacob and all the people with him came to Luz (that is, Bethel) in the land of Canaan. 7 There he built an altar, and he called the place El Bethel, because it was there that God revealed himself to him when he was fleeing from his brother.
Written Dec 8, 2007
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