In 1905 the "Jezreel Valley Railroad" started operating, constructed by the Ottomans to connect the port of Haifa in the Land of Israel and Damascus in Syria.
Kibbutz Yagur is located on this railway, and the train provided an important means of transportation for the kibbutz members who worked in the Haifa port and in the Nesher cement factory. A single small 3-room stone building was used as office, passenger waiting room and also lodging for the railroad keeper.
Between the railroad tracks and the station eucalyptus, cypress and palm trees were planted. Water supply was obtained from a well dug 260 meters to the west of the station building, a must for the steam-operated locomotives of that era.
The Jezreel Valley Railroad ceased to operate in 1948.
At the back of kibbutz Yagur rises the green forested slope of the Carmel Mountain. The Ashedot Yagur Nature Reserve offers hiking trails up Nahal Nahash ("Snake Creek").
We took this trail going downhill from the Carmel View Scenic Route (halfway down from the top of Mt. Carmel). The trail forms part of "The Israel Trail", which courses along the lengeth of Israel from north to south, and is marked with the colors white, orange and blue along the way.
It took us about 2 hours to hike down to kibbutz Yagur, in the midst of a natural Mediterranean forest of oaks and a variety of other trees, dotted with typical Israeli wild flowers (including tulips). Through openings in the forest we could see the great view of the Zevulun Valley underneath, all the way to the mountain ranges of the Lower Galilee, and the coastline along the Haifa Bay to Acre and then further north to the Lebanese border.
I recommend this trail - for the pleasant forest hiking, for the wild flowers and for the great views.
Nomi Faran, a local sculptor from kibbutz Yagur, started her sculpting career at the age of 38; she had worked in the kibbutz's tree nursery until then. Her gallery features her works in stone, marble, wood and bronze.
Her sculptures are very original and different from one another, some figurative and some abstract. One recurring motif is gymnasts and athletes in action; another motif is motherhood.
We had the pleasure of meeting Nomi in her gallery and listening to her talk about her work: when she looks at a slab of stone or a tree trunk she "sees the figures hiding in them", and uses her chisels and other tools to "let this figure out". We toured her atelier and watched a video documenting her at work on the large wooden sculpture "Four Mothers" (see photo).
We were also very lucky that Nomi took off the protective cover off her largest wooden sculpture (4.5 meters high) so that we could see it and admire it.