Golan Heights, Israel (A hike, waterfall, & fortress)

by Funhog Family on April 5, 2014

Oh how sweet the sound!!!

Break Time

Dan's City Gate

Wet Feet

If I was going to live in Israel and got to pick my location, it would definitely be the Golan Heights area. You quickly get used to the armor clad Humvee’s with machine guns on top and all the signs warning you to not go off the road or trail due to the unmarked land mines. The scenery more than makes up for those minor annoyances. Today we got the opportunity to hike in the Tel Dan Nature Reserve. Once we were on the trail we learned that it was here Abraham came to rescue his nephew Lot when he was captured along with the city of Sodom (Genesis 14:12-14). A little later we found out that Joshua led the tribe of Dan to victory over the Canaanites in this area too (Joshua 19:47). We also found the original city gate and walls for Dan during the period of the Israelite kingdom. There was an alter still intact in front of the city gate, which the signs said was like the one which Josiah would have destroyed in Judah (II Kings 23:8). After leaving Tel Dan we went to the Banias waterfall. The water was crystal clear blue, just like Mexico, and the waterfall was totally boatable, if they would have let you anywhere near the water. The crowds were oppressive though. Walking single file on a hiking trail was not much fun so we stayed less than an hour. Most places we go we are the only ones there as we try to avoid the tour bus crowds. Next we went to Nimrod’s Fortress. Talk about a kid’s playground! A huge stone fortress made for exploring, and they let you go everywhere. It is a must do place when in Israel. There was a lot of history to go along with the fortress, but it was such a cool place to be that we spent all of our time exploring instead of consuming all the information about it. So, when in Israel go to Golan!

Banias Waterfall

Nimrod's Fortress

Kendall’s take:
April 5th: Golan Heights (Parks, Ruins, and Falls)
We woke up at 8:00am, because we went to bed at 9:30pm. I jumped in the shower and finished it quick. When I got out, daddy jumped in and finished fast. As soon as he finished, we ran to the elevator to get an Israeli breakfast if we could before it ended. We each took a piece of bread, a crepe (thin pancake), some jelly to put on it, and a yogurt. As soon as I tasted the yogurt, I said with a puckered look on my face, “It’s not yogurt! It’s sour cream!!! “Daddy told me they don’t sweeten there yogurt, so it was still yogurt, but unsweetened. After I finished my meager breakfast, (without eating the rest of my yogurt), I ate a bowl of delicious cereal. It tasted exactly like honey nut O’s, and the corn flakes mommy buys at Trader Joes!!! After daddy finished his first plate full, he went back to try something Israeli (but not the fish). Well, he came back with a few samples (in case he didn’t like it) of cheese, olives, some yummy looking jello, and a few other little things. You should have been there to see the look on his face when he tasted the jello!!! He drank down all his water to quench the taste as I asked him, “What tastes bad?” He pointed at the jello and then said (when he had finished his water), “that is not jello! That is a bunch of fish!!!” Then he explained (according to it’s taste) what is was. He said, “They took fish, put it in the blender with a huge amount of salt, blended it up; and mixed it up with a little jello.” Then he asked me to east some so he could video me, but I said, “Only if you let me video you eating a big bite of it, again pretending you don’t know what it is.” (And as you probably guessed, he would not agree to those terms.) 🙂 We went back to our room and I read my letter from Mrs Jane Phillips. (Daddy asked some old friends of our to write me a letter to encourage me. And I can read one a day.) Well, this letter encouraged me a lot.

Don't step here!!!

Then we got in the car. Our plan was to go see Banias falls then drive up to Nimrod’s fortress, then try to see a memorial, then drive down around the sea of Kinnereth (Galilee). Then we read about Tel Dan. It sounded very, very cool and pretty. So we drove to it. Tel Dan is biblical; it is the place Abraham went to save Lot from his captors. It also is the place where Joshua led the people of Israel to victory. “Whinny the pooh” tree is a hallow tree on the hike, so it looks like pooh got honey out of it. The “wadding pool” is a shallow pool of water you can wade in. I did, but daddy had pants on and did not want to be wet (the water is halfway up to your knee). “Pistachio Look Out” is where you climb a lot of stairs to get to a beautiful lookout (I took a bunch of pictures) and the reason it’s called “Pistachio Lookout” is that there is a pistachio tree there (daddy informed me that he had never in his life seen a real pistachio tree). “The Garden of Eden” is a pretty loop in the walk that is a cool hike beside a stream that is very quiet (except with people) and there are lots of bumpy (the park people left the rocks as much as they could, adding a walkway when needed) fun rocks and in some places you walk across the stream on rocks. Also, the hike/walk is under the canopy of trees everywhere (wild fig trees, yum). You very seldom see a big patch of sun. The high place is an altar apparently built by King Jeroboam over the Lord’s altar. The Israelite gate leads to the city of Dan from the Israelite Kingdom time period. The Canaanite Gate is from that time period and completely in tact, with an arched entry, being one of the oldest complete arches in the world. That was the end of our walk (whew).

We drove up to a waterfall and then to Nimrod’s fortress. There were too many people at the waterfall, but the fortress was awesome! We met a couple at the fortress who told us that the lady use to do daddy/daughter adventures with her dad when she was younger! Then we drove back to the hotel.

Secret Tunnel

Fortress Fun

All Done (for today)


Jodi "Mom" April 6, 2014 at 6:43 am

Looks like you need a kayak!! Maybe next time, Love!

Jodi "Mom" April 6, 2014 at 6:49 am

Just finished reading. Sorry about the fish!!! But I laughed hard!

Amy "Sis" April 6, 2014 at 5:55 pm

Mom and Dad came up to visit before they leave for Montana and we all watched your video entries. Evan said “I’m SOOOOOO jealous! They’re so lucky! I want to go there!!!” So just know that the next time you need a partner for you adventures Evan has volunteered to go along with you and Kendal anywhere you tread. I know this is a priceless time for both of you and we’re thrilled for you both. Love you both and stay safe.

Funhog Family April 14, 2014 at 9:22 am

Thanks Sis! Tell Evan to come join us next time. 🙂

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