Excursion to the North

by Ayala Shalmayev

Hardly anyone stays home during the Passover vacation. Join Israel Today staff member Ayala on her trip to the flourishing Galilee

Photo: Ayala Shalmayev

We really enjoyed being able to move freely again after being locked down for Passover 2020! After celebrating the Passover Seder at home with family, we headed north to Akko to visit my husband’s family. Even the 1.5-hour drive there was pleasant. We can still enjoy the green landscape with all the flowers, but that will soon be over as summer approaches and the rain will say goodbye for a few months.

The large family gathering in Akko, accompanied by much food, was wonderful. On Sunday morning, we set off again, this time to visit all the beautiful places in the flourishing Galilee. First we drove to the Me’arat Keshet (מערת קשת), which translates to “Arch Cave.” It’s no longer a cave after much of it collapsed, leaving a large and impressive stone arch. Keshet is also the Hebrew word for “rainbow,” as well as many other things with an arch shape.

The Arch (or Rainbow) Cave

As you can see in the above photo, there were a number of very brave people rappelling down the arch. You can’t see it in the photo, but it’s a long way down to the ground below. From up top next to the arch, we had a wonderful view all the way to the sea.

In the back right of the picture is the border of Lebanon

The only less-than-pleasant part was needing to cross over the top of the arch to continue our hike. As I said, the drop on either side is precipitous, and to say that I was stressed walking across with all the children would be an understatement.

Later we met a herd of goats

From there we drove on a bit further to a place from where you can marvel at the imposing Montfort Castle.

Montfort Castle

The Montfort is a former Crusader fortress located in the mountains of the Galilee only a few kilometers south of the Lebanese border. The fortress was built around 1100-1150 AD. Unfortunately, there was no time left to go to Montfort and explore the ruins. We had to make our way home slowly, as we all had to get up early for school and work on Monday.

It was a very eventful Passover vacation and it was good for body and soul to be on the road again in our beautiful country!

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