We boarded our bus at 8:00 for what proved to be an informative and most enjoyable day – touring the northern Galilee.
Our first stop was the Hula Nature Reserve. We were treated to a 3D audio-visual presentation complete with moving seats, depicting the migration of birds coming from Europe and going to the warmer climates of Africa (in the fall and reversing this trip in the spring). Following the movie, we walked through the reserve where we saw water buffalo, assorted ducks, pelicans, Kingfishers and many other birds and HUGE catfish and nutria. The weather was perfect and with our knowledgeable guide, Neil Eisenstadt, it was a very pleasant hour and short hike!!
Our next stop was the restored village of Katzrin built during the Hellenistic Period. Here we saw a restored home and learned the way people lived when this was a large and busy city. We went to the synagogue where we held a service, the Yartzeit honoring Susan’s Mother. After all this walking we were ready for a lunch break. The big treat came after lunch where we visited a boutique chocolate factory (De Karina) located in Kibbutz Ein Zivan, Golan Heights. We watched chocolates being made and were then given the opportunity to make our own chocolate balls with a variety of coatings. We even were able to eat them – a chocoholic’s dream!
Our last stop was the site of a major tank battle during the Yom Kippur War between October 8 – 10 in 1973. This took place on the Golan Heights between a vastly outnumbered Israeli tank corp and a much better equipped Syrian Corp. This resulted in many dead Israeli soldiers and commanders. After viewing a moving film we were taken to the Kunitra lookout overlooking the Field of Tears, where the battle took place. Neil described the old and inferior equipment that the Israelis had. The Israeli victory was a turning point in the 1973 War.
We returned to our present base at Kibbutz Gonen tired but very satisfied about a wonderful day.
After dinner, one of the founders of the Kibbutz spoke to us about the kibbutz life, especially living along the border of Syria. Tomorrow we will be returning to Tel Aviv for Shabbat. I am sure we will have another interesting tour day….what else can we expect???
Love to family and friends,