We were actually quite tired from the previous day, the heat was on again, and both Ida and I hadn't slept that much. So not too much on for today, Friday September 18. First we went to the top of Baha'i Gardens, from where you have a good overview of the North East of the city.

We didn't enter the gardens (all costs money), but it's clearly a garden where a lot of money is spend on.

The next thing we wanted to see was about 44 kilometres away, the location where Elijah and the priests of Baal contented and where he perhaps saw a little cloud coming out of the sea. Unfortunately another church was built on this place, and it was closed between 12.30pm and 14.30pm. We arrived at 12.50pm. You couldn't really see a lot there or check this might have been the location. Moreover, not all of us would be able to enter, as shorts were forbidden (happens at more sites). So we drove to the beach. Here Haifa, the backdrop for the beach.

And here the kids in the Great Sea, or Mediterranean Sea in modern language.

Today was also Rosh Hashana, the start of the new year. It's also the first of the High Holidays, a series of Jewish holidays. The American land lady of the B&B told as that at Rosh Hashana the Jews eat apple dipped in honey, as a wish for  sweet new year. She herself had a dinner, so we had the house all to ourselves. Ida had cooked a meal, but a friend of hers had brought us some apples so we could also hopefully receive the taste of a sweet new year (it didn't help, see one of the next stories).

From Tiberias to Dan to Haifa

On Thursday September 17 we left our guest house, and went past one more site next to Tiberias: the location of the sermon on the mount. This is the Sea of Galilee, taken from the supposed location.

Unfortunately the site (if this is the site) is, again, spoiled by the Roman Catholics, who build another set of buildings here, and masses and what have you going on all the time.

It also doesn't really look (any more) like a suitable location. Here the car park.

Next we drove all the way North, to the most Northern point of ancient and current Israel: Dan. This is at the foot of Mount Hermon. It is also the location where the Jordan finds it origins. We went there to see both. Below us at the main source of the Jordan. The Jordan is fed by many springs, but this is by far the most important.

The springs originate from rain and snowfall on Mount Hermon and find their way through the rock and emerge here. It doesn't look like much, but a few hundred metres from here all this water has combined into this:

And maybe a 50 kilometres (??) South the Jordan looks like this:

And here the location where Jeroboam built his altar and put his golden calf.

There is also a platform as the Romans also built a temple here.

The Israeli border is also near by. In 1964 Israel and Syria fought a minor war here as Syria attempted to divert Jordan's biggest spring for its own use. Israel paved a road along the border, so they could patrol it I presume. I think this might be one of the bulldozers used for that project.


Israeli patrol along the road they paved:

And then we came to the city of Dan, formerly Laish. As the Bible says in Judges 18:29 "And they called the name of the city Dan, after the name of Dan their father, who was born unto Israel: howbeit the name of the city was Laish at the first." These ruins are now also famous for the Tel Dan Stele, the first inscription outside the Bible that mentions the house of David.

At Dan we also saw a fairly large lizzard, hand-sized. I had seen a bigger one at the Sea of Galilee already, but this was the first time the kids saw a really big lizzard.

Below is Abraham's gate, so called because the gate is dated to the patriarchical era, and because Abraham traveled to Dan to rescue his brother Lot: "And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained [servants], born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued [them] unto Dan."

All this walking and the heat, 35C if not more, makes one very hot. Here Auke dipping his head into a pool.

And then it was time to drive all the way West, to Haifa. Here our B&B. It's called the quiet place. It was cheap, so won't complain too much, but it wasn't that quiet, being woken up at 5:30 by the lcoal garbage collection. It also didn't have an airco unfortunately.

For me the day wasn't over as I had to drive down the Tel Aviv at night to meet with a Canadian client who happened to be in Israel at this time. So that was another 1.5 hours South, and then back. It was past 12 when I was back in Haifa.

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