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Old 03-20-2012, 02:26 PM   #16
bearcat1
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Thanks for sharing MadMax!
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Old 03-21-2012, 09:08 AM   #17
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Ruins... of War

Today, I explored the Golan Heights battlefields. Israel has been the scene of many wars over thousands of years. The most recent one in the Golan Heights, was the Yom Kippur war of 1973. Many of the memorial sites in the Golan, are from that war. The battlefield sites are spread out all across the Golan, and it is hard to drive anywhere and NOT notice the ruins of war. These ruins of war are a part of life here. It is not pretty, but there is no denying that it is fascinating to explore...




My road of choice on the weeTEN. It is exceedingly competent and comfortable as a dirt road traveler.


The Golan Heights is a huge, high plain rising up from the East side of the Sea of Galilee. In many places, it still has barbed wire fences and land mine postings.


But, most of the war ruins are far removed from inhabited areas, and are mostly in agricultural regions. The border with Syria is closely monitored by the U.N. Here is a lonely looking outpost.


You can see Syria, beyond the U.N. outpost


This is what the border fence looks like


There were lots of Birds of Prey nesting in the trees along the road, and unfortunately, I disturbed them


The rains have put the shell craters to good use for the cattle and critters


There is an active IDF base atop this volcanic dome, and below it a strip mine operation


A couple of closer views


A view of the volcanic rock products being mined


The Golan Heights from atop the volcanic dome


A strange roadside sculpture


Fortunately, now, the Golan Heights is a very peaceful region of Israel. So peaceful that a nap in the sun is possible!


Can you see the hooded crow on the back of the roan horse? The crow had a beak full of horse hair! I saw it pull the horse's mane. I've seen cattle egrets on horse back, but never a crow. Guess the horse needed a trim.


This creek had many singing frogs in it. It is wonderful to live in an area where the only sounds you hear are from nature.


A riot of color


A "TEL" is a hill in Hebrew. I turned into this bunker site that overlooks Syria.


An Artillery piece "guarding" the Tel's entrance. Did you note the one dimensional "soldiers" on the hill?


The Tel's heavily guarded ridgetop fortifications


The parapet walk on top of the bunker installation


Examples show how it once looked


Inside a bunker tunnel



Only cattle in the killing fields, below



Amongst the war ruins, there are gorgeous places in the Golan


A local sunbather



The Golan Heights of today is a peaceful, rural, community. This is an Artist's village in the Golan Heights





Thanks for sharing the exploration of these military ruins. Let's pray for the peace of Jerusalem! I'll be back with another ride report, soon!
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Old 03-21-2012, 02:22 PM   #18
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Cool shots!

Not exactly what I expected Israel to look like.

Thanks for taking us along for the ride!








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Old 03-21-2012, 06:21 PM   #19
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Thank you for sharing MadMax, Israel is a beautiful country that I would really like to visit. Oh, and by the way, that is a really nice bike you have there!
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Old 03-22-2012, 08:23 PM   #20
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Loverly!~

Did you ship your bike over?
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Old 03-22-2012, 10:37 PM   #21
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Shipping

Terri,

No, the weeTEN is not available in the U.S. I looked into shipping my KTM but from my research and what the shipping company told me, it is impossible for new residents to import a motorcycle.

Thanks to all who have browsed the pix!
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Old 03-22-2012, 11:07 PM   #22
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Love your pics and report! I lived in Beer Sheva two years so I have seen almost all the places you have shown so far. Are you planning to head south at all? I am subscribed!
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Old 03-22-2012, 11:47 PM   #23
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Around the Sea of Galilee

Today, the weather was delightful, about 70F. I headed down from the No. Golan Heights, toward the lower Golan, and eventually rode around the Sea of Galilee. Of course most of the Western world knows why the Sea of Galilee is famous, so I will tell you that it is very important to Israel because it provides 1/3 of the water for the entire country! Well, let's get going![/SIZE]

In Hebrew, the Sea of Galilee is called; "Yam Kinneret".


The Bazalet water fall is flowing beautifully on it's way to the Kinneret. The water from this stream and the Daliyot stream provided the needs for the ancient city of Gamla, which is nearby. (Another report about Gamla will be forthcoming)


The spring flowers even sprout up amongst the rocks- Life will find a way...


Israel's national flower- Red Poppy


Gamla is the ridge in the center. It is named after it's "camel hump" appearance. The steep, sheer face of the ridge was the scene of a particularly tragic episode in Jewish history. Per Josephus, the Roman Legions commanded by Titus and his father, Vespesian attacked Gamla. As with almost all Roman campaigns, they prevailed, and rather than submitting to death and torture, over 5,000 Jews jumped off the cliffs to their deaths. The story is similar to what occurred at the much more famous Herodian fortress of Masada. (But both will be covered in other trips!)


Further down the Bethsaida valley, we finally catch a glimpse of the Kinneret! The Kinneret appears to be something of the size of Lake Tahoe, Cal. but that is just a guess on my part.


I had a hankering for some fresh Talapia (St. Peter's fish) so I stopped at the En Gev restaurant, which is a BIG tourist attraction, due to it's nice docks and great food! After a floating tour of the Sea of Galilee, the tourists work up a big appetite! Here comes a boat load now!


Ahhh! Israel's King of Beers...


The tourists hail from all over the world!


O.K. after just the one... and some tasty Shawarma made with grilled fish and eggplant, I'm ready to ride! Up the hill...


Back up on the lower Golan Heights, near Hispin, there are vast farms...


And then suddenly the Golan Heights drops down toward the Jordanian border, on a riotous road with 10 mph hairpin turns!


A couple of folks out for a putt on the same road...


This was my first time on this road with the weeTen and I did not want to end up like this poor soul...


I rode up to a lookout, and the edge of the cliff is literally just below the bike. No fences.


The bridge over the river Kwai? No this river separates the Israeli and Jordanian borders...


So I made it back down to the shores of the Kinneret safely and headed N/W toward the big city of Tiberias, on the shore of the Lake. Tiberias sits on the cliff faces of the Kinneret basin on the western side, across from the Golan.


The shoreline access near the city is enjoyed by all, including these young Orthodox Jews.


Mt. Arbel rises up from the Kinneret...


A banana plantation on the edge of the Kinneret!


On the north end of the Kinneret, I climbed back into the forests of the Golan Heights, toward home.



The Sea of Galilee area is always one of the stops on almost every tour of Israel. As you can see, it is worth the visit! I'll be back after Shabbat with another ride. Thanks for stopping in!
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Old 03-22-2012, 11:54 PM   #24
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Leat, leat...

Quote:
Originally Posted by tuffstuff View Post
Love your pics and report! I lived in Beer Sheva two years so I have seen almost all the places you have shown so far. Are you planning to head south at all? I am subscribed!

Thanks for having a look. Yes I will head to the central and southern areas of Israel, little by little. Since I live in the far North, I started up here. I've actually never been to Beer Sheva, so that will be interesting. Shalom!
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Old 03-23-2012, 12:10 AM   #25
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Wow. So many cool place to go before I die. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 03-23-2012, 12:32 AM   #26
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Not exactly how I pictured Israel either. TV gives us such a distorted view of reality.
Of course I wouldn't travel in the US either if I depended on the news to show me how things are here.
Still, it's a shame that so many beautiful places in the world have so much fighting and hatered associated with them.

In Sunday School, I've heard about the Jordan River ever since I was just a munchkin. Considering it's place in history I expected it to be huge. What a suprise.
My wife said it looks a lot like the Jordan River in Utah.

Thanks for sharing your trips and pictures Mad Max. More please.
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Old 03-23-2012, 01:58 AM   #27
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Got several good friends in the Isral Varadero Riders Club. Have seen tourreports from them several times. Love the area; for its historical monuments, nature and landscape. Stunning country.

And despite the troubles in that part of the World... Its great to notice that motorcycling overcomes any religion, politics or racial differences.

Every one should start riding bikes!
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:44 AM   #28
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Short ride, stormy day!

So the weather reports said there was a 50% chance of thuderstorms, but I saw some clear sky, so I donned the weatherproof gear and headed out Wednesday.




As I drove past one of the Golan's windmill farms, I took a brief trip down a Eucalyptus lined dirt road.


The roads here in the Golan are blessedly free from traffic. The biggest hazard comes from the open range style cattle, and the giant black wild boars! Many of my neighbors have had serious accidents hitting critters, up here. Sometimes I wish I had ABS in case of such an encounter. Here is how the road looked today



More in a few hours...
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Old 03-30-2012, 02:01 AM   #29
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Short ride, (con't.)

Well I was sidetracked overnight and couldn't finish the post, but here it is now!



My apologies to Darth Peach, but I could not resist her idea for a shot on a lonely road



I road up to the EL AL stream and water falls. Two large bus loads of kids from Arab villages were taking the 2 hour trail hike to the waterfalls. They seemed very excited. At the same time, a group of IDF soldiers were touring the area as well. Everyone getting along, and no apparent animosity being displayed between the groups.


The valley, below the lookout, is magnificent, as the water cuts an ancient course down to the Sea of Galilee.


The area around the Kinneret is absolutely bursting with color from wild flowers!


I rode down another valley to an overlook of the Kinneret


And stopped for a break and a packed lunch


But shortly after I ate, I saw this ominous looking sight coming across the Lake at me! The winds began to blow hard and I saw small boats beating it back to the shoreline, so I donned my jacket, just in time as I was pelted with a strong thundershower. It was over in about 15 minutes, but with not much cover, I was in it for the duration.


It stopped raining hard, so I continued down the valley and rode toward the the old TransJordan area, that is a valley between the hills of Jordan and Judea/Samaria (in U.N. parlance, the West Bank) regions. The valley, below is where the Jordan river makes up the border between the two countries.


A light drizzle continued to fall, but it was interesting to see these odd looking trees populating the hills. The Park Authority pamphlet described them as "Christ thorn" trees.



On the way back home, the rain stopped and a bit of blue sky popped out amongst the towering cumulus. The winds were cold though, so I cut my ride short and raced home to a hot toddy!




Thanks for looking, once again. Passover is at the end of next week, so I will post another installment in a week and a half. If you have time off this Spring, I hope you get to enjoy it RIDING! Safe Travels!
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Old 03-30-2012, 02:40 AM   #30
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The Land of Milk and Honey!
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