University of Haifa International School Student Blog
A couple of weeks ago, the University took us on a trip to the Golan Heights, near the Syrian border. It was really a fantastic time. We were hiking along the tributaries that feed into the Jordan river. It was very beautiful. The landscape reminded me of Upper Bidwell Park in Chico, Ca. The few trees were mostly Scrub Oak, and volcanic rock was scattered throughout the area. We hiked in and out of three different canyons. I don’t remember the names of them. I’m thinking that next time I go, I’ll bring a pad of paper and a pen so that I can keep notes.
The first swimming spot was a large pool of water that was fed by a small waterfall. The water was quite cold and as I was swimming out to the point where the waterfall entered I began to be concerned as to whether my body would manage. It did but, I didn’t spend any more time in the pool then necessary. The other pool that we swam in the first day had a much larger water fall, maybe fifty feet. Again I swam out to the waterfall prompted by the challenge and the rare opportunity. To say that the water was very refreshing would be putting it mildly! When I finally got out to the falls I promptly turned around and swam back. It was worth it, the refreshing chill of the water was wonderful. It seems that most difficult endeavors are always worth more upon completion then during the actual endeavor. There is something about being safe, on friendly, warm and dry shores that allows for reflection in a positive light.
That night we stayed in a very nice, rather first class, guest house. We made a large fire, cooked a Shabbos dinner and sat around singing songs, playing games and otherwise having a bit of fun together. In the morning we had a five star breakfast, buffet style. It was truly fabulous! And we were off early to another hike. We were in the same general area, hiking in and out of small canyons, a little more difficult than the day before. We went to another swimming hole, the water came rushing down smooth rocks into a large pool. It provided an opportunity for hiking up the creek along the rocks. It’s rather hard to explain the scene, but (on a slight but, worthy tangent) I sent my camera in to get repaired. I just received a letter from GE, the company repairing the camera; they have determined that the camera was defective and will be sending me another one in 21 days. Since it will be sent to my NY address I probably won’t be getting it until sometime in Jan. So, soon I’ll actually be able to send you pictures of my stay here in Israel. We continued hiking for the better part of the day visiting a water fall that was much less voluminous then the earlier ones. We were actually able to stand under it and rinse off before eating lunch. When we finished the hike, Tomer bought ice cream popsicles for everyone as we waited for the second group to come back.
I really enjoyed the trip. Our guides Aron, Israel, and two others whose names I forget, were very nice. The Madrichim were awesome as usual. Thanks go out to Avichai and Tomer a couple of first class gentleman. This weekend I’m in Jerusalem, so when I get back to the University and have some time I’ll share this wonderful adventure with you as well.