Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Another Epic Day


Another Epic Day... the outline:
Tel Dan, the Dan River, the first truly cold (mountain) water at the wading pool
Bannias Waterfall, "The Fish Frenzy at..."
Har Harmon, the view of Israel's only chair lift
Tee Pee at Nimrod
Dinner at the Witch's Cauldron and the Milkman
Tee Pee, campfire, teaching Micah how to whistle, sitting inside the fast moving mountain clouds, passing cars providing us with a light show...
The first cold night in the mountains, practically the highest point in Israel - getting acclamated for a brief moment to the weather back home
sitting at the campfire, thinking about the journey home, remembering the paradox of choice, a trip never to be forgotten...

The details:
We woke up and had breakfast at the Safed Hostel, hopped in the car and drove out of Tsfat. When we got to the main road we pulled over to check the map and the phone rang, my best friend from junior high, "Marc with a C" calling to see where I was. We will see each other in a day or two for the first time in at least 25 years.

Onward we drove to Tel Dan Nature Reserve where the Dan River roars. It was a great forested trail to some ancient ruins and along some beautiful clear streams next to the fast moving water of the Dan River. There was an ankle deep wading pool along the trail where we experienced the first naturally cold water in Israel! Just before leaving the trail we bumped into three young boys, Micah's age, who were fishing! They had these metal tubes with a line and a hool and some sort of bait made from bread. We watched them for a little while and tried talking to them. Micah saw a fish swim right by their baited hook.

We continued onward to the Bannias Waterfall, a short hike along another stream of water, super clear, rocky forested, this trail was built suspended over the river and then down to a path to the clear pools and the beautiful long rushing waterfall. On the way we stopped by this clear pool of slower water and we spotted like 6 trout just swimming around...

That's when we really wished we had a fishing rod, my 2 weight would have been perfect. I had asked Dori about fly fishing and he said it wasn't allowed, but he knew the guy who was in charge and they never checked or really cared so we probably could have fished. That's when I remembered the potato chips and got a big devilish smile on my face. I looked at Micah, "we could throw down a potato chip .." and the fish went crazy, there must have been 100 fish jumping and splashing, trying to eat the chip. At one point I tried to catch a fish with my hat, but that didn't work, but it was fun. We sat there in the shade and enjoyed the fish frenzy (see video) and then moved onto the waterfall.

And then to our next stop, the Bannias springs, which was the home of more ancient ruins, a palace built by Agrippa, one of Herod's sons. and we saw more fish, big fish swimming in the calm pools created by the springs.

And then we drove to Mt. Hermon, the Israeli ski area, we got there too late to ride the chair lift to the top, but we enjoyed taking pictures and seeing Israel's only ski mountain, which is more or less the Explorer Chair of Big Sky, not even, you can see the top from the bottom.

And then we drove onto Nimrod where we found Avi and his 3 tee pees, no one else there, so we picked out the best tee pee, set some stuff inside and since we hadn't really eaten since breakfast walked down the street to this turns out to be super high end fancy restaurant in the middle of the nowhere called the Witch's Cauldron and the Milkman.

The food was exquisite, delicious soups, Micah had truffle raviolis in a cream sauce, he loves truffles and I had their special local lamb stew, unbelievable and then would you believe Micah's favorite... a chocolate molten cake for dessert! What a celebration meal!

Back at the tee pee we read our books. Avi came by and we made a camp fire and Micah and I sat outside watching the flames of the fire, just hanging out. It was actually a bit chilly out, up so high in the mountains, it was the first time we were almost cold. I taught Micah how to whistle, didn't know he didn't know how and he got it. When cars drove up the road you could see how foggy it was, we were sitting in the middle of fast moving clouds. The cars created a light show for us as they drove by. As the fire died out we headed to bed. What a great day!

In the morning I woke Micah up at around 6 am and we watched the sunrise up over Nimrod Castle, up over Mt. Hermon. It was somewhat similar to watching the sunrise over porcupine and Ramshorn from our house in Big Sky... then we went back to sleep...

this sign is the marker of the most successful advertising campaign in Israel according to Dori and Drori, it was something drummed into kids from an early age and no one in Israel ever picks wildflowers...hmmmm...

the fish frenzy...

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