Monday, June 16, 2008

Golan Heights 4: Up to the Heights

The Golan Heights, as their name indicates, are at a relatively high altitude. I say "relatively" as they only appear to be at great altitude because the surrounding landscape, the Jordan Valley and the Kinerret (Sea of Galilee) are hundreds of meters below sea level. The highest point on the Golan is only about 520 meters above sea level.

The ascent is hilly and winding. This is the same Syrian-African rift valley which stretches the entire length of Israel beyond the Dead Sea.

On the eastern shore of the Kinerret, looking across at Tveryah (Tiberius).
Climbing the winding road to the Golan Heights. The small hill in the middle of the valley is the ruins of Sussita, the Roman administrative capital of the Golan Heights in ancient times.

We pass by Neot Golan, one of many small rural Jewish settlements dotting the region.

One of the geographic surprizes of the Golan Heights is that, despite the hilly ascent, once you pass the first wave of hills, the region suddenly becomes perfectly flat.

The religious settlement of Chispin.

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