Friday, April 27, 2012

Israel Day 5 Part I – The Cow Patties of Arbel


The day started out so innocently enough.  A brief breakfast followed by a bus ride to a local hiking spot: The Cliffs of Arbel.  Now the use of the cliffs of Arbel date back to at least Roman times, where the Jewish community of Arbel attempted to hide from King Herod during his ‘conquest’ of Israel.  However Herod simply lowered his men in baskets down to the caves where the uprising was quickly quelled.

So fast forward a little over two thousand years when nine of us decided to take on these cliffs.  It is actually a well marked trail which does require some dexterity and exertion.  However what we were not prepared for was what was waiting for us all along the trail: cow patties.  Apparently, ever since the conquest of Arbel … ok so much more recently, farmers have given the use of the land over to their herds.  So as we were busily climbing up and down these cliffs and wandering around in the caves, we discovered that the cows were equally if not more proficient at the same task.  It was a trifle humbling to say the least.

But truth be told, it was a great way to start the morning.  Many jokes were shared, and there were only a few slips along the way.  Thankfully everyone came out unscathed and happier for having partaken of this experience.

It was one of those, when in Israel kind of excursions.  And I for one am glad I woke up early to join in the fun.  Plus we discovered that the caves are more spacious with better lighting than many Manhattan apartments.  Now all they need is a Starbucks at the top of Arbel, and all will be right with the world.

This is the cliff face looking up - I borrowed this picture from the web as
I did not want to risk losing my camera

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