Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Paradise On Earth

The view from our hike stroll.

In the Bible, King Saul, Israel's first King, led a charge against the Philistines at Mount Gilboa (1 Samuel 28:4). The battle ends with the king falling on his own sword and Saul's sons, Jonathan, Abinadab, and Melchishua being killed in battle (1 Samuel 31:1-4). Wikipedia

At Gan HaMa'ayanot
I call this one "10" 😋
Our Independence Day holiday - Day 2 took us to Paradise on Earth. (See Day 1 here.)Of course you have to earn your place in Paradise - everybody knows that. So before trying to go there we went on a short hike. Normally I hate hiking in Israel because it invariably involves climbing or walking over rocks. Remember this disastrous outing? But this time we walked on a smooth path towards the enchanted natural pools of Gan HaMa'ayanot (Spring Park - as in natural springs).

Entrance is free. You only start paying for things if you visit the shop, the cafe, hire bikes, or pay for a cart to drive you to the springs.

We frolicked in the first pool on the route. DD was't too sure about the tiny fish that come to nibble your feet but you pay a fortune for this treatment at a spa so I was up for it.

You can choose from several routes of varying degrees of length and wetness. You can opt to take the paths between the pools or walk through the streams that connect them. After the first pool we opted to walk straight back to the car and head for the real jewel in the crown.

Sakhne to my left....
Gan Hashlosha (Park of Three, I think it means three pools), also called Sakhne, is a place dear to my heart. When we arrived on our kibbutz in September 1981 for our gap year, one of the very first places they took us to was Sakhne. I have a very clear memory of my future b-i-l and another boy throwing me off the bridge and into the water head first. I was terrified as I fell but then it was fine of course. And though it's one of the most beautiful places in Israel, I've not been back in almost 38 years.

... and Sakhne to my right. 
We were lucky on two accounts. Firstly it was still April so not too hot. And secondly it was the first Friday of Ramadan so it was much less crowded than on a normal Friday. Oh and a third lucky thing - we didn't arrive on the same day that the Azerbaijani contestants recorded their intro video for Eurovision. (Ahh so that's why you recognize it. Yup).

It cost something to get in - I think about 65 shekels per family of two.

And, unlike God, on the third day we rested. except that it was like God because our third day was His seventh ifyswim.


  1. What a gorgeous spot! You certainly lucked out with your timing as well.

    1. It really is gorgeous. And yes, we planned that it wouldn't be as hot as high summer of course but we'd completely forgotten about Ramadan and expected it to be a lot more crowded.