Golan Heights Travel Blog› entry 3 of 13 › view all entries
December 7th, 2007 – by: gopackjo
Today I woke up at about 3:30am, so I guess my jet lag is still in effect. The complimentary breakfast started an hour later today because it's Friday, so I got going a little later then I would have liked.
I headed north to Caesarea by about 10am. There was a pouring rainstorm and the wind was blowing up to 40mph, so traffic was crawling for a good way north out of Tel Aviv. I got to Caesarea National Park about 11:30am, and spent a few hours exploring the ruins.
Caesarea is a site that has ruins from five different eras dating back to the Romans. King Herod first built Caesarea in 25 B.C., and after the Romans were booted out of the area, there was a succesion of different empires that destroyed certain things, and added others.
I hit the road again headed towards Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee. It should have been a pretty short drive, but the roads were totally clogged with cars. Friday being the start of the Sabbath in Israel, plus the fact that we are in the middle of Hanukkah was the main cause for the bottlenecks. I didn't get to Tiberias until dusk, and I started searching for a hotel room. I found a room for about 150 Shekels (after bargaining down from 250), but I really felt like I could do better and wanted to move a bit further north before stopping.
The Sea of Galilee is 686 feet below sea level, and it is very impressive. As you're decending from the hills around town there is a sign theat marks sea level, and the drive down from there is very long and winding. I drove north along the sea, crossed the River Jordan and entered the Golan Heights.
The Heights are at about 1,700 feet, so the climb of about 2,400 feet was putting the little Hyundai Getz to the test. I reached Qazrin in a short amount of time, but I had problems finding accomodation. As a piece of real estate that has been fought over repeatedly in the last 60 years, there was very light development. And I think that the Israeli's are at least a bit reluctant to build it up too much, being as they have offered it back to Syria a few times in exchange for peace. (Declined of course.)
Even though there were no signs in English, there was thankfully a little picture of a bed that led me to Tzipi's Vacation Rooms. The front desk didn't speak any English, so he tried to call somebody to translate. After failing at that, we pantomimed our way to a deal for 150 Shekels. The same I would have paid in Tiberias. I had TV, and A/C, but no internet. But I was more then happy to have a place to crash.
I feel asleep to a Friends episode with Arabic subtitles by about 8:30pm.
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