Israel National Trail

Israel_Nimrods_fortress.jpg2009 MWW summer intern Melissa Goraj, a junior at the University of Vermont, is currently studying abroad in Israel. Missy returns as a guest blogger to share her stories of geographic learning and adventure in the Middle East.

Hello my Wonderful World readers!  I had such a great time writing for you over the summer that I wanted to share my experiences about our wonderful world from another corner of its surface: Israel. 

Currently, I’m living on Har HaTsofim, or Mount Scopus, while studying at Hebrew University. From my apartment, I have a perfect view of the Judean desert.  Although it’s winter, Israel’s large variety of plants, trees and flowers are in full bloom, giving the otherwise dry landscape some color. 

Israel_geography_map.jpgIsrael is a beautiful country with about every type of landscape
imaginable–from Mount Hermon (yes, you can ski in Israel!) to the
Negev Desert, and the beautiful beaches along the Red and Mediterranean
Seas.  What’s the best way to see it?  By getting outside and hiking,
of course!  Hiking in Israel is incredibly easy, no matter where you
live.  With over 940 km, the Israel National Trail connects the very
north with the most southern tip of the country.   Divided into twelve
sections, it is easy to do a long trek (the whole trail takes between
30-70 days), or an easy day hike.  The trail is even color-coded to
make it easier for hikers to reach their destination.

Israel_trailmarker.jpg

I’m not a hiker, but nearly anyone can enjoy the diverse
landscape of Israel on foot.  In the north, there are challenging hikes
around the Sea of Galilee and up Mount Hermon, as well as refreshing
walks through fields.  In the central part the terrain is mostly flat,
but, for the avid day trekker, there is steep terrain in the Jerusalem
area.  And for hikers starting out in the Negev?  There are stones and
boulders disrupting many paths, but there are plenty of short hikes for
anyone wanting to witness the beauty of the desert firsthand.

When I look out my classroom window to a clear view of the
Jordanian Mountains and the Dead Sea, it is hard not to want to
experience Israel’s environment for all that it is.  During my time
here, I can’t wait to explore my new landscape by foot (with some
car/bus thrown in). With Israeli spring just around the corner, now is
the perfect time for me to get out and hike! I’ll be sure to tell you
what I see and keep you posted on my experiences.

Melissa Goraj for My Wonderful World

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