Circular trip to Mount Meron

On March 17, 2015, the day of the election for the Knesset, we got up early to vote and then took a walking tour of the Mount Meron Nature Reserve in the Upper Galilee. We parked the car in the designated lot of the Meron stream parking lot. The lot was full, and generally, during our drive, we saw along the way that the entrances to the different walking trails were full of cars. In all likelihood, many must have decided to use the sabbatical for a nature trip. The trail we chose to take is circular, and it begins and ends at the Meron stream parking lot. From the parking lot, you should look for the blue markings and start following them. The blue trail enters the narrow channel of the Meron stream, and ascends in a mountainous route toward Ein Zeved.

Mount Meron

Mount Meron

Mount Meron

Mount Meron

The climb is sometimes laborious, since it goes uphill, and parts of it feature big boulders. Attention is needed during the climb: where to place your feet, when to switch your center of gravity onto your hands, and in general, concentration during the climb is recommended. Overall, the kids walked well: Roey climbed almost without difficulty, and enjoyed the compliments he got for it. Noa had no problem walking, but a couple who was traveling with their mother in law and a few dogs were walking in front of us and sometimes behind us, all along the way. Noa doesn’t like dogs, and although they were small and cute, she was bothered by the fact they weren’t on a leash. We rather felt sorry for the little dogs, who had a hard time climbing, as well as for the woman’s mother, since we didn’t think the trail was right for her. When we finished climbing, we reached a large open plain in which lies Ein Zeved, or Zeved spring.

Ein Zeved,Mount Meron

Ein Zeved,Mount Meron

Ein Zeved,Mount Meron

Mount Meron

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Mount Meron

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The Israel Trail, Mount Meron

During rainy years, water can be found in the spring. From Ein Zeved we followed the Israel National Trail markings. The trail goes downhill and after a good part of the way, we reached an erect boulder called “Elijah’s Chair”. According to one legend, at End Time Elijah the prophet will sit on that seat, toot his shofar, and declare our freedom. According to another tradition, it is said that on this chair Elijah the prophet was revealed, and that from it he prophesized, giving the rock its name “Elijah’s Chair”.

Elijah’s Chair,Mount Meron

Elijah’s Chair,Mount Meron

Mount Meron,The Galilee

Mount Meron,The Galilee

Mount Meron,The Galilee

Mount Meron,The Galilee

Farther along the trail passes through the archeological site Khirbet Shema (Shema ruins). The site includes a large, two- storied burial structure, as well as the remains of an ancient synagogue and an olive press.

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Mount Meron – Khirbet Shema,The Galilee

Mount Meron,The Galilee

Mount Meron – Khirbet Shema,The Galilee

From Khirbet Shema we followed the marked trail down toward the trail’s starting point. The trip takes about four hours including breakfast, and a few short stops we made along the way. The trail is a challenging one, it has a variety of beautiful flowers blooming along it, and there’s a lovely observation point from Elijah’s Chair onto the view. With that, take into account the fact that the trail includes a climb that might prove difficult for children, and adults who are not used to walking.

At the end of our trip, we were hungry and chose to drive to Peki’in, to eat at Raya’s Restaurant. The place, which is located at the village entrance, is very old, and famous for its pitas, that are baked on a saj oven.

Peki'in,The Galille

Peki’in,The Galille

Apart from the excellent pitas, you can also have a seat at a table and order fries, Israeli salad, and more. In the restaurant’s vicinity, you can also find Grandma Jamila’s shop, home to excellent homemade soaps. The shop’s factory resides in Tefen nowadays, but the company store, where you can purchase the products, is the one in Peki’in. Peki’in itself is a fascinating place, home to many different religions, and well worth a visit, but that’s for another post.

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