Monday, January 4, 2010

Wilderness in our back yard

A new stretch of path, about an hour's hike, was completed during the past year in the Hills of Jerusalem.

(All photos enlarge when clicked.)
Last week I missed the bus to my moshav (village), which you see above in the center of the photo, and decided to try out the new path.
The trailhead is at the bend in the highway and leads down some new steps into the forest.

Suddenly I was totally alone in the quiet wilderness!
I could only dream about such close-by nature and long for it when I was growing up in Chicago.

Lots of terrace walls, some of them thousands of years old.

And here and there a shomera.
I don't know what they would be called in English. Maybe a corbelled stone farmer's hut?
I think in Arabic it is il-girna.
Here is the other side.
This one is nicely preserved. Many are half in rubble.

This one short stretch of path had been "paved" with sharp stones.
Good that I had my hiking boots on. (Actually I don't have any girly shoes. LOL)

At the bottom of the valley is some flat land. Not much, but enough to do some small farming.
I reckon agriculture was practiced in the wadi and on the terraces right up until the mid-20th century.
The trail ended and I emerged on this, what once was our village's only road to the outside.
From here it is just a slight climb of ten minutes up to my house.
Down and to the left of the barrier is a nice underground spring.
Thanks for your company along the way.


Sylvia K said...

What a lovely trail! And how nice to have the wilderness in your backyard! I love the historic old walls and houses. Really great captures, Dina!

Hope your year is off to a great start!


The Good Life in Virginia said...

fascinating trek ... the stone hut was very interesting. now is that road you emerged on closed? i see a barrier across.
have a wonderful week.

Nadege said...

I have never been to Israel and am happy to see this lovely trail. Happy, peaceful new year Dina!

Avtcoach said...

I took a deep breath when I saw that second picture. To walk into that clearing with the sun shining in! You are living by experience what I only get to do on an occasional trip to the mountains outside of Oklahoma. That silence you must have experienced is such a gift. Inspires me.

Cloudia said...

You are my hero today, Dina!

I love to walk, and I loved this one. You show us an intimate side of the Land that is thrilling. Good going!

ShAloha, Friend!

Comfort Spiral

Teresa said...

just beautiful. A lovely place.

crederae said...

Beautiful Dina-I love this photography of the ephemeral green and the longstanding rock.

Well it is just another one of my signatures-what can I say I guess except that I love to play with latin derivatives ha ha.

have a beautiful magical day.

Kay said...

Oh! I love this, Dina. You really do live in such a beautiful place, so close to nature.

Robin said...

What a beautiful spot, and about the right length for a family hike. Maybe we'll bring the kids up there one weekend, care to share (e-mail) the location?

Thomas C B Chua said...

Dina, thanks for sharing the off beaten tracks. They are awesome. I visited your country on a pilgrimage and was only taken on a tourist tracks.

VP said...

You reminded me of my short walks in the wild, never too long for bitachon concerns at the time...

Arija said...

Dina, this was such a delightful walk. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

moneythoughts said...

Beautiful photos. You have more guts than me. If I missed my bus, I would have stayed on the road and not ventured into such an area by myself. You are a real trooper.

Anonymous said...

Looks like you had a nice hike. Interesting area. I like all the history, especially since it dates back so long ago. Happy New Year!

Spiderdama said...

Lovely place and so much green..I miss Israel and I would come back soon I hope:-)

Pat said...

I love these photos of the wilderness areas just outside of Jerusalem...what a lovely place to hike! I've heard and read of Jerusalem since I was a small child, so to see photos of wilderness near it is very exciting for me. Thanks for sharing, Dina.

Louis la Vache said...

Thank you for taking us along with you on your unexpected walk! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Surprisingly, this actually reminds me of the Chiricahua Mountains in southern Arizona where I grew up. I really miss the mountains...

Eki said...

This is interesting. It's good that you missed your bus in the first place so that you "discovered" this. If I were you, I'd probably use this trail more often so that I don't need to go to gym to exercise.

HOw long was your walk? (You didn't say it.)

Pietro said...

What a nice walk! It's so good to discover new paths in the green! And you have always your camera with you, that's good too!

Dina said...

Shalom everyone, thanks for walking with me.

Erin, a new road was built and the old one was blocked off to automobile traffic.

Robin, yes, come!

Thomas, well, yes, for silent hikes you need a day off from the tour group, which there is usually not enough time for.

VP, bitachon? Ata medaber Ivrit?!

Moneythoughts, you are smarter than I am, that's all. I DO pray, however, and ask for safety on my solo walks. I have chosen not to live in fear in this country.

Eki, this little part of trail is only a bit over one hour.
Yes, when I need exercise I go back to work in archaelogy where I get paid to exercise. :)

VP said...

Lo, I knew just the basic Ivrit words to survive there and the many Hebrew words caught in years of studying Jewish history and traditions as a hobby.
I still can mumble the Hatikvah...