We began the day with a treat, we slept in until 8a.m. while those who wanted to went on a hike to the Banias Waterfall. We had both been there before and we were feeling as though we just needed a little more sleep so we opted out of the hike. Our youngest and our eldest both took part and really enjoyed it.
Our tour began at the Golan Heights at the site of what was once a volcano. We had a very good view of Syria. That’s the one thing that was hard for my North American head to get around, everywhere you look you have a very good view of your enemies. Canada is such a vast country and although we may disagree with certain American policies (or as some would see it, have a chip on our collective shoulder) we do have a very good relationship with our southern and northern neighbour. We really do not know what it is like to be surrounded by neighbours who at best would not care if we were wiped off the face of the earth and who at worst would like to be the ones to do it.
Next we got a real treat. We went to the de Katrina chocolate factory. We got to see the chocolatiers make some chocolate, then we sampled some chocolate (yum) and then we got to make our own chocolates (yum again). I wonder if any adult born in the 60’s can possibly visit a chocolate factory without thinking of Lucy and Ethel. There was no assembly line here, this was world class chocolate. The kind of chocolate that will haunt me on Yom Kippur.
Back to serious stuff. We next headed over to a military (are there any other kinds?) tank base. The soldiers are so young looking that I could not help but think of their parents. May all of the soldiers return safely to their parents’ loving embraces.
As always in Israel the heavy is balanced by the light. Rafting on the Jordan river came next. The water felt great when we splashed one another. The river was packed and I was shocked to see how much junk was floating in it. In true Israeli style it seems that when you find running water you tell everyone you know about it and throw a barbecue!
Seeing so many people out there just enjoying living is the best antidote to looking at the borders and seeing all of the enemies. Kol Hakavod.
We had dinner on masse at a nice fish restaurant and then headed back to the kibbutz to pack up as the next day we were moving out and heading far south.