Leaving Tel Aviv we pass Herzliya and Netanya, as we travel north along the scenic coastal plain and then turn eastwards through the plain of Armageddon, with a view of biblical Megiddo.
At ancient Katzrin we explore the excavated and partially restored remains of a typical large village of the Mishnah and Talmud period (first to fifth century), its synagogue, its homes and its olive press. The black basalt rock is testimony to extinct volcanoes on the heights.
On Mount Bental we explore the former Syrian fortifications, bunkers and trenches taken by Israel during the Six Day War in 1967. In the distance is the Syrian city Kuneitra and in the foreground the camp of the Canadian contingent to the UN forces supervising the cease-fire between Israel and Syria, brokered in 1974 after the Yom Kippur War and never broken.
The Syrian capital Damascus is a mere sixty kilometers away hence Syria’s reticence to break the cease-fire. The route we travelled today is more than likely the one used by Saul of Tarsus on his way to Damascus.