Dror Baron: Israel (2007)

In the spring we visited the Hula nature reserve. This region used to be a swamp, but it was dried up in the 1950s. It is now an area where migratory birds often cross.

The first photo shows the Hula lake in the foreground with the snow-capped Hermon mountain towering above.

Here we see several birds grazing the wetlands with mountains in the background.

My father walks along a massive irrigation machine. The contraption crawls around on wheels while spraying water all over the field.

The Hula reserve is also populated by other animals, who enjoy sunbathing on the splendid grass.

In the early summer we visited Tzippori, a large archeological site where a sizable town was located 1500 years ago. The public buildings and palaces were fabulous, sporting delicate mosaics.

Some of these mosaics feature exotic, even mythical, animals!

Besides mosaics, the ruins of Tzippori lie in a scenic area. Here are some cactii. (It must be mentioned that for some unknown reason I am very fond of these desert plants!)

To get water to the city, a grand canal system was constructed. Here my parents can be seen dwarfed by these ancient structures.

Later during the summer, one sweltering day we drove to Caesarea, where a Roman city was built around a man-made port 2000 years ago. After the city was destroyed by an earthquake, it was reconstructed during later periods.

Although most of the port is now under-water, plenty of structures have been unearthed. Here we can see a hippodrome, where horses used to pull along charriots. The tight turns make one wonder whether some injury was possible.

Similar to Tzippori, Caesarea also had grand buildings, which featured intricate mosaics.

Finally, here are some walls that belonged to part of the moat that surrounded the city at a later time.

In July we visited the Soreq cave, which features neat rock formations.

Here is a photo of the Montfort Castle in Northern Israel. The castle was built by the Crusaders, and it commands great views of the surrounding valleys.

In early October we traveled to Beit Shaan, where we visited the ruins of a city that was ruined in an earthquake during the 8th century. Here is a photo of the city in the foreground (the columns used to covered) with a Tel in the background.

Here is a closeup of one of the massive columns that fell down.

As customary for cities of the time, there was an impressive amphitheater.

Another common feature was a bath-house. The small columns in the foreground were covered with a wooden surface, and heated water that flowed around them. This was the country club technology of that time.

Finally, a photo of the border with Jordan as the sun is setting.

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