Israel 2012 Day 10 – Golan heights, Nazareth and Megiddo

There was quite a lot of ground to cover as we first moved northwards towards the Golan heights to visit Nimrod fortress before going the to Banias National Park for some nature walks and to see the waterfall. Checked out and loaded up the car with our luggage and we were on our way.

Simple breakfast before hitting the roads.

Simple breakfast before hitting the roads.

It was about an hour’s drive and very soon we managed to identify the ruins on top of a hill. The GPS did a fantastic job that brought us all the way to the doorstep of the castle, along a narrow 2 way road. Parked at an open space and as we walked towards the entrance, we saw some animals loitering on the steps, adorable Syrian Hyrax!

Nimrod fortress perched on a hill.

Nimrod fortress perched on a hill.

Cute furball animal on some rocks near the entrance of the fortress.

Cute furball animal on some rocks near the entrance of the fortress.

Syrian Hyrax.

Syrian Hyrax.

We were practically on our own as there weren’t any guides around. There were signboards all around so it was not too bad to just roam around and read off information. There weren’t many visitors either.

Stone walls of the door arch still standing.

Stone walls of the door arch still standing.

Inscriptions from 1275 still visible.

Inscriptions from 1275 still visible.

Internal construct of the fortress.

Internal construct of the fortress.

Large water cistern for rain collection.

Large water cistern for rain collection.

Impressive large stone pillars creating the arches.

Impressive large stone pillars creating the arches.

This castle was pretty big and to just run through every signboard took a lot of time. Got to the top where we could get a 360 view of the surrounding. There was also a secret tunnel which was said to link to Banias but we didn’t have the time to explore and left.

View from the top of the fortress.

View from the top of the fortress.

It was a quick drive to Banias National Park to check out the Banias Waterfalls. We parked our car at the public carpark and started to walk on the wooden pathway alongside the gushing stream. The coolness of the shade in the forest made us felt really good. It was about 25mins walk till we arrived at the waterfall, the splashing was so big that we couldn’t approach it without getting wet.

Banias waterfalls at Golan Heights.

Banias waterfalls at Golan Heights.

Rushing water under the shaded greens.

Rushing water under the shaded greens.

Waterfall furiously flowing, wetting the atmosphere.

Waterfall furiously flowing, wetting the atmosphere.

After that, we moved to the Pan’s grotto just 10 mins away and there we could see only ruins. There were sign boards again that we tried to make sense of with the illustrations.  Apparently, this was the place where sacrifices were made to God Pan (half goat, half man) and where temples for him used to stand.

At the Banias national park.

At the Banias national park.

At the Grotto of God Pan.

At the Grotto of God Pan.

The area actually had much more to explore but we didn’t have time as we had to drive to Nazareth, 2 hrs drive southwards.

On arrival to Nazareth, we were in awe of the view of this historical town. To get to our accommodation, Fauzi Azar Inn, we had to drive through cobbled streets with narrow lanes. I found an open space where cars were parked, close to the accommodation and parked there.

Fauzi Azar Inn was equally beautiful as it was one of the older buildings that was converted into this accommodation in the heart of the historical town. It had its own private terrace where people could sit and chill, the room was simple but nicely and cosily decorated. No wonder the great reviews on tripadvisor.

Fauzi Azar Inn.

Fauzi Azar Inn.

Large area to rest and relax.

Large area to rest and relax.

Love the deco outside.

Love the deco outside.

Shower.

Shower.

Simple toilet.

Simple toilet.

Cosy rooms inside.

Cosy rooms inside.

Again we were on the move after checking in, drove to Megiddo. It was said that this would be the site of the final battle between good and evil, and that was where the world armageddon was derived. This story intrigued me that I had to give this place a visit, some 30mins of driving away from Nazareth. We ended up at Tel Megiddo.

Tel Megiddo.

Tel Megiddo.

The city gate.

The city gate.

Overall in ruins.

Overall in ruins.

Entering the site, we saw that this castle was mostly in ruins, nothing much was left. Cows had taken over the fields and were all around.

Overran by huge millipedes.

There were also huge millipedes seen everywhere.

This wasn’t the most interesting place as we had been through so many castles and ruins. The only interesting parts were the huge silo and a underground water tunnel.

Public grain silo.

Public grain silo.

Viewpoint from Megiddo.

Viewpoint from Tel Megiddo.

Cows were all around.

Cows were all around.

Stairway down to the water tunnel.

Stairway down to the water tunnel.

Illuminated underground tunnel.

Illuminated underground tunnel.

Well containing water.

Well containing water.

Our last stop was the Church of Annuciation where it covered what was supposedly Virgin Mary’s house, which was a cave.

Church of Annunciation.

Church of Annunciation.

Doorway of the church.

Door of the church.

Large doors with sculptures.

Large doors with 3D sculptures.

Inside the church enclosing the home of Virgin Mary.

Inside the church enclosing the home of Virgin Mary.

In the crypt of the church.

Closeup view.

The church was also quite big and had quite a few places to explore. We weren’t aware of all the details and therefore simply exploring around (through the crypts and looking at the stained glasses) and taking in the historical atmosphere of this place.

Something coming from Singapore.

Something that came from Singapore.

Inside the Church of St. Joseph next door.

The upper church.

Quite a few nice stained glass.

Quite a few nice stained glass.

More underground crypt.

In the crypt.

Ended the day with dinner at one of the restaurant Annai Bar before retiring for the day.

Inside Annai bar restaurant.

Inside Annai bar restaurant.

Dinner.

Dinner.

ziyi

About ziyi

A travel addict from the little red dot otherwise known as Singapore. Started blogging during travel to help the aging forgetful mind remember the experience of each destination.

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