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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Our last stop was the Church of Annuciation where it covered what was supposedly Virgin Mary’s house, which was a cave.
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.
Ended the day with dinner at one of the restaurant Annai Bar before retiring for the day.