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Saturday, 27 December 2014

The Glory of Mount Atzmon

As British news sites wallowed in lurid descriptions of suffering snow-bound motorists in the Derbyshire Peak District, we enjoyed an exhilarating ramble  in similar hilly limestone terrain – but  under life-enhancing sunshine.

And if we walkers were keen, the wind was even sharper and we were  fairly bowled along during our morning visit to Yod’fat, an archaeological ruin and eye-sparkling beauty spot about nine miles from Karmiel in Israel’s Lower Galilee.

The area, with its stunning panoramic views from the summit of Mount Atzmon , is adjacent to a moshav – or agricultural settlement bearing the same name. However, it is best known as the site of a siege during the Judean rebellion against the Romans. Like its more famous counterpart at Masada in southern Israel, the ruins appear to include an ancient mikvah (ritual bath house).

Leader of the revolt was Yosef ben Mattityahu – later renowned as the historian Josephus Flavius who penned The Antiquities of the Jews and The Jewish War. His literary eminence aside, Josephus may be regarded as an early Jewish quisling as he defected to the Romans and was even granted Roman citizenship.

But if the history is only good in parts, the landscape is beyond superlative.

Here are some pictures to prove it:

I end with a video clip featuring bikers enjoying an evening ride from Shekhanya to Mount Atzmon.

 

 

© Natalie Wood (27 December 2014)

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