Sunday, 12 July 2009

Under the Eucalyptus Tree

A couple of weeks ago, we went on a ramble in the Yehudiya Forest Nature Reserve in the Golan, a bracing walk ending at the Brichat Meshushim - the Hexagonal Pool. The pool is so named because of the striking features along its walls, pillars of hexagonal-shaped (more or less) stone. There's a technical explanation, involving the crystallisation of cooling lave, I believe; but like most other technical things, it only confused me...

Getting to the pool requires a 20 minute walk along a steep downhill path. It was a hot morning, and we were all perspiring like crazy by the time we got to the bottom. The pool was indeed a sight for sore eyes...

There are more pictures here. (Not by me, though, I was too lazy to take the camera.)

Unfortunately, what goes down must eventually come back up (actually, that isn't technically correct, is it? Never mind. I'm sure you understand what I mean...): the Small Noisy One was stung by a bee just before we left, and was too upset to walk. I carried him on my shoulders all the way back up. He's quite a big child, and I'm quite a lazy father. Fun it wasn't.

At the top, I recuperated in the shade of an Eucalyptus tree. Mrs Goy thought that the Nature Reserve was on the site of an old Syrian army base; according to folklore, the trees were in place because an Israeli spy called Eli Cohen convinced the Syrian army to plant them because they would provide excellent shade for the troops.

They also made the air bases easy to spot from the air...

Eli Cohen was eventually captured and hung by the Syrians; he is one of a number of operatives honoured at the cumbersomely-named Israeli Intelligence Heritage and Commemoration Centre, which oddly seems to be located somewhere near the soulless Glilot Junction on Kvish Hof, Motorway No. 2, which runs between Tel Aviv and Haifa.

There's an article about it here.


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