Friday, April 26, 2013

The great outdoors

A carpet of tiny Irises covers The Israel Trail near Jerusalem

Tiny iris ( Moraea sisyrinchium)

Recently I met a very interesting person, a tourist from Canada that isn't Jewish and came to visit the area out of curiosity and a sense of adventure.  I got to meet him through a friend we've acquired a couple of years ago on our great tour in Canada. Since the guy arrived just before Passover the DH and I took it upon ourselves to explain our non-suspecting visitor what happens in Israel come Pesach. We met him for beer and conversation in a Jerusalem pub. Although he is Quebecois he speaks very good English, far better than my pitiable French. We had a very nice evening, discussing many issues in history, geography, politics and a lot of explaining about Pesach, especially in Jerusalem. We've also recounted our own visit to Canada. I described to him my awe and wonder from the size of the country. The huge impression all the woods and running water made on me, coming from this arid corner of the world. I tried to explain how liberating it was to be in empty huge wilderness, as I'm not used to so much open space.

He was very attentive but didn't really get what I'm talking about.

He kept traveling here in Israel and in The Palestinian Authority, went to the Galilee and Golan Heights, enjoyed the night life of Tel-Aviv and before he went on in his travels he came to celebrate Independence Day with us. I believe he now understands a lot more about the complexity of the situation here and comprehended better the reality of life here for both Israelis and Palestinians. But what he understood best was the size of the country.  He was amazed that his hike in The Tel Dan National Park ended in an hour and was crammed with people. After telling me that, he said: "I now get the way you feel about traveling in Canada, you live in a very claustrophobic country, no great outdoors."  I just smiled.
Our guest has left for the great Turkey and its splendor. 
We're still here. Yes, it's crowded and there is not much open space left but we are trying to make the best of it. Those past months we went outdoors as much as possible. Not doing great hikes or challenging treks but rather picnicking, relaxing, and taking lots of pictures even in the weirdest of weather. 
There is great beauty even in the smallest of places as hopefully you can see in some of my photos.

Not to mention my DH who is a wonderful cook, in and outside the house.   

Having a picnic at Hirbat Saadim in The Jerusalem Mountains- we were freezing so a nice fire kept us warm

Carpets of cyclamens near Jerusalem

Green almonds

Anemones blooming 

Sunset on Lachis

Strider -Walking Wadi Barak, in the southern part of Israel

Happy campers-having breakfast in Wadi Barak camping site.

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful post! Israel is full of surprises. I've never seen so many Iris's in one place- looks like a blue carpet. Will miss this season! (we need to go on a photo safari)