Israel Trip: December-January 2014-2015

Our first stop was at the crusader-era fortress Belvoir Castle, up a steep mountain road in a national park. It was completely and totally deserted, and Marcus again had a great time scrambling through doorways and peering into arrow slits. We walked all around it and took the secret staircase down into the moat and then climbed back up. Marcus ran across the (reconstructed) bridge in place of the drawbridge that was destroyed when Saladin took the castle, and we got back in the car to drive a bit further north.

Next we stopped at Hamat Gader, a family-fun destination with a crocodile farm, random animals (baboons, anyone?), a defunct parrot show, hot springs (Robert seemed nervous about them, but I regret not going into the water), a bit of drizzly off-and-on rain, and a very slow snack bar (we got a kosher hot dog for the kids and a schnitzel, which apparently is a chicken cutlet sandwich and is ubiquitous fast (or did I mention slow?) food).

Just a few feet from the Jordanian border, and just before we pulled into Hamat Gader, with Robert getting nervous about the military lookouts perched in the hills above us, we discovered that Marcus apparently gets carsick. Who knew? The rest of the trip I was ready with lollipops and candy canes and air conditioning and/or open windows, as well as emergency bags, and we managed to stave off all but one more incident. Still, a vacation without vomit would be extremely surprising to me at this point in my life.

From Hamat Gader we drove to our hotel, the Ein Gev Kibbutz Resort, on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. We had a lovely little cabin with a separate bedroom for the kids, and hammocks outside, right on the beach, and we got to watch the sunset together. After dark, with the kids asleep in the back seat of the car, we drove around the lake to Tiberias in search of that SIM card and some dinner. Robert finally achieved both goals, getting a fabulous sandwich with seemingly everything inside it (french fries, eggplant, and lots more) as well as some curious hard fried bread on the side and, of course, a now-functional iPhone.

The next morning, with Samantha feeling a bit under the weather and clinging to me for most of the morning, we stopped at a supermarket a bit south (pictured: some treats we didn't actually purchase, but thought were neat) and continued straight down to the Dead Sea area.

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Created: 1/11/15. Last Modified: 1/11/15.