The trip of the Sunrises. Israel, Timna Park, Negev Desert

 Timna Park, a trip to a place where lost trails of history were covered by the sand of time and winds are bearers of  forgotten ancient tales

It was another sunrise which opened my day. I did not know how my day was going to be and did not care much. Today I was going south crossing the Negev Desert on my way to Eilat.

I was still astonished by Ramon Crater when I took the road 40 which started winding through the desert. An amazing landscape appeared before my eyes and I wanted to stop at every curve just to be able to catch the best image on my camera. I was thinking that probably by now I have seen all the best places worth seeing. I also knew that close to Eilat is Timna Park where Solomon`s mines were, but somehow the word park did not sound too appealing to me. It sounded more like an amusement park and amusement parks are definitely not my thing. But..I could not be more wrong.

I didn`t know much about the place, hence my total out of the line judgmental opinion, because along with Ramon Crater, Timna Park is one of the hidden gems and lesser known places in Israel. The trip of the Sunrises. Israel, Timna Park, Negev Desert

Israel, the Trip of the Sunrises. Makhtesh Ramon

Makhtesh Ramon, one of the most amazing geological phenomenon in Israel not many travellers know about.

The big question now, what Makehtesh Ramon is? Maybe I should answer this question with a story…

One morning, more exactly hundreds of millions of years ago, when Negev Desert was covered by the waters of a big ocean, the sun was rising. Maybe it was a sunrise that marked the beginning of the period when the ocean started to retire his waters towards the North, leaving behind a hill shaped formation. Without the protection of the ocean`s waters, the hill found himself at the mercy of nature. Little by little, it was flattened by the repeated slaps of the rain and wind. Soon though, it wasn’t only the rain and wind which were starting to carve the crater. After a while, the Great Rift Valley, which starts from South Lebanon and goes to East Africa, was formed and because of that, rivers changed their courses. Two rivers started to flow in the Negev washing out the softer layers of the crater. The crater started to deepen being surrounded by vertical walls made out of harder rocks. By the time that those rivers dried out a 40km long and 8km width crater in shape of a heart was left behind.

Israel, the Trip of the Sunrises. Makhtesh Ramon

The Trip of the Sunrises. Israel, Wadi Arugot

Wadi Arugot, or what to do in Israel when you have less than 24 hours till your flight back

Who would have ever imagined that in less that 24 hours I was able to do so many things in Israel? Definitely not me. Especially because when I woke up that morning around 6 AM I was still in Eilat and by 9 PM I was supposed to be back to Tel Aviv to catch my flight.

The initial plan was that on the way back to Tel Aviv to visit the ruins of Avdat Fortress which caught my eye when I was heading to Mitzpe Ramon. On the other side, somehow I was not that keen on going there. The wadies around the Dead Sea were still lighting up my imagination. I knew that there were more wadies/ nahals worth exploring than Wadi Dragot and Wadi David and especially Wadi Arugot was lingering in my mind. So, I had to return to the Dead Sea, I just had to explore Wadi Arugot also.

The Trip of the Sunrises. Israel, Wadi Arugot

The Trip of the Sunrises. Israel, En Gedi, Wadi David

The fascinating world of En Gedi Nature Reserve, Wadi David

My beloved is unto me a cluster of henna blossoms From the vineyards of En Gedi“ Song of Songs

6 AM and I was staying in front of my hut at Metzoke Dragot Hostel watching how the haze above the Dead Sea was starting to glow when the sun was rising from behind the Moab Mountains in Jordan.

It was the beginning of a new day and while the sun was becoming more bright I was thinking how interesting the path of my life was until that moment. Probably it was one of those moments in which I was trying to find an answer to “the meaning of life “ question. Considering where I was there was nothing strange about it, for millennia people were coming here in search of themselves and to find answers.

The Trip of the Sunrises. Israel, En Gedi, Wadi David

The Trip of the Sunrises. Israel, Wadi Dragot

Wadi Dragot, probably the most challenging and spectacular canyon in the Judean Desert

Away from a bustling and never sleeping Tel Aviv and from the prayers rising to the sky from the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, deep in the Judean Desert, winding its way towards The Dead Sea, lies the most scenic and challenging canyon in Israel, Wadi Dragot or Wadi Darga. Nature was particularly generous with the deserts of Israel because for millennia was continuously carving deep hidden valleys, where rapid waterfalls were creating natural pools and high dry falls. Life was thriving in those places and even now a very rich flora and fauna can be found despite the dryness around.  Amazingly, this magnificent place is lesser known to travellers since most of Israel tourism is a religious one and not too many dare to search thoroughly the desert. Although lesser known to the foreign tourist seems to be popular among Israelis in search for some adrenaline rush because this particular trail is difficult and spectacular at the same time. I can’t say I knew about it either, but somehow, the choices I made during this trip took me right in the vicinity of this astonishing place.

The Trip of the Sunrises. Israel, Wadi Dragot

Traveling, Flowering and Photographing in Israel

A new travel and a new story which begins with a sunrise…

6 AM. I am in the North of Israel, sitting on a terrace of a small little cottage in Kinneret, close to the Sea of Galilee and the place where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist in Jordan River waters. Mush the dog is sitting next to me watching my moves while another 4 cats are looking at me impatient waiting to be fed. The sun is revealing itself from behind the hills climbing slowly on the sky. I am holding a steamy cup of coffee in my hand, but my eyes are caught by the miracle of the sunrise. Traveling, Flowering and Photographing in Israel

Israel through the eyes of a wanderer- Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv is not just a city, but a state of mind

I should be habituated by now with the sudden changes in my life, but no matter as often as it might happen, it is always taking me by surprise. I was booking a small hotel near Kavala Greece, then made an itinerary around north and west part of Greece while dreaming about dining in a taverna close to the sea surrounded by fireflies.Yes, I know, Kavala is not Tel Aviv and Greece is not Israel but bare with me…So, to continue my blabbering, my dreams of wandering around Epirus deepening in Vikos gorge and then to have a well-deserved rest on one of the beautiful beaches of Corfu Island were shattered one week before departure date when I just find out that my long dreamed road trip was canceled…But since I am not the type which sits and mourn after lost things for too long, and if a door is closing I will definitely knock on another one, I booked a flight to Israel…destination..TEL AVIV! Israel through the eyes of a wanderer- Tel Aviv

Israel Through the Eyes of a Wanderer- The Dead Sea

Kept on running all my life, and when you asked my why, I was not able to give you an answer. Maybe I am running because I keep founding bits and pieces of myself scattered all over the world…“ The Lonely Traveler

Been so many times to Israel by now, and being a country with so many contrasts I thought I better try to know it more before I start writing anything about it. The more I visit it the more I realized that its uniqueness is hard to capture and I better present it the way I see it, through the eyes of a wanderer. For most people Israel represents the Holy Land, the meeting place of three important religion, represents Jerusalem or the city which never sleeps, Tel Aviv.  For me, Israel represents the places which attracted me the more, the Dead Sea and the surrounding area. So, I thought is more opportune  to start my series of articles about Israel with the Dead Sea. Israel Through the Eyes of a Wanderer- The Dead Sea