Clearly we’re a little behind schedule here since Pesach has come & gone & we’re still reporting our pre-holiday travels. Nevertheless, kadimah!
We returned to the Hula Valley on this trip. When we were there for the Berger family reunion in Jan., we went to the Hula Nature Reserve run by the Israel Nature & Parks Authority, but this time, we went to a different site for birdwatching, The Agamon Hula Ornithology and Nature Park, that is just up the road and run by KKL (JNF).
The park is ringed by a 5 mi. road that can be traveled by family bike...
or go cart (our friends Gilad & Osnat in the front and Ido & Gali in the back).
Along the way, we traveled through shaded groves...
and through meadows.
There were guided stations throughout the park where we could use their telescopes and the rangers could tell us what we were seeing...
or we could pull over whenever we wanted to and use our own binoculars.
We saw all kinds of wildlife, such as water buffalo,
herons (pictured above on the water), songbirds, and nutria. The Hula Valley is an important migration stop for birds flying between Europe & Africa. Unfortunately, traveling with 3 kids meant there was no way we were able to arrive at the park first thing in the morning, so while it was definitely cool to see a couple dozen pelicans, it was disappointing to learn that there had been 1000′s on the water a couple of hours earlier. Other than that, it was a great trip – it was a beautiful spring day & the kids were happy to be running around outside.
After the nature reserve & a stop for lunch, we went back up into the mountains near our zimmer and made a quick stop at Sa’ar Waterfall.
That this site is not a major attraction...
gives you an idea of just how many gorgeous spots there are in Israel.
We returned to our zimmer late in the afternoon to rest and for our friends to pack up. They were heading home & we were staying on another night. On this visit, we got one of the cool loft rooms. Noah wasn’t confident enough to sleep up there by himself, but he had fun playing up there and the kids had a party in the loft in our friends’ room.
Hello from the loft!
For dinner that evening we went to a quirky restaurant called the Witch & the Milkman. The whole place is decorated with handmade witch dolls handing from the rafters.
Their specialty is what they call “casseroles”, but its more like individual hot pots of some kind of meat & veg over a grain in various combinations. The witch angle of the restaurant is that the casseroles are supposed to be like a cauldron. The milkman angle is that they have a cheese room with many local cheeses for sale. Last time we were in the Golan, we tried to eat here, but could not get a reservation, so we were happy to finally get a chance. It is a very special place and the owners also run B&B cottages next to the restaurant which they built themselves and which are stunningly gorgeous, but a bit out of our price range. The whole complex sits on a hilltop overlooking the Golan.