After a seemingly endless wait,

we arrive in Israel to take part in the walk on Mount Gilboa. The group is made up of Domenico, Agata, Stefano, Eduardo and Fausto. At Tel Aviv airport we are welcomed by our friend Haim who has prepared our stay in great detail showing great hospitality. The following day we go off on a long trip touching on different towns and countries: Nazareth, Tabqa, Cafarnao and Lake Tiberias (Galilee), where we are served excellent Dory fish for lunch. In the afternoon we go on to the Mount of Beatitudes and the Golan Heights from where you can see the border with Syria. At the end of the trip we reach the Beit Alpha kibbutz, the typical cooperative organisation of the Jewish world now transformed into a hospitable holiday farm. On Friday and Saturday we take part in the walks on Mount Gilboa, theatre of the battle between King Saul and the Philistines. Today the area is an interesting natural reserve full of flowers and plants among which the beauty of the black iris, a peculiarity of this land, stands out. The paths unwind through fascinating archaeological sites. Barbed wire along the border with Palestine reminds us of the sad truths of a war that has never ended. At the refreshment point we are greeted with some hot soup and a very juicy pink grapefruit, each weighing about half a kilo! On Sunday, before leaving for home, we take advantage of the beautifully sunny day to visit Old Jaffa and to take a long walk along the sea front. In the early afternoon, we fly back to Italy enriched by a great experience. The memory of our Israeli friends will always remain with us for ever. On the first day, with the help of our guide Avi Goren, who speaks good Italian, we go to see Jerusalem and Bethlehem, the latter being in Palestine. Despite the bad weather, the trip to Jerusalem, capital of the three monotheistic religions, is very interesting and we are deeply moved by our visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

reported by Fausto Fanello - IML walker