We left Banias, with the road taking us farther up into the Golan Heights. From the bus window I captured these Golan Heights vistas with terraced olive orchards and other gardens—quite beautiful.
Vistas of terraced hillsides in the Golan Heights (Photos © 2019 by V.Nesdoly)
We stopped for a late lunch at Alsultan Restaurant where we had more delicious Droze food—pita with falafel or crunchy chicken, along with a variety of sauces, garnishes, salads and drinks, served family style at a long table in the sunny courtyard.
We drove further into the heights, stopping finally near Israel’s border with Syria, at a spot named the Valley of Tears. Parked on a high spot overlooking the valley before us stood several old tanks—Russian tanks, it turns out, supplied to Syria and deployed against Israel during the Yom Kippur War of 1973.
Our guide, who was active in the army during that time (though on the Egyptian front), told us the moving story of that battle. This place was called the Valley of Tears after it became the site of a major battle (between October 6-9) of the Yom Kippur War.
Our day ended on a lighter note when we made a last stop at an olive manufacturing and market establishment.
Olive manufacturing plant with a painting that shows olives being pressed using donkey power, the large foyer of the facility (top right), and an olive press (bottom right). (Photo © 2019 by V. Nesdoly)
Though the complex was officially closed for the day, the staff had prepared a variety of olive oils for us to sample with bread and seasonings. Then a young woman showed us the cosmetic potential of the olive, inviting us to sample various creams and lotions—much to the amusement of the boys (disguised as men) in our group. Of course the shop was open for our purchases too.
Demonstration of the many uses of the olive. (Photos © 2019 by V. Nesdoly)
We made it back to our Tiberias hotel in time for a late dinner.
I loved this spot—its warm, humid climate, pretty décor, and lush plantings.