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Archives: March, 2009

The Golan Heights

  March 19th, 2009

Today was decidedly and unanimously breathtaking. The consensus of the group at the ended of the day was amazing. I will tell you of the things we did and all the places and people we saw. But it is with bitter sweetness that I tell you without the words of poet to help you capture the smell of the sir, the feel of the wind and the spray of the waterfall. So, I will need your help as I share our journey. Today we went from border to border to border looking and learning about the beauty and complexity of the Golan Heights.  We started in Banais Garden and The Roman Temple of Pan. We saw the ruins of Ceasara Philliphighi, where in biblical history Jesus came to speak. Here we hiked up into the mountains and we saw the beautiful gushing springs and waterfalls.  Next we met up with Hielm who spent the day taking us all over the Golan Heights. He talked about water use and water politics, volcanic and geologic formation. We went up to the border of both Syria and Jordan.  One of the highlights of the day was when we pulled over and talked to some young Israel soldiers. They talked to us about the tanks they were using and let us take lots of pictures with them. That was really amazing. All the paces we went to were filled with children on field trips.

We had time to just stop and realize how beautiful the place was; the sunset was amazing, and we watched it while talking to local people that said “Israel has the most beautiful sunset in the world”.

We also stopped by and smelled the local Golan Iris flowers and saw a cow going into a mined field! A place full of folklore, divisive history and beauty!  

We saw the past in the ruins of the ancient temple of Pan and abandon military barricades. Breathtaking beauty of the Golan Hieghts in the abundant wildflowers and mountain views. We whirl in a whirlwind bus ride stopping at the National Park.

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Second Day – Ocean Day

  March 18th, 2009

Good morning!

Yesterday was our first full day here, and it was packed! First before we left Jaffa we walked up to aview point where we could see Tel Aviv in the distance and Aaron went over the brief history of the past 3000 years (VERY brief)! Then we got on the bus and headed north and met up with Aaron friend, Giel (sp?), who used to work with PISCO at OSU for 3 years and now just started working at the National Institute of Oceanography here in Israel (his home country). His expertise is in marine ecology so we went down to the Mediterranean Sea and got a leasson on the ecology of the area. We spent time by the water, getting our feet wet and enjoying the beautiful view! Next we drove to the National Institute of Oceanography building in Haifa where Giel works. We got a tour of the building and some of the work that goes on there. The coolest thing I learned was that they are growing coral to be transplanted into rocks later once they are larger (so awesome!). Following this, we went to the Baha’i Gardens which over looking Haifa. We learned that Haifa was in the missle range when Lebanon was firing in 2006…it is amazing to see what a largly inhabited city it is that was having to evacuate during this time. After this, we started to head farther north towards Tel Hai (where we are staying for two nights), on the way we stoped up near the border, in an area where to the left was Lebanon with Syria in the background; this was right at sunset and it was gorgeous.

We are going south today to the headwaters and et cetera. We’ll update you again when we get back! Hope all is well in the states and Anthony says “what up to the 301.”


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First Night, in Jaffa!

  March 17th, 2009

Hello everyone!

We arrived in Tel Aviv and then hopped on the bus and came to our first hostel, in Jaffa. The hostel is VERY nice with a great dinner served for us last night. After diner a few of us walked around exploring…and found the Mediterranean Sea! Below are some pictures from the walk, so enjoy!

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Arrived in Tel Aviv!

  March 17th, 2009

Shalom and Salaam

Wow! We have finally arrived (safely, all heads accounted for) in Israel. The journey was 14 hours in-flight from Portland to Tel Aviv via Frankfurt. We crossed 9 time zones, which wreaked havoc on our biological clocks, and quite a few of us couldn’t sleep at all. After all, who could pass up Lufthansa hospitality?

A few other students and I were briefly questioned immediately after landing about our reasons for visiting Israel, and I gave a floundering response that somehow satisfied the officer. As a group, we then received a few glares and passport stamps from immigration agents – since an Israeli stamp invalidates your passport for much of the Arab world, many students opted to not have their passport stamped. Of course the immigration agents don’t like this.

A few photos are attached of the group’s progress thus far: Several trip members on our first flight out of Portland, Tuesday’s sunrise over Europe on the first leg of our journey, students disembarking from the Airbus 340 in Frankfurt, one of our first glimpses of Israel as our plane banks to land in Tel Aviv, Tuesday’s sunset from the window of our bus to Jaffa, and the view from our hostel window in Jaffa.

We’re staying here at the Ma’agan Michael in Jaffa (the town Jonah set sail from) for the night and tomorrow we depart early for somewhere to the north, along the coast. Aaron’s keeping the trip itinerary fairly mysterious, which just makes me curious! Well, I’m off for a short walk around town and then some sleep after a 30-hour day.

Lots to talk about, lots more to come!

Evan Miles

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Hello world!

  March 11th, 2009

Hello! This will be the official blog for the Oregon State Geo Club and Hydrophiles spring break ’09 trip to Israel and Palestine! We will be updating every night while we are there; below I’ve outlined our rough itenerary so you’ll already know where we will be updating from. We will be trying to incorporate as many pictures and video as we can, along the way. It’s hard to believe we leave in less than 2 days, but everyone is excited to start this adventure!

Tuesday March 17                   1500 arrive in Tel Aviv, night in Jaff

Wednesday March 18            Day at the coast, night in Tel Hai

Thursday March 19                Headwaters, border region, night in Tel Hai

Friday March 20                     Hula, Kinneret, night in Beth Shean

Saturday March 21                 Nablus, al-Auja, night in Jericho

Sunday March 22                    Jericho, Wadi Kelt, night in Jericho

Monday March 23                 Academic morning at Al-Quds University, night in Ein Gedi

Tuesday March 24                   Dead Sea region, night in Ein Gedi

Wednesday March 25             Makhtesh Rimon, night in Mitspe Ramon

Thursday March 26                 Avdat, Ein Avdat, Zin wilderness, night in Mitspe Ramon

Friday March 27                      Head to Jerusalem, night in Jerusalem

Saturday March 28                  Free day in Jerusalem, night in Jerusalem

Sunday March 29                     Jerusalem, night in Jerusalem

Monday March 30                    0500 depart Tel Aviv

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