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Archive for israel

100 Years of Green in Israel

By Linda Tancs

Israel’s Ministry of Tourism website says that “Israel is one of two countries on earth that has more trees today than it did 100 years ago.” That may seem surprising to those familiar with the Jerusalem hills, populated with natural forests, terraced hillsides and ancient agricultural settlements. Yet four centuries of Ottoman rule resulted in millions of trees cut down because property taxes were calculated by the number of trees owned by landowners. Now Israel celebrates its greening by promoting a host of eco-tourism activities. Visiting a Kibbutz is a classic way to experience the earliest impetus towards green living. Another highlight of green Israel is The Ariel Sharon Ayalon Park, a metropolitan park boasting tropical gardens located just outside of Tel Aviv, formerly the 2,000-acre Hiriya garbage dump. You can explore the city’s tree-lined boulevards by bicycle (another eco-friendly act) or camel trek through the wilderness to a quiet evening in a goat-hair Bedouin tent. Whatever you decide, a carbon-reduced date with history awaits you.


Rock of Ages

By Linda Tancs

In a country filled with ancient remains, a newly discovered fortress over 3000 years old might not seem like a big deal. But in the City of David, just outside Jerusalem’s Old City, a 26-foot-high wall predating Herod proves that Jerusalem’s Bronze Age is characterized by more than measly little weapons and implements of the period. Now open to the public, the digs are believed to be part of a protected passageway built by Canaanites, residents of the Holy Land prior to the Hebrew conquest. And you thought the early Romans had dibs on the phrase “master builder.”

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A Little Napa in the Holy Land

By Linda Tancs

Perhaps fueled by Western oenophiles, Israel’s fledgling wine industry is enjoying a surge in interest.  And why not, considering that its subtropical climate of hot days and cool nights lends itself quite nicely to the art of winemaking.  Although the epicenter of winemaking would be the Judean Hills, wineries can be found from the Golan to the Mediterranean coast.  So take a break from the turf and surf and enjoy a wine tasting in a nice cool cellar or lounge.  Your taste buds will surely be thankful.

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