Rosh HaNikra

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Background: Rosh HaNikra (meaning “head of the grottoes” in Hebrew), is a geological formation at the north of Israel, bordering Lebanon. It is characterized by chalk white cliffs that house grottoes and underwater caves carved in by the Mediterranean. Historically the area is the site of trade routes through Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, and Israel. During the mandate the British created a tunnel and railway system through the cliffs (towards the end of the photos), that was destroyed by the Israeli resistance at the beginning of the War of Independence in the Night of the Bridges (to immobilize transportation from the Arab states). Now Rosh HaNikra is a tourist attraction, a cable car takes you down from the top of the cliff to the grottoes, and home to the militarized border between Israel and Lebanon.

Impressions: In my ulpan (Hebrew class), my professor described Rosh HaNikra as the most “beautiful place in Israel.” A two minute cable car ride down the cliffs (boasted to be the steepest ride in the world), takes you down to the grottoes and a hike along the beach. Before we went in we watched a ten minute movie about the history of the area, and listened to some story about a bride who could not marry for love, so she jumped into Rosh HaNikra. The legend says you can still her moaning but the only moaning we heard was in the audience. The grottoes are amazing; the water is spectacularly blue and the caves give it a very underwater feel. My favorite was the “whale’s belly grotto,” a small opening down a tunnel into the water (sea) – try to find it in the photos. The tour finishes outside along the white cliffs. One of the formations is called the “elephant’s leg.” Another is home to many black fossils stuck into the rock (see photos for a shell and sand dollar). My only issue is that the park is very small, it takes about 30 minutes to enjoy, but then the walk along the beach and the view of the white cliffs is also great. On the way back from the beach we saw a group of divers, who go and explore the underwater caves there.

~ by jonathanmtsai on May 29, 2011.

One Response to “Rosh HaNikra”

  1. I would’ve loved to go here..

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