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Travelujah_ / hiking - Posts
Israel - arguably the world's largest small country and
certainly its most diverse - is a hiker's paradise. Paths like the Bible Trail
on Mount Gilboa, the Gospel Trail or Jesus Trail in the Galilee, (published in the article "Hiking in the Spiritual Backcountry" June 23, 2012 published by the New York Times) link
sites sacred to Jews and Christians while passing through breathtaking mountain
landscapes. The Kinneret Trail and the Jerusalem Trail, both currently under
development, will respectively encircle Israel's largest freshwater lake and
the country's historic capital. Even more ambitious, the Abraham's Path links the
route of patriarch of Jews and Muslims across, Turkey, Syria, the
Palestinian Authority territory, Israel and Egypt.
But the mother of all hiking paths in the Jewish state is the Israel National Trail, known in Hebrew as <
Most travelers to Bethlehem and the nearby villages typically visit the Church of the Nativity, the birthplace of Jesus Christ, and the expanisve Mangar Square outside the Church. Other popular sites include Shepards Fields and Rachel's Tomb. Few though will take the time to experience the nature beyond the city, complete with its olive tree terraces, arid valleys, numerous burial caves, monastaries, fortresses, and the people. This is what the Abraham's Path is all about.
On my outing along the Abraham's Path, I was accompanied by the country coordinator for the Abraham's Path, Mr. Hijazi Eid, a tour guide and avid hiker, whose mission is expose people to this Holy Land landscape and see it through the eyes of our forefathers by walking through a comprehensive 70 kilometer trail system that has been developed inside the territories. The walking trail follows the footsteps of Abraham and winds along the surrounding hills of Nablus, through the villages of Awarta and Aqraba and traverses the edge of the Jordan valley until Duma. The path moves through an important water spring, Ein Samia to Kefer Malek, Deir Jarir and to the Christian village of Taybeh before ending at the Auja village near Jericho.
Because of time constraints I only walked the portion of the path that is adjacent to Bethlehem, but along my short journey I wa