Carmel National Park, Israel: A Prehistoric Cave and a British Guarding Post

Going through my everyday life, I don’t stop and ponder Israel’s rich history – yet a rich history is exactly what this land has.

 

A Prehistoric Cave

While traveling in northern Israel last month, my friends and I got to visit a real-life prehistoric cave. It’s pretty amazing to think we can take a bus or two, walk a little – and find ourselves in a structure generations upon generations visited. The fortunate structure, which has witnessed countless years of events in beautiful Carmel National Park, was formed by the dissolution of bedrock layers.

The area around us contained several caves, and we saw at least one from the distance – while we had our backs turned to the cave that was already on our path. For some reason, one of my friends decided to turn around at the right moment.

She found the cave.

This cave, called Finger Cave, contains three rooms. Supposedly, there are leftovers of stalactites in one of the rooms, yet we couldn’t see a thing. We came in pretty unprepared, with only tiny flashlights courtesy of our cell phones. In addition, it was very slippery inside and our main goal seemed to be not to slip our way back outside.

 

The Adventure of Photographing the Prehistoric Cave

I turned on my camera’s flash, which enabled me to see some of the cave on my camera’s screen – once the photo was taken. I was focused on not falling, not stepping on either of my two friends, and doing my best to have the flash in their eyes. Until we started heading back out toward the sunlight, I couldn’t really see what I was aiming my camera at.

Nonetheless, now I know the cave’s interior is pretty curvy, bow-like.

As I turned to go out, I noticed the view seen through the finger-like entrance of the Finger Cave, with the Mediterranean and a bit of clouds in the background.

 

A British Guarding Post

Back in 1917, Great Britain conquered the Holy Land – starting down south and all the way up north. The British government promised Israel/Palestine to both Jews and Arabs, which kinda wasn’t the most peace-inducing act they could have thought of.

In 1947 the United Nations decided to turn this land into a two-nation state, or to divide the land to two countries – one for Arabs, one for Jews. The latter was accepted by the countries that participated in the discussions.

Jerusalem was only instated as the capital during the UK’s reign. Due to Jerusalem’s significance to both religions (plus Christianity, of course), the UN’s decision was to keep it under international ruling – perhaps in a way similar to what is done with Antarctica, which isn’t controlled by one specific country.

Surprisingly, most Jews were thrilled about this decision while most Arabs objected. An Independence War broke out, the Jews won – and in May 1948, the State of Israel was founded.

 

History Lingers On

The British impacted Israel greatly. Some of the public transportation and laws they created are still alive and kicking in present day Israel, for example. Structures such as this British guarding post we saw at Carmel National Park, above where Oren river might flow again in winter, can be found in the country.

The “windows” you see in the photo above were more than likely used for soldiers’ guns. The spaces are narrow enough for soldiers to peak outside and place their weapons – and narrow enough to prevent them from being sighted. They likely fired, then hid bellow the “window” line, so that they won’t be shot back.

The post was pretty small. There were no amenities, just a view of the road, the parking lot and the nature around them.

Beautiful stairs led us out to where Oren River was nonexistent in Israel’s hot fall… and back to the parking lot, from which we made our way to the bus station. Here’s hoping that winter returns soon and brings Oren River back with it.

 

Have you ever visited a prehistoric cave or a British guarding post? Would you like to?

 

1 Comment

  1. I think the entrace to Finger Cave is so unique and quite enchanting. Plus, you got some amazing photos considering you weren’t able to see what you were photographing! I would like to visit this cave.

    I had to laugh at this line: “The British government promised Israel/Palestine to both Jews and Arabs, which kinda wasn’t the most peace-inducing act they could have thought of.” It’s true – this really wasn’t a very peace-inducing decision, was it? 😉
    Sabina recently posted..A Very Sweet Middle Eastern Holiday – Eid al AdhaMy Profile

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