Mountains are some of my favorite natural creations of the world. Yet though I am always fascinated by heroic climbs of Africa’s Kilimanjaro and Asia’s Everest, the closest I ever got to climbing a mountain is when the cable car was about to shut down in Ushuaia, Argentina, and I wanted to make sure – as a newbie solo female traveler – that I would have a way to get back to my hostel.
So I took the cable car.
Recently, though, I had the opportunity to climb a mountain. It is a mini mountain, as the entire “trek” is 2 kilometers (1 and a bit mile) long. I almost missed this opportunity as well, yet I’m glad my friends and I ended going.
Arriving at Carmel National Park
Our mountain is located at the Carmel Mountain Range, outside Haifa, and we got there using public transportation. It is a route that ends at its beginning, where Oren River flows in winter or spring, yet was nonexistent when we were there last month, in October.
We had to carefully walk on the side of the road, yet heading there midweek and off season meant there were hardly any cars.
Seeing the sign that indicated our arrival at Carmel National Park excited me – I had wanted to come back for quite some time.
The route was almost spring-like at first, with trees full of leaves.
That soon changed to fall’s dramatic look.
Hiking up meant using stairs, and going up stones. We sat down for a bit to look at the views and just talk.
A View, a Prehistoric Cave and a British Guarding Post
At a certain point, we got up and kept hiking up. Making it to the top was worth it. We were rewarded with dramatic-looking trees and beautiful views of the area.
The blue you see at the top of the picture bellow is the Mediterranean Sea.
Then we found our way to the 3-room prehistoric Finger Cave, where we could barely see a thing with the tiny flashlights we were using. It was pretty slippery inside, yet I liked looking outside at the view on our way out.
The view kept accompanying us throughout our journey.
Our next discovery on the mountain was a British guarding post, from the days the UK ruled Israel, before this land turned into a country in 1948.
The view outside the cave – the view of the parking lot, where we started this hike – clarified that we were sadly heading toward the end of our current road.
The End of the Road
We entered the small British guarding post from one direction and exited from the other direction – straight down these stairs.
Then it was back on the road of cars, where we noticed a glimpse of fall colors (look at the right side of the photo bellow).
Before we head to catch the bus, we took one more look up the mountain.
I was left wanting more.
Have you been to northern Israel? Where was your favorite place to hike?