From Sea to Shining Lake

Zack Velcoff recently completed a free Birthright Israel trip with Israel Outdoors. He participated in one of our specialty trips, Israel By Foot: Sea to Sea Trek. The Sea to Sea Trek program is an additional 4 days hiking from the Mediterranean Sea all the way to the Sea of Galilee. Zack wrote blogged about his Israel Outdoors trip throughout. Thanks for sharing Zack!

Were this a normal Birthright trip, it would now be over. Instead, we’ve only just begun our Sea to Sea Trek from the Mediterranean to the Sea of Galilee, also known as the Kinneret. A more technical name would be Sea to Lake Trek, since like most seas in Israel, the Kinneret is not actually a sea.

A common tradition on such treks is to take a water bottle full of Mediterranean and dump it in the Kinneret, but I am not doing this since A) it strikes me as stupid and B) any water I’m carrying is going in my stomach. We have fifty kilometers to cover over the next four days and the temperature will be climbing to 100 °F; it’s going to take a lot of water to get us there.

Early in today’s hike we detoured uphill to the Montfort, a spur castle built 800 years ago by the Teutonic Knights. Crusaders controlled this region until the Mamluks conquered the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem in 1291; the Montfort 20 years earlier. While the climb is arduous (the Crusaders who built these stairs had very long legs), the view from the top tower is incredible.

Check out more of Zack’s posts about his Birthright Israel trip with Israel Outdoors at