Rosh Haniqra

Dan Israel (2003)

After making our way north of Tel Aviv, we drove through the Israeli countryside towards Lebanon. Driving through farmland, small villages (both Arab and Israeli), until we finally came to the border town of Rosh Haniqra. Here the world-famous grottos exist. Natural caves carved in to the cliffside by the ocean, it’s a rather beautiful place that is (literally) on the border with Lebanon. From the top of the hill, you could look south along the Mediterranean coastline. A cable car takes you down to the bottom level, where Israeli army soldiers casually relax, because (after all) Lebanon is right there. This used to be the old railway that ran north to Damascus, but in the war of Independence in 1948, it was destroyed. You can still see the rails, though. Kinda cool. The caves were slippery and beautiful, and enjoyably cool considering the hot weather. Before we left, we checked out the border (“Military Area: No Photographs”), and then Michael had a decidably greasy hamburger at the local dive. We all decided to wait until lunch in Haifa.