Greek Mythology speaks about the Phoenix, a mythological bird that rises from the flames and ashes of its predecessors to be reborn into a new life. Such is the History of Israel which rose from the flames of Nazi Germany and the ashes of its victims to the rebirth of a new homeland.
Nothing can represent this more than a visit to the Jerusalem Forest. On one hand , we have the "Yad Vashem" memorial museum of the holocaust while on the other hand, we have Mount Herzl in memory of Theodor Herzl, The visionary of a homeland for the Jewish people. Both these sites each deserve their own review. That, I will do at a later time. Meantime , Lets look at the forest as a whole. The Jerusalem forest is basically a conglomerate of many small forests, all standing together to form a large complex of picnic sites with facilities for BBQ, hiking routes, recreation areas for kids and families, the afore-mentioned Yad Vashem museum, Mount Herzl, (musem and burial place of Israel's leaders), The Zippori youth hostel and youth center, Archeaological sites including ancient terraces, Ancient Paleanthological finds like Dinosaur footprints in the village of Bet - Zayit, and play areas with swings and slides and children's activities. If you are lucky , you might get a glimpse of the forest's fauna in its natural habitat, (Deer, Buck, Rabbits and others).The forest is only about a three minute drive from Jerusalem's outer neighborhoods, Har-Nof, Bet-Hakerem, Bayit Vegan, Kiryat-Yovel, Kiryat Moshe. A great outing if you want to spend a day in nature without the need to travel great distances. You might like to combine your visit with a visit to the forest's neighboring village, Ein-Karem, which abounds with tourist attractions, churches, monastaries, restaurants and the famous site of "the Well of Mary". This too will be reviewed specifically later. Enjoy!
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