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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Spring is here at last! - Lupin Hill


Spring is here! After an unusually long and wet winter the hills are alive and blooming.  The locals are making the most of the fine weather to tour the length and breadth of Israel in search of the wide variety of wildflowers which carpet the country for the few short months before the onset of summer.




Last week I took a friend along on my annual pilgrimage down the road to Lupin Hill otherwise known as Givat HaTurmussim or ancient Socoh (in Hebrew גבעת התרמוסים) overlooking the Valley of Elah and Tel Azekah, site of the epic battle between David and Goliath (I Samuel: 17).

Lupins lining the hillside
 
Situated close to Beit Guvrin National Park, throngs of visitors converge on Lupin Hill which is a blaze of colour for only a few short weeks in March.

Blowing in the wind
 
The area still maintains its biblical atmosphere and it is easy to imagine the events that took place some 3,000 years ago not a stone's throw away from the hillside on which we sat.

Ancient wine and olive presses attest to the traditions that are maintained today by the many fine boutique wineries, dairies and restaurants which offer tourist attractions throughout the year.

This is a perfect area to visit for those who are looking for something different to do within an hour of Tel Aviv or Jerusalem. (Thanks to Fabienne Attal for her pictures)

 
Cyclamen