The time has come to set out. As we leave the parking lot, we turn westward and head towards a plaza containing stone pillars erected by KKL-JNF as an expression of appreciation for the organization’s Friends throughout the world. Adjacent to the plaza is a gate in the fence, and on the far side, the path begins to make its way up the hill (follow the green markings).
Our trail continues upwards through a forest interspersed with lush native vegetation. Here pine trees grow alongside Israeli common oak (Quercus calliprinos), mastic trees (Pistacia lentiscus) and other representatives of the Mediterranean woodland, and good neighborly relations clearly prevail. In February, you will find large numbers of cyclamen and anemones here, while at other times of the year you can enjoy the sight of climbing plants such as Etruscan honeysuckle (Lonicera Etrusca), rough bindweed (Smilax aspera) and black bryony (Tamus communis).
The path is fairly steep, but not very long. After 400 meters, it crosses a broad trail indicated by black markings, then continues straight on into the woodland. Another 300 meters or so and we’ve reached the top, and are now 70 meters higher than we were at our starting point. Now we make our way down a small rocky step and find ourselves in a small valley that bears the markings of the Israel Trail.