Day 4 started with our last breakfast at Nof Ginosar as we headed out for the day on the way to Jerusalem. Our first stop was at a working kibbutz called Ste Eliyahu in the Jordan Valley. We were given a tour by Sarah, one of the kibbutzim. Sarah was an excellent tour guide who grew up in Chicago. The kibbutz was the originator of Organic farming in Israel back in the 1970’s. Their farm is the center of their kibbutz, and when they were looking for businesses to build to enhance their income they started selling insects that they grow on the kibbutz. They started with bumble bees to aid in pollination and expanded to all types of insects that control pests in farming. They are now one of the top insect growers in the world.
After visiting the kibbutz we headed to Bet She’An National Park, the site of an ancient Roman city. The site was huge. Bet She’An was the site of a town with up to 30,000 people back in the hay day of Greco Roman life. This location is very ripe for travelers because it is part of the main valley between Syria and Israel so travelers didn’t need to climb the mountains to the north or south. It was also on the banks of the Jordan River, so they had access to water. The site included a spa with heated pools and cool rooms as well as a large theater and an amphitheater.
Finally, we spent time at a 6th century temple. The temple was found in 1929 by archeologists from Poland. We saw a video about the making of the mosaic floor that had a very interesting back story. We then headed to lunch (another meal) and headed on the bus for another 2 ½ hours on the bus to Jerusalem. Looking forward to seeing the great city and all it has to offer.