Israel | Jordan

In 1998, I had left Mount Hermon, Israel’s tallest peak at 9,230 feet. It was 25 degrees and blowing snow when I drove down the Golan Heights through a Druze village to an Israeli settlement in the northern Galilee. Spring flowers were in bloom on orchard trees as I drove south into the Judean Desert alternately passing Arab, Israeli and tented Bedouin communities. When I reached Ein Gedi, an oasis on the Dead Sea at 1,300 feet below sea level, the sun was blazing and it was 85 degrees. I learned that a 10,000 feet elevation change and 60 degree shift in a half day’s drive through incredible cultural diversity is to be expected in Israel. Over the course of a month I covered from Metulla in the north to Eilat in the south with a side trip to Petra in Jordan.