One thing I didn't realize about Israel before I moved here was that much of its mountains and rock formations are actually volcanic. This leads to some fascinating rock formations, some of which barely look natural-- but are. The picture above is of the Hexagon Pool (Birchat Meshushim) in the lower Golan, close to Nachal Yehudiah, and not far north of the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee). You can get a sense of the scale of this naturally-formed pool by noting the little heads of people along the bottom of the picture-- click on the picture to see a large version. The rock hangs down in naturally-forming hexagons that look as if at any moment they could break off and fall into the edge of the pool (and some clearly have). The rock is dark burnished grey. You hike down about one kilometer to get to this pool-- definitely worth the walk. Oh, and you get views like this along the way:
When we visited these pools during Pesach, the water was ice cold, and I doubt it gets that much warmer in the summer as it is fed by cold mountain rivers rushing down from the Golan Heights. It as wonderful to go swimming here on a hot day! This is the biggest of all the pools, but there are many more smaller pools accessible along hiking trails along the Nahal Yehudiah, including some fed by spectacular water falls. I'd never swum underneath a waterfall before coming to Israel-- now I've done so in both the north (Golan) and south (Ein Gedi). Definitely not an experience to miss!
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