Well here I am on the Lebanese border, writing this blog, whilst listening to
Michael Buerk on the BBC
and relishing the dry air and cool breeze which are so different from Haifa.
The view from our window is of Lebanon and this will be our home for the next four days.
All our well-laid plans to travel along the Sea of Galilee due north went pear-shaped after we realised that the kitchen chairs purchased yesterday were lacking one essential bung. So we decided to go via the industrial area of
Checkpost and Krayot
which we expected to be extremely busy, but were not; retrieved the bung and carried on towards
and then eastwards through
then taking route 90 north of the Galilee until we reached
(home of Madonna),
(hit hard during the war) and then
(hit very hard during the war).
The landscape was definitely autumnal and in need of rain, but traffic was sparse. So, instead of arriving at 3.30 as expected, we got there by 1.00. We were then given a tour of Metullah, which differs greatly from Haifa in having plaques and info everywhere in both English and Hebrew. The B & B owner came to meet us and showed us our room and the lovely garden (which looks right into Lebanon) the synagogue for tonight and the two supermarkets, one owned by a Lebanese.
The B & B has provided us with a private Succah just for our family and friends and even this wireless connection, which is really thoughtful of them. They never get tourists from out of Israel, so were surprised to meet us. Although I've lived here for a year, I will still always be British in the eyes of most Israelis.
Metullah is both like a ghost town and beautiful, with an interesting history, including remnants of the British Mandate and other, more recent scars from the time of the last Lebanon War, last year.
We met a woman who had moved here during the war from the centre of Israel, simply because she loves the place. And why shouldn't she? It's special and certainly different.
Just the place in fact to sit facing north and contemplating how we can come to terms with our neighbours in Lebanon, some of whom it seems are living in Metullah in any case.