2004, The North

The Golan Heights. I grew up hearing this placename on the television a lot, with no idea what it meant. Except it sounded dangerous. We drove through there.

As a matter of fact, we did come upon a group of Arabs with knives. They were using them to spread hummus at a rest area where we stopped to eat. Their picnic looked much nicer than our convenience-store sandwiches.

Golan is wine country. Lush hills and vineyards overlooking the Sea of Gallilee.

Golan is currently "occupied" by Israel. It was "formerly" part of Syria. We did find, quite easily, leftovers from this "process". There were numerous bunkers, just concrete trenches really, all over the hills. Probably Syrian, but who can tell.

The weeds and scrub were extra-prickly around here, as if they somehow knew.

We climbed on this abandoned Israeli tank. Couldn't get inside it though. It looked fairly fresh and even a little bit maintained: it might be a scarecrow.

Later on, we saw what is almost certainly remains of a Syrian village.