This is a beautiful and unique place right on the Israeli Lebanese border. The sea, the caves and the white cliffs make the whole area into a special place. Highly recommended for a visit. Rosh HaNikra or Hanikra is a geologic formation on the border between Israel and Lebanon, located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, in the Western Galilee. It is a white chalk cliff face which opens up into spectacular grottos. The Rosh HaNikra grottoes are cavernous tunnels formed by sea action on the soft chalk rock. The total length is some 200 meters. They branch off in various directions with some interconnecting segments. A tunnel was built during the Second World War for the Haifa-Beirut railroad line, and in 1968 a second one was dug, both connecting the grottoes with each other and allowing access (currently: only exit) along the former route of the WWII railroad.
For many years though, the only access to the grottoes was from the sea and experienced swimmers and divers were the only ones capable of visiting. The 400 meters long tunnel dug in 1968 between the grottoes and slightly above sea level improved the situation, and soon after a cable car was built to take visitors down from the top of the cliff to the tunnels. With a 60-degree gradient, this cable car is advertised as the steepest in the world. Rosh Hanikra was the location where Israeli and Lebanese officials negotiated and concluded an armistice agreement in 1949 which ended the Lebanese-Israeli component of the 1948 War of Israeli Independence.
Modern civilization began right here in the Tigris-Euphrates river valley. Also known as the Fertile Crescent or Mesopotamia, this is the place where, six thousand years ago, agriculture, writing and mathematics were brought into widespread use.The term "Middle East" comes from the British navy, which used it to describe the countries on the trade route from Europe to India and China. Everything from Afghanistan to Morocco may possibly be classified as "middle eastern", depending on whom you ask -- and when.Only a partial list of past Empires in the middle eastern territory includes Sumeria, Babylonia, Persia, the Ottoman Empire and the Roman Empire!When northern Europe was still lurking about in slimy cold stone castles playing chess, the Middle East was enjoying the flowers of poetry, luxurious craftsmanship, music and literature. In fact, the Renaissance in Europe was partly inspired by stories brought back from the middle east by travelers along the trade route.Strategic location, religious history and the world's largest supply of crude oil have kept the Middle East at the center of world activity for centuries. The saga continues.Text by Steve Smith.