5 Absolutely Essential Travel Apps For Smart Travellers in 2021

We can’t travel that much right now, but it’s the perfect time to prepare! These days, we can hold everything we need for a great trip in our smartphone. The sheer amount of apps out there can be a bit overwhelming right? Of course, many apps may be useful, but in the interest of minimalism, we’ll keep our list short. So let us reveal 5 absolutely essential travel apps for smart travellers in 2021.

Essential Travel Apps For Smart Travellers That Cover You Offline

There’s nothing worse than being stuck somewhere with no internet and not being able to access an app when you need it. We can never accurately predict what kind of internet, if any, we can access when we travel. For this reason, all of the apps in this article are useable offline, as well as online.

What’s even better is that each of these essential travel apps for smart travellers are free and simple to use. You’ll wonder how you ever got along without them!

Essential Travel Apps For Smart Travellers in 2021 – Maps.ME

In the 21st century, no one carries a paper map around. We have apps for that! But not all map apps are created equal, so how do you choose the best one? Smart travellers use open-source map apps like Maps.ME.

K in Motion Travel Blog. 5 Essential Travel Apps For Smart Travellers. Maps.ME

The advantage of Maps.ME over other map apps is that it uses OpenStreetMap. This means that users can update maps via the Open Street Web page. This ensures that maps are up to date and most importantly, accurate! Maps.ME is literally streets ahead. Pun intended!

Maps.ME Features

Maps.ME has a long list of features that will keep you moving in the right direction in both city and country areas.

Point to Point Navigation for Walking

Input your destination, either by touching it on the map or using the search tool and Maps.ME will calculate your route. The icons at the top of the map will change the mode of transport.

K in Motion Travel Blog. 5 Essentials Apps for Smart Travellers in 2021. Maps.ME Walking Route K in Motion Travel Blog. 5 Essential Travel Apps for Smart Travellers in 2021. Maps.ME Hiking Route
Maps.ME can also be used to find hiking trails.

It will give you information about the distance and elevation gain on a route, but it won’t show you contours or trail condition.

You can also set up to 3 waypoints, or stops, if there are things you want to see that require a slight detour.

Point to Point Navigation for Driving and Transport

Driving routes are also available with some extra options. You can set it to avoid tolls, unpaved roads, ferry crossings and motorways, or show speed cameras. It even has the annoying chatty woman that semi-seductively instructs you where to go. Or voice navigation, if that’s what you prefer to call it. Either way, it’ll help keep your hands free for driving.

K in Motion Travel Blog. 5 Essential Travel Apps for Smart Travellers in 2021. Maps.ME Driving Route K in Motion Travel Blog. 5 Essential Travel Apps for Smart Travellers in 2021. Maps.ME Transport Route

One function that has been added rather recently is transport routes.

These routes work best in cities and will show available public transport options between your start and end points.

They’re such a time saver.

You’ll never have to be *that* lost traveller again!

Night Mode

Another useful function on Maps.ME is night mode. It will automatically make the app screen dark around dusk. This ensures that your eyes adjust to the dark and the screen is easier to read. Your eyes will definitely love you for it.

K in Motion Travel Blog. 5 Essential Travel Apps for Smart Travellers in 2021. Maps.ME Night Mode

How Does Maps.ME Work Offline?

You might think that some kind of phone or internet signal is needed for a map app to function properly. Thankfully, it’s not. All smartphones have GPS, which ia all a map app needs. You just have to make sure that you’ve downloaded the maps you need before you go.

Why is Map.ME One of the Most Essential Travel Apps for Smart Travellers?

If you want an accurate map app with amazing functionality, even in the middle of nowhere, then you need Maps.ME! If you don’t want to waste time getting lost, then you need Maps.ME! I have personally used it in 50 countries across Oceania, the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia, including China and Turkmenistan where other map apps are known to be useless!

Essential Travel Apps For Smart Travellers in 2021 – XE

It can get confusing constantly trying to convert the local currency back to your home currency when travelling. So why not let the third on our list of essential travel apps for smart travellers, XE app do it for you?

K in Motion Travel Blog. 5 Essential Travel Apps For Smart Travellers. XE

XE Features

K in Motion Travel Blog. 5 Essential Travel Apps for Smart Travellers. XE Input. K in Motion Travel Blog. 5 Essential Travel Apps for Smart Travellers. XE Currencies

XE lets you add an unlimited amount of currencies to your list.

All you need to do is drag the currency you need to know the rates for to the top of the list.

Then input the amount you want to convert.

The app will give you the exchange rates between all currencies and the top one.

You can even look at daily, weekly, monthly, yearly and 10 yearly trends between currency pairs.

K in Motion Travel Blog. 5 Essential Travel Apps For Smart Travellers. XE Trends

How Does XE Work Offline?

It downloads the latest rates when you are online and uses those to calculate rate and amounts when you’re on the go. While it is true that rates can fluctuate during the day, they never really fluctuate enough to make a huge difference.

Why is XE One of the Most Essential Travel Apps for Smart Travellers?

I bet you’ve had that awkward moment while travelling where you’ve found out your calculations were off, right? That won’t happen with XE! Instead of trying to calculate in your head, just ask XE for an instant answer. It’s an absolute time-saver. If you like saving money and time, you need this app!

Essential Travel Apps For Smart Travellers in 2021 – Sweatcoin

There’s no doubt that we all do a lot more walking when we travel. Whether it’s wandering around a beautiful medieval old town, hiking to a waterfall, climbing stairs to the top of a monument, or just getting lost. Why not earn while you walk? That’s where one of my favourite essential travel apps for smart travellers, Sweatcoin comes in. Not only is it an amazing motivator to get moving, it may even help you buy something you never knew you needed one day!

5 Essential Travel Apps for Smart Travellers. Sweatcoin

Sweatcoin Features

Sweatcoin tracks your steps and converts every 1000 steps you do into 1 Sweatcoin. The amount of Sweatcoins you can earn per day depends on the plan you choose.

K in Motion Travel Blog. 5 Essential Travel Apps For Smart Travellers in 2021. Sweatcoin Mover Plan K in Motion Travel Blog. 5 Essential Travel Apps For Smart Travellers in 2021. Sweatcoin Shaker Plan

The basic Mover plan lets you earn up to 5 Sweatcoins a day.
In other words, you only earn on your first 5000 steps.

This plan is good for the lazy folk.

The next plan up is called Shaker and allows you to earn up to 10 Sweatcoins a day which is around 10,000 steps.

It costs 4.75 Sweatcoins a month.

After Shaker, you have Quaker which is 20 Sweatcoins a month to earn up to 15 Sweatcoins a day.

K in Motion Travel Blog. 5 Essential Travel Apps For Smart Travellers in 2021. Sweatcoin Breaker Plan K in Motion Travel Blog. 5 Essential Travel Apps For Smart Travellers in 2021. Sweatcoin Daily Boost.By far the best plan for smart travellers, who love nothing better than exploring all day, is the Breaker plan.
It costs 30 Sweatcoins a month and you can earn up to 20 Sweatcoins a day. Or around 7,000 a year!

Then there’s the Daily Boost, which can be used to earn several hundred more Sweatcoins a year.
You just choose 20 minutes of the day where you’ll be the most active and double your Sweatcoins!

You can also earn extra Sweatcoins each day by watching some ads. It turns out that ads aren’t that annoying if you get something for watching them!

How Does Sweatcoin Work Offline?

Like Maps.ME, Sweatcoin uses the GPS on your phone, so it works without internet and doesn’t require phone signal. Both apps can share your phone’s GPS with no problems.

Why is Sweatcoin One of the Most Essential Travel Apps for Smart Travellers?

Sweatcoin is a great motivator. Sometimes the only reason I go for a walk is to get my daily boost! There’s just something great about knowing that walking can help buy something in the future.

You can join Sweatcoin here and start getting rewarded while you walk :o)

Essential Travel Apps For Smart Travellers in 2021 – Google Translate

So you’ve found your destination with the help of Maps.ME and worked out how much your souvenir will cost you with XE. You may have even earned a few Sweatcoins on the way. But now you have a question you really need to ask about the item and the shopkeeper doesn’t speak English. Uh oh!

K in Motion Travel Blog. 5 Essential Travel Apps For Smart Travellers. Google Translate

Enter Google Translate. Arguably one of the most essential travel apps for smart travellers. I’ll have to admit that some of its translations can be a bit dubious. Others can be downright hilarious, but it probably still knows the local language better than you!

Google Translate Features

The Google Translate App is a very simple app to use. Anyone who has used the webpage will have no problem navigating it.

Real-time Translations

K in Motion Travel Blog. 5 Essential Travel Apps For Smart Travellers. Google Translate Suggestion K in Motion Travel Blog. 5 Essential Travel Apps For Smart Travellers. Google Translate Translation

Just input your query and it will translate in real-time for you.

It will even offer suggestions.

If you have a phrase you’ll use regularly, you can click the star on the right to add it to your phrasebook.

That means it can be accessed easily with just one tap later.

Conversations

It can get a bit awkward passing the phone back and forth and waiting for someone to write, so this Conversations function is a real time saver.

K in Motion Travel Blog. 5 Essential Travel Apps For Smart Travellers. Google Translate Conversation K in Motion Travel Blog. 5 Essential Travel Apps For Smart Travellers. Google Translate Coversation

It’s almost like having a real conversation.

Well as real as it gets when you speak different languages.

Just press the microphone for your language and the funny computer voice will translate to the other language.

It will also put the written version on the screen for you.

Instant Scan and Read

This is a really cool function that can help you figure out what you’re ordering at a restaurant Or if that tube contains toothpaste or shampoo at the supermarket. Or.. well the list is endless.

K in Motion Travel Blog. 5 Essential Travel Apps For Smart Travellers. Google Translate Instant Scan K in Motion Travel Blog. 5 Essential Travel Apps For Smart Travellers. Google Translate Instant Scan and Read
The little camera icon will take you to the scan screen.

Place it above the text you need to read.

And viola, instant understanding. Hopefully.

It is very sensitive and will lose focus and retranslate if you move the camera the tiniest bit.

How Does Google Translate Work Offline?

Once you’ve downloaded the language files to your phone, Google Translate can access them when you’re offline.

Why is Google Translate One of the Most Essential Travel Apps for Smart Travellers?

If you don’t like long games of charades or trying to communicate without words then Google Translate is for you!

Essential Travel Apps For Smart Travellers in 2021 – Troposo

Now we’ve covered maps, language and currency, but what about attractions and guides? Our final app in our list of essential travel apps for smart travellers, Triposo will give you all the information you need to plan your trip.

K in Motion Travel Blog. 5 Essential Travel Apps For Smart Travellers. Triposo

Triposo Features

To say that Triposo is loaded with features would be an understatement. It has an amazing amount of information covering things you may not have even thought of yet.

Country Guides

If you want a broad idea of what a country has to offer, then you’ll find everything you need in that country’s guide.
K in Motion Travel Blog. 5 Essential Travel Apps For Smart Travellers. Triposo Country View K in Motion Travel Blog. Essential Travel Apps For Smart Travellers. Azerbaijan Guide Preparation
The guide provides information on the regions, cities, national parks and islands in the country.

You can read up on the country’s background.

Then, most importantly, Practicalities.

Everything you need to prepare for your trip.

And guide you while you’re there.

City Guides

For a more in depth look at a specific city, check out a city guide.
K in Motion Travel Blog. Essential Travel Apps For Smart Travellers. Triposo City View K in Motion Travel Blog. Essential Travel Apps For Smart Travellers. City Background
You’ll see slightly more option to peruse in a city guide.

Find out where all the sites and attractions are.

Look up the best places to eat or drink, with prices and reviews!

Find tours and accommodation

Search for all your practical needs like transport, groceries and tourist information.

How Does Triposo Work Offline?

It’s a similar concept to the first of our essential travel apps for smart travellers, Maps.ME, where you download the guides before you go and the app uses the GPS on your phone to show your proximity to the city’s attractions.

Why is Triposo One of the Most Essential Travel Apps for Smart Travellers?

Triposo is like a one-stop app for the organised traveller. It could possibly save you hours/days/weeks of research about your destination by placing almost all the information you need at your fingertips. Who wouldn’t want to use an app with those kinda time-saving powers?

So what are you waiting for? If you’re not already using them, download your own copies of these 5 essential travel apps for smart travellers in 2021. If you’re already using them, or other essential travel apps for smart travellers, we’d love to hear about your experiences with them below!

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What is it Really Like in Palestine?

K in Motion Travel Blog. What Is It Really Like in Palestine. Ramallah

For most people, what it is really like in Palestine is a bit of a mystery and knowledge of it comes directly from what the media shows them. Any good traveller has learned that a healthy serving of skepticism is good when dealing with media portrayals of a place. It’s always better to find out what a place is like for yourself. With that in mind, I started on my way to find out what it is really like in Palestine.

Introduction to Area A of the Occupied Palestinian Territories – What It Is Really Like in Palestine

The official UN label for the area, including the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem has been the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) since 1999. My journey started in Jerusalem, where I caught a public bus to the bus stop closest to an Area A border.

Area A consists of pockets of land throughout the West Bank that includes the cities of Nablus, Jenin, Tulkarem, Qalqilya, Ramallah, Bethlehem, Jericho and parts of Hebron. It is the only part of the West Bank that is under full Palestinian control, yet it accounts for less than 20% of the area of the West Bank. I was crossing over close to the Palestinian capital of Ramallah.

Upon entering the border area, things started to feel very ominous. If I had to answer a question about what it is really like in Palestine at that moment, I would’ve said a bit weird. It was like all development had stopped at an imaginary line several hundred metres before the border. The area was desolate until a huge watchtower came into view. I could see a large red sign with writing in Hebrew, Arabic and English –

K in Motion Travel Blog. What Is It Really Like in Palestine. Area A Border

This road leads to Area ‘A’ under the Palestinian Authority. The entrance for Israeli citizens is forbidden, dangerous to your lives and against the Israeli law

I was expecting to get my passport checked as I walked past the tower. No one asked to see it. There was a security guard stationed near the gate size hole in the wire fence behind the tower, but he was not stopping anyone that went through. That fence seemed to mark the start of a kind of no man’s land that ran until a five metre high concrete wall with another watchtower. That is where I entered Palestine.

K in Motion Travel Blog. What Is It Really Like in Palestine. Area A Border Wall With Watchtower

What it is Really Like in Palestine – Getting to the Capital, Ramallah

To say that things were crazy on the other side of that wall would be a massive understatement. This was especially noticeable after spending minutes walking across a desolate space between fences.

There were cars and people everywhere. I really had no idea where to go next, so I just started walking up the road. A local by the name of Ramek approached me. His English wasn’t too good, but he was eager to assist me. He helped me find a shared taxi, or ‘servees’ heading to Ramallah, where he also happened to be going.

Shared taxis in Palestine are actually minivans that seat around 16 people. In the van, Ramek tried to talk to me but it was very hard for us to understand each other. He did give me his phone number in case I needed anything while I was in Ramallah.

If people being friendly and helpful was what it is really like in Palestine, then I was ready for more! I was surprised at how empty Ramallah seemed, but that could’ve been because it was afternoon during Ramadan. And also because it was fairly hot.

K in Motion Travel Blog. What Is It Really Like in Palestine. Quiet Town Centre Ramallah

What It Is Really Like in Palestine – Exploring Ramallah During Ramadan

I was quite shocked to find that many take-away food places appeared to be open, even though it was daytime during Ramadan. Maybe they stayed open in case people wanted to buy food for the ‘break fast’ meal in the evening. During my wanderings, I found a street lined with carts. Like old-timey wooden carts. The carts were mostly full of fruits that vendors were trying to sell. Almost every vendor said, “Hello, welcome to Palestine!”, as I walked past.

A few of them also enquired as to where I was from and asked if I would like to buy their fruit. I think they wanted to talk to me more than they wanted to sell me fruit. As soon as I stopped to talk to them, there was no further mention of buying goods from them. They seemed more interested in my thoughts on what it is really like in Palestine. In less than a few hours in Palestine, I had come to the conclusion that Palestinians were very friendly and curious people.

What It Is Really like in Palestine – Stars and Bucks

While walking near the town centre, I thought I saw a Starbucks logo. I had to do a double-take as I was sure that Palestine did not have Starbucks. Or many of the big chains like McDonald’s. Unfortunately, McDonald’s opened in Palestine several months after I was there. Which is crazy because they have so much good food there that I can’t understand why they would want to eat that rubbish. Anyway, back to the fake Starbucks.

K in Motion Travel Blog. What Is It Really Like in Palestine. Stars and Bucks K in Motion Travel Blog. What Is It Really Like in Palestine. Stars and Bucks in Ramallah

It seems that lack of access to some foreign brands has prompted Palestinians to come up with their own, better versions. Yes, better! Stars and Bucks is a chain in the country that could almost be mistaken for Starbucks if you’re not paying attention. Upon closer inspection, it is more of a sit-down-and-eat kind of cafe, as opposed to Starbucks’ focus on drinks. They even sell Starbucks-esk merchandise such as tumblers and mugs.

What It Is Really Like in Palestine – Area D

When in the planning stages of my trip to Palestine, I had started speaking to a local by the name of Moe. As he explained to me later, his name was actually Muhammed and one of his brothers was also called Muhammed, due to the naming conventions in the area. That is why he chose to go by Moe.

Moe had invited me to meet him at the hostel that he worked at, Area D Hostel. This is a reference to the administrative areas that the West Bank has been divided into. I mentioned earlier that Area A is completely under Palestinian control. Area B is effectively Palestinian land under Israeli security control and Area C, which accounts for most of the West Bank, is completely under Israeli control.

K in Motion Travel Blog. What Is It Really Like in Palestine. Occupation Article

What It Is Really like in Palestine – Meeting Some Locals and Visitors Who Became Locals

The idea is that Area D is a safe place outside of all of the political division that can be used as a base for exploration of what it is really like in Palestine. I was planning to check in to the hostel on arrival, but Moe said we could organise that later. It was time for tea and a chat first. Who was I to argue? Moe introduced me to an interesting group of people. One of them was a Dutch woman who also worked at the hostel. She had visited Palestine a year beforehand and loved the locals so much that she decided to return and live there.

What Is It Really like in Palestine? – Chats and Cha

The others were just passing through, but also commented on how much Palestine had surprised and impressed them. We all sat around chatting and sipping tea well into the early hours. At that point, Moe suggested that I needn’t bother checking in and should instead stay at his place. Ramallah felt very serene and peaceful as we walked back to Moe’s place in the middle of the night.

K in Motion Travel Blog. What Is It Really Like in Palestine. Mosque Near Area D

What It Is Really Like in Palestine – Planning a Trip to Nablus

Once back at Moe’s place we chatted more over mint tea, made with mint that Moe grew in a pot on his balcony. I had thought until that point that I wasn’t a fan of mint, but it seems having it fresh makes a world of difference. During our chat, Moe has asked if I was interested in seeing Nablus, his hometown. He advised me that he had a friend in the city and he would ask him to show me around the city. Considering that I’d only just met Moe, I felt super appreciative that he was going out of his way to make my stay in Palestine awesome.

What is it Really Like in Palestine – Nablus

Moe’s friend in Nablus said that he would be available after 11 am to show me the city. I got myself to the transport station near the town centre and got a servees to Nablus. Most of the driving was done in 30 minutes. Then we hit traffic coming into Nablus. For a relatively small city, it seemed to have a whole lot of traffic!

Moe had given me his friend Majed’s number to call when I got into the city. The servees driver called him for me. He told Majed exactly where he was dropping me off so he knew where to meet me. In Palestine, you can just ask any random person on the street to call someone for you and they will do it. How lovely is that?

What It Is Really Like in Palestine – Meeting Majed

I was a little overwhelmed by the massive amounts of noise coming from the traffic and wasn’t quite sure exactly where I was meeting Majed. Luckily, as a confused looking foreigner, I stood out a bit and Majed was able to spot me fairly quickly.

He greeted me with, “Welcome to Nablus!”, and it was clear to me that he was very proud of his town. As we moved away from the busy main street, I was surprised at how quickly things became more spaced out and quiet. It wasn’t long before we were in the old town.

K in Motion Travel Blog. What Is It Really Like in Palestine. Nablus Old Town K in Motion Travel Blog. What Is It Really Like in Palestine. Old Town Nablus Alleyway

What It Is Really Like in Palestine – Wandering the City

Majed advised that Nablus was one of the oldest cities in the world. He believed that it could have been settled nearly 10,000 years ago. It certainly felt very old while walking through it.

What It Is Really Like in Palestine – The Damascus of Palestine

Majed also said that the city was often referred to as the Damascus of Palestine. What was amazing about the town was that despite the extreme heat of the day, the covered alleyways were quite cool. As we walked around, it felt like Majed knew almost all of the shopkeepers.

K in Motion Travel Blog. What Is It Really Like in Palestine. Nablus Town Centre Clock Tower K in Motion Travel Blog. What Is It Really Like in Palestine. Nablus

He stopped for a small chat at quite a few of them and almost every one of them gave me a little treat from their shop. Some of them even wanted photos.

K in Motion Travel Blog. What Is It Really Like in Palestine. New Friends in Nablus

After the walk around town, Majed took me back to his place where I met his mother, sister and six year old niece, Aya. Aya took an instant shine to me and was excited to practice her English.

She proudly said, “How are you?”. Then we munched on an insanely delicious Palestinian sweet called Knafeh Nabulsieh. Yes, it was during Ramadan, but children and non-muslims are not required to fast for Ramadan. As long they don’t eat in front of someone who is fasting, it’s all good.

K in Motion Travel Blog. What Is It Really Like in Palestine. Knafeh Nabulsieh

From what I could gather, it’s made with white cheese, pastry and sugar syrup. Majed assured me that the Nablus version of the sweet was the best. In fact, Nablus is where the sweet originated. Majed later told me that Aya had asked if I could join the family for their Ramadan ‘break fast’ feast that night.

What It Is really like in Palestine – Ramadan ‘Break Fast’ Feast

We walked to Majed’s sister’s house on the other side of town for the meal. It was around sunset time. The centre of Nablus is in a valley between two hills, with residential areas on both hills. That made the view quite striking.

K in Motion Travel Blog. What Is It Really Like in Palestine. View of Nablus

Aya rushed up and hugged me as I walked in the door. She then spent the time before dinner pointing out each new relation as they walked in the door. Unfortunately, she didn’t quite know the English words for all of them, so I had to help her out. She would then tell me the Arabic equivalent of the word.

K in Motion Travel Blog. What Is It Really Like in Palestine. Ramadan 'Break Fast' Meal

Majed’s mum and sister were constantly trying to stuff me with food and drink. They relayed, through Majed, that they wanted to make sure that I was looked after as their guest. I was so looked after that I’d probably gone up a clothes size! I think they really just wanted to make me fat!

What It Is Really Like in Palestine – Leaving Palestine

On my way out of Palestine, I had decided to make a short stop to try to procure a mini Palestinian flag. I was close to giving up because all the shops I’d tried only had full size flags. I finally came upon a shop that had a whole display full of the exact flag that I wanted.

When I asked the shopkeeper how much it was, he asked me why I wanted it. When I told him that I try to grab a small flag in each country that I visit, his face lit up and said, “For you, it’s free”. He also offered me some tea, but I had to continue moving.

What It Is Really like in Palestine – One Last Palestinian Adventure

My last adventure in Palestine actually started in Jerusalem in Israel. A friendly Palestinian/Israeli local who owned an ATV had offered to take me ATVing. After going up and down some hills in Israeli controlled Area C of the West Bank, we ended up on the top of a hill overlooking the little town of Bethlehem at night.

K in Motion Travel Blog. What It Is Really Like in Palestine. A Hill Overlooking the Little Town of Bethlehem

If you ask me now, ‘what is it really like in Palestine?’, I would say freaking awesome!

They say that it’s people that make a place worthwhile. With all the Palestinians that offered me help and made me feel more than welcome while I was in their country, Palestine quickly became one of my favourite countries in the world. It’s sad that it’s so misunderstood. I think everyone needs to visit to find out what it is really like in Palestine for themselves.

See all the articles in this series –
Interesting Sites in Southern Israel
Religious Sites and Nature of Northern Israel
Historic and Natural Places to See in Northern Israel
What It Is Really Like In Palestine

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Ups and Downs of the Planeterra Trek Challenge

K in Motion Travel Blog. Ups and Downs of the Planeterra Trek Challenge. Certificate

Last week I took part in the Planeterra Trek Challenge with some of the Nomads Giving Back team. Our goal was to each walk/run/hike the 65 kilometres, or 85,000 steps, to Everest Base Camp. Virtually of course! I’m normally pretty active, so I thought I had it in the bag, but there were some things conspiring against me. Let me take you on a journey through the ups and downs of the Planeterra Trek Challenge.

Monday 21st September – Day 1 of the Planeterra Trek Challenge

I woke up excited and ready to get right into the challenge. There was only one problem; the weather. It seemed that nature had other ideas. Some storms had developed overnight and it was raining heavily. There was even a bit of thunder and lightning.

I hoped that maybe the storm would dissipate by the afternoon, so I could get out and do some walking. That did not happen. In fact, it seemed to be getting worse as the day went on. Needless to say, I didn’t get to do any walking for the first day of the challenge. But there’s always tomorrow, right?

Tuesday 22nd September – Day 2

Once again, I woke up excited to get my challenge started. Once again, nature had other ideas. The storm was still going strong. I was hoping that it wouldn’t cause me to lose another day. Luckily, the rain started to abate around midday and I seized the opportunity to get outside.

As there were still some dark clouds hanging around, I decided to start with a relatively easy flat walk along a river in my district. That way I’d be close to home if the rain started again.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Ups and Downs of the Planeterra Trek Challenge. Shing Mun River

Although it is a natural river, the course of the Shing Mun River (城門河) and it’s tributaries were altered in the 70’s when land was reclaimed for housing. That means that the banks are artificial, with paved walking and bicycle paths all along their courses.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Ups and Downs of the Planeterra Trek Challenge. River With Boats

The Shing Mun River also seems to be full of jumping fish.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Ups and Downs of the Planeterra Trek Challenge. Day 1 Steps

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Day 2 Stats

15,326 steps
– 69,674 to go

11.74km
– 53.26 to go
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Wednesday 23rd September – Ups and Downs of the Planeterra Trek Challenge Day 3

After half a day that was almost dry, the rain came back again. I thought the day might be another washout, but there was a short window in the evening where I was able to get some steps in.

I also use an app called Sweatcoin which allows me to earn Sweatcoins for my steps. It generally records steps at a lower rate than my fitness app, but earning coins that can be redeemed for goods is still pretty cool, none-the-less. If rewards for exercising interest you, check out the app here.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Ups and Downs of the Planeterra Trek Challenge. Day 3 Sweatcoins Earned

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Day 3 Stats

8.96 Sweatcoins
– 23.74 Sweatcoins accumulated

11,173 steps
– 58,501 to go

9.13km
– 44.13km to go
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Thursday 24th September – Day 4

Rain was still looming, so I headed back to the river again. When I made a short detour into town, a drunk rat ran into my foot. Okay, maybe it wasn’t drunk, but it was certainly acting like it. After it ran into my foot, it slowly zig-zagged across the road before just hanging out on the edge of the opposite footpath.

Back at the river, there was a mural depicting various things to be seen and activities that take place in the district. One of those activities in Dragon Boating.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Ups and Downs of the Planeterra Trek Challenge. Horse Mural K in Motion Travel Blog. Ups and Downs of the Planeterra Trek Challenge. Dragon Boat Mural

On any given day the chances of seeing someone practicing on the river is high.

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Day 4 Stats

14.86 Sweatcoins
– 38.6 Sweatcoins accumulated

13,819
– 44,682 to go

10.56km
– 33.57 to go
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So by the end of day 4, I had completed just over 30kms, or 40,318 steps. That meant I was a little under halfway to the 65km/85,000 step goal. It wasn’t quite where I wanted to be by that point. I wasn’t worried though. I still had 3 days left!

Friday 25th September – Day 5

This was always going to be a tricky day to get some steps in as I had a training day to attend. Obviously, I was tired when I was done and wasn’t going to attempt anything but a flat urban walk. It was of course pretty uneventful, except for the helicopter rescue that I witnessed. You see, I was walking near the base of a hill called Lion Rock, which is a bit of an icon in my city. It can be seen from almost anywhere in the city.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Ups and Downs of the Planeterra Trek Challenge. Lion Rock from Kowloon

Helicopters flying around is something that has been sporadically happening since protests broke out last year, so I initially ignored it. Until I realised it was hovering right near the ‘Lions Back’. I knew straight away what a helicopter hovering over a hill meant. It appeared to lift three people up before flying off. I couldn’t help but think how lucky we are to have a service like this. It has no doubt saved many lives.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Ups and Downs of the Planeterra Trek Challenge. Day 5 Steps

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Day 5 Stats

11.33 Sweatcoins
– 49.93 Sweatcoins accumulated

13,524 steps
– 31,158 to go

9.5km
– 24.07 to go
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53,842 steps down, 31,158 to go! Finally over half-way!

Saturday 26th September – Day 6

I had big plans for a hike this day. Unfortunately, I woke up feeling sick and wasn’t really capable of doing anything but resting. And binge-watching some TV shows.

Sunday 27th September – Ups and Downs of the Planeterra Trek Challenge Day 7

I was still feeling unwell when I woke up, but I was also determined to finish the challenge. With nearly 25 kilometres left to finish, it was not going to be easy. Luckily, I live right near Lion Rock, so that was the target for the day.

Things started off well and the trail was surprisingly empty, despite it being a weekend day. This could’ve been because there was a strong chance of rain.

The rain held off until I was about three-quarters of the way up. This was disappointing because the mist obstructed the normally awesome views from that point.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Ups and Downs of the Planeterra Trek Challenge. Misty City View

There was a possibility that the mist could clear by the time I got to the top. I realised once I got within sight of the Lion’s Head that was not going to happen. It had actually gotten worse.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Ups and Downs of the Planeterra Trek Challenge. Misty Lion's Head

As you could imagine, by the time I got to the top, there was no view at all. Here’s what it should’ve looked like –

K in Motion Travel Blog. Ups and Downs of the Planeterra Trek Challenge. View From Lion Rock.

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Day 7 Stats

22 Sweatcoins
– 72 Sweatcoins Total

30,695 steps
– 84,537 Total

23.82km
– 64.75km Total
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Final Total – 84,537 steps or 64.75km and 72 Sweatcoins earned!

Considering I lost so much time to weather and illness, near enough is good enough for a victory photo, right?

K in Motion Travel Blog. Ups and Downs of the Planeterra Trek Challenge. Victory Photo 'On the Top of Mount Everest'

That’s totally me on Mount Everest. Or that’s me photoshopped on Mount Everest, courtesy of The Top Of Mount Everest. Who can really know for sure?

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Planeterra Trek Challenge

K in Motion Travel Blog. Planeterra Trek Challenge

Recent world events have affected almost everyone. Many of us have been left in uncertain positions due to government/school/business closures. The impact for some has been more devastating than it has for others. Especially for those in areas that have relied on tourism as their major income source. Of course, it can be really easy to get discouraged in times like these and I’ve got to admit that some days are worse than others. I’m lucky to have access to some of the best hiking trails in the world, so I’ve decided to put them to good use by joining the Planeterra Trek Challenge.

What is Planeterra?

Planeterra is a non-profit organisation that’s all about social enterprise in tourism. They are committed to positively impacting local communities and helping them derive sustainable income from tourism. In other words, they work to ensure that tourist money spent in communities goes to improving those communities. That starts from the grassroots by employing youth and empowering disadvantaged groups, such as women.

They believe in using tourism as a tool for wealth distribution. Planeterra’s Projects are currently running on all seven continents and in 51 countries. The projects are aimed at being the catalyst for change by empowering disadvantaged groups, like women and youth, preserving culture and protecting the environment. You can find out more about Planeterra and what they do on their website. They can also be found on Instagram,
Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook

What is the Planeterra Trek Challenge?

The Planeterra Trek Challenge is an event set up to fundraise for Planeterra projects in areas that have been affected by recent global changes. These projects include rebuilding community tourism in the places most adversely affected by tourism lockdowns. Myself and some fellow Nomads Giving Back have come together and we are planning to trek 65 kilometres to Everest Base Camp in the mountains of Nepal. Oh, did I mention virtually?

K in Motion Travel Blog. Planeterra Trek Challenge. Somewhere in Nepal

Obviously, we can’t make it to Nepal right now. Our plan for completing the challenge is to do our individual ‘treks’ in our own backyards. For me, that means climbing hills in ridiculous humidity and heat. For others, it means running around suburban streets in the cool of autumn. Our team of five is located all around the world, from Australia to South America and Asia. We each aim to do 85,000 steps in the week starting on Monday the 21st of September and ending on Sunday the 27th.

Want to help?

We’d be ever-grateful for any support that you could offer. You can support us by making a donation to our team via my fundraising page. Your donations will be matched, up to CA$25,000 by the Planeterra Foundation’s Founder Bruce Poon Tip. Can you help Planeterra reach its next milestone of $50,000?

We’d also love it if you could share this post with everyone you know. It’d even be cool if you could share it with people you don’t know. Any social media shares will be greatly appreciated! The more people that we can reach, the more help we can offer to those that need it the most. Doesn’t that sound like something that would be great to be a part of?

Encouraging comments are also welcome. I’m sure that spending a week climbing hills in 30°C temperatures at 80% humidity probably isn’t anyone’s idea of fun. It’s definitely not mine! So if you’d like to offer motivational quotes in the comments below, I welcome them. I mean, I’m sure I can do it. It’s just nice to hear other people say it, you know?

K in Motion Travel Blog. Trek Footprint

Follow the Story

During the week of the trek, I will endeavour to document the journey with fitness app screenshots, photos of scenery and funny anecdotes. There may even be videos. Some of them might end up on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. There will also be a round-up post of the whole Planeterra Trek Challenge next week. Keep an eye out for it.

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Historic and Natural Places to See in Northern Israel

In the north of Israel, where it touches the Mediterranean sea, there is an amazing amount of history and nature to see. After exploring Galilee and its many religious sites along the Jesus Trail in Northern Israel I continued on to check out some historic and natural places to see in Northern Israel.

Three Faiths Lookout at Mount Precipice – Historic and Natural Places to See in Northern Israel

Just 10 minutes out of Nazareth you will find yourself at the Three Faiths Lookout on the peak of Mount Precipice.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Historic and Natural Places to See in Northern Israel. Three Faiths Lookout

If the name sounds familiar, it’s the hill where an angry mob tried to throw Jesus off. Legend has it that he then leaped 9 kilometres over to Mount Tabor, which gave rise to its Arabic name Jebel al-Qafzeh (Mount of the leap).

K in Motion Travel Blog. Historic and Natural Places to See in Northern Israel. Mount Precipice Plaque

The peak offers awesome panoramic views of the Jezreel Valley below. It would probably be quite amazing at sunrise and sunset.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Historic and Natural Places to See in Northern Israel. Jazreel Valley From Mount Precipice.

Historic and Natural Places to See in Northern Israel – Haifa

Haifa in Northern Israel is a beautiful port town looking out onto the Mediterranean Sea.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Historic and Natural Places to See in Northern Israel. View over Haifa Port

One of the main attractions in the town, besides the sea, is the Baha’i Gardens.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Historic and Natural Places to See in Northern Israel. Red and Purple Flowers at Baha'i Gardens

These gardens are set on several levels, with many places for quiet contemplation.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Historic and Natural Places to See in Northern Israel. Waterfall at Baha'i Gardens

They even have a place for worship.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Historic and Natural Places to See in Northern Israel. Place of Worship at Baha'i Gardens

You could easily spend an hour wandering around the gardens.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Historic and Natural Places to See in Northern Israel. Baha'i Gardens Path

The best part is that despite their obvious beauty, the gardens were quite void of people. Which was lovely!

K in Motion Travel Blog. Historic and Natural Places to See in Northern Israel. Baha'i Gardens

Historic and Natural Places to See in Northern Israel – Stella Maris

Another attraction is the Stella Maris (Star of the Sea) Monastery on Mount Carmel. Just down the road from the gardens.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Historic and Natural Places to See in Northern Israel. Monastery Ceiling

Its current incarnation was opened in 1836 by the ‘Order of the Brothers of Our Lady of Mount Carmel’, commonly known as the Carmelites.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Historic and Natural Places to See in Northern Israel. Inside Stella Maris Monasery K in Motion Travel Blog. Historic and Natural Places to See in Northern Israel. Stella Maris Monastery Interior

The history of the place is both sad and amazing. I’m not going to give too much away, but you can see some of it for yourself when inside.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Historic and Natural Places to See in Northern Israel. Stella Maris History Under the Altar

And even outside you can find a memorial to those who helped defend the Carmelites.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Historic and Natural Places to See in Northern Israel. Napolean Memorial at Stella Maris in Haifa

Historic and Natural Places to See in Northern Israel – Old Akko

Just 20 minutes north of Haifa is one of the oldest continuously inhabited settlements on Earth. It has been known by many names throughout its history but is currently known as Acre. When it was founded in the Bronze Age, it was known as Akko. It is one of the Best historic and natural places to see in Northern Israel.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Historic and Natural Places to See in Northern Israel. Akko Old City Waterfront Wall

It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site and there are many ruins to be found around town.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Historic and Natural Places to See in Northern Israel. Old Akko City

There’s even an old partially intact battlement with canons overlooking the sea.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Historic and Natural Places to See in Northern Israel. Old Akko Battlement

Most people head to the Old Akko Market to get a little taste of yesteryear. The narrow, twisting and turning paths of the Market could easily lead you astray if you let them. Or you could just end up finding some really delicious food.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Historic and Natural Places to See in Northern Israel. Old Akko Market

If you manage to find your way through the market, you might end up at the waterfront.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Historic and Natural Places to See in Northern Israel. Whale at the Waterfront in Akko

There are a few overpriced restaurants near the waterfront, but if you keep walking past them, you can enjoy a view of Haifa Bay.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Historic and Natural Places to See in Northern Israel. Haifa Bay

Historic and Natural Places to See in Northern Israel – Rosh Hanikra

Less than half an hour north of Akko is the beautiful coastal town of Rosh Hanikra. It’s set on cliffs high above the Mediterranean Sea. It is also on the Israeli border with Lebanon. But don’t think that means you can get a glimpse of Lebanon while you’re there. Given the animosity between Israel and Lebanon, the border is a no-go zone patrolled by UN peacekeepers.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Historic and Natural Places to See in Northern Israel. Lebanon Border.

That means the big white fence marks the start of the buffer zone between the two countries instead of the actual border. Not far from there, you can find a steep cable car that descends to the Rosh Hanikra Grottoes.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Historic and Natural Places to See in Northern Israel. Rocks Near Rosh Hanikra Grottoes

The area is known for its striking white cliffs and rock faces that are regularly kissed by the Mediterranean Sea. Over time, the power of the water caused caves to develop at the base of the cliffs.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Historic and Natural Places to See in Northern Israel. Rosh Hanikra Grotto

You can walk around inside the caves and have a look around. There are several different caves, but the water is always amazingly blue.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Historic and Natural Places to See in Northern Israel. Rosh Hanikra Cave

Even as the caves get darker, you can still marvel at the blue waters.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Historic and Natural Places to See in Northern Israel. Dim Cave at Rosh Hanikra K in Motion Travel Blog. Historic and Natural Places to See in Northern Israel. Dark Cave at Rosh Hanikra.

Historic and Natural Places to See in Northern Israel – The Golan Heights

The area spanning 1800 square kilometres east of the Sea of Galilee is known as the Golan Heights. Due to the fact that the area has been internationally recognised as Israeli occupied Syrian land since 1967, you could say you’ve been to Syria if you visit. Of course, that’s not the main reason to visit. The place is scenically amazing.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Historic and Natural Places to See in Northern Israel. Banias Waterfalls Sign

Firstly, there are the Banias Waterfalls in the Hermon Stream Nature Reserve. They are the biggest falls in Israel. The stream that creates the waterfalls is fed by glacial water from Mount Hermon, on the border of Lebanon and (occupied) Syria. Yes, glacial water! Isn’t it beautiful?

K in Motion Travel Blog. Historic and Natural Places to See in Northern Israel. Hermon Stream.

There are four trails in the Reserve that contain natural and historical wonders. If you just want to see the falls, you can access them from the trail that starts at the Waterfalls Car Park.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Historic and Natural Places to See in Northern Israel. Hermon Stream Trail

If you like hiking downhill, then you’ll love going to the falls. Just remember that you’ll need to walk back up that hill to get back to the car park. The sight of the falls makes it all worth it though.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Historic and Natural Places to See in Northern Israel. Banias Waterfalls

Historic and Natural Places to See in Northern Israel – Mount Bentai

A short distance from the Hermon Stream Reserve is a dormant volcano called Mt Bentai.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Historic and Natural Places to See in Northern Israel. Mount Bentai Sign

You might be thinking this is just another hill, but it’s definitely a bit different! Firstly, there’s no climbing required. You can drive almost all the way to the top. Secondly, they have pizza.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Historic and Natural Places to See in Northern Israel. Pizza Sign

Of course, the view over into Syria is pretty amazing too.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Historic and Natural Places to See in Northern Israel.. View From Mount Bentai

They even have some art made out of recycled materials.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Historic and Natural Places to See in Northern Israel.  Mount Bentai Recycled Sculptures K in Motion Travel Blog. Historic and Natural Places to See in Northern Israel. Recycled Sculpture at Mount Bentai

But things start getting a bit weird when you realise that there are barbed-wire fences with warning signs everywhere.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Historic and Natural Places to See in Northern Israel. Looking Down From Mount Bentai

Then there’s this. Have you ever been on a hill that has a UN bunker on it? If that’s on your bucket list, then Mount Bentai is the place for you!

K in Motion Travel Blog. Historic and Natural Places to See in Northern Israel. UN Post on Mount Bentai

Just in case all the shenanigans on Mount Bentai confuse you, there are some signs to tell you where things are.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Historic and Natural Places to See in Northern Israel. Signs on Mount Bentai

For more information about historic and natural places to see in Northern Israel, have look at the Israel Travel website

All articles in this series:
Interesting Sites in Southern Israel
Religious Sites and Nature of Northern Israel
Historic and Natural Places to See in Northern Israel
What It Is Really Like In Palestine

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Religious Sites and Nature of Northern Israel

Even if you’re not religious, you might have heard people referring to Israel in Western Asia as the ‘Holy Land’. As you would expect, the north of the country is full of sites of religious significance. What you may not know is that it is also full of amazing nature. After checking out some interesting sites in Southern Israel, the next logical step was to explore some of the major religious sites and nature of Northern Israel.

Religious Sites and Nature of Northern Israel – Nazareth

As Israel is a relatively small country, it only takes around two hours to get from Tel Aviv in the south to Nazareth in the north. The change between the two cities is nothing short of amazing. You could be forgiven for thinking you had slipped into another country. Tel Aviv is a mainly Jewish city whereas Nazareth is known as the Arab capital of Israel. You may also have thought that the town would be full of Christians, given its biblical significance, but almost 70% of the population are Muslims.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Religious Sites and Nature of Northern Israel. Nazareth
Nazareth

Not to say that the residents in the south are unfriendly, because they’re not, but the north just seemed friendlier. Arabs were an almost invisible minority in the south, yet they seem to share a genuine camaraderie with people from other ethnic and religious groups in the north. You really get the sense that no one in the north cares about race or religion, which means the atmosphere is very welcoming. You can expect to be greeted like a long lost friend upon entering almost any restaurant or sweet shop in town.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Religious Sites and Nature of Northern Israel. Sweets in Nazareth
Sweets in Nazareth
Thoughts on Palestine in Nazareth

With such a huge Arab population in Nazareth there is definitely a lot of support for a two-state solution for occupied Palestine. Sometimes, you can even find people’s thoughts on the walls.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Religious Sites and Nature of Northern Israel. Nazareth Brings Us Together Mural K in Motion Travel Blog. Religious Sites and Nature of Northern Israel. Palestinian Remembrance Mural in Nazareth

Religious Sites and Nature of Northern Israel – Walking Into Another Century

Staying in the old town of Nazareth was like walking into another century. If you’ve heard any of the stories of Jesus in Nazareth, being there can make those stories come alive for you. The people of Nazareth from olden times must have been very fit. The old town is built on a hill, so if you want to get anywhere else in the city you’re going to have to walk up or down the hill. There is also no vehicular access to the old town, which makes it lovely to walk around!

K in Motion Travel Blog. Religious Sites and Nature of Northern Israel. Nazareth Old Town Passage K in Motion Travel Blog. Religious Sites and Nature of Northern Israel. Nazareth Old Town Passage With Decorations

The Jesus Trail – Combining the Religious Sites and Nature of Northern Israel

If you have not heard of the Jesus Trail, it’s a 65 kilometre hiking trail from Nazareth to Capernaum; ‘The Town of Jesus’. The route has 8 sections, from J1 to J8. It runs through many religious sites of importance that Jesus visited throughout his lifetime. I have to confess here that although I am aware of many of these religious sites, I am not actually religious. I wasn’t doing the Jesus Trail for the religious aspects, I just wanted to hike!

K in Motion Travel Blog. Religious Sites and Nature of Northern Israel. The Jesus Trail.
https://jesustrail.com/about

Religious Sites and Nature of Northern Israel: J1 – Nazareth to Zippori

As the trail is quite long, I was only planning to do the first two sections; J1 and J2. The first section of the trail starts uphill from the old town of Nazareth.
K in Motion Travel Blog. Religious Sites and Nature of Northern Israel. Looking Down on Nazareth

At this point, you need to walk along a road to find the start of the trail. On the way, this shiny thing caught my eye.
K in Motion Travel Blog. Religious Sites and Nature of Northern Israel. Mosque in Nazareth on the Way to the Jesus Trail

The trail markers were painted on rocks or trees along the trail, but as I found out, some markers had been lost to the elements. Of course, I didn’t get lost at all because of missing markers. Nah uh. Not me!
K in Motion Travel Blog. Religious Sites and Nature of Northern Israel. Jesus Trail Marker

Full disclosure, I lost a bit of time trying to find some markers, but luckily someone had prepared a resting place for me!
K in Motion Travel Blog. Religious Sites and Nature of Northern Israel. Sofas on the Jesus Trail

And I got to chat to some locals.
K in Motion Travel Blog. Religious Sites and Nature of Northern Israel. Cows on the Jesus Trail

Eventually, I made it to Zippori and it felt like I was in the middle of nowhere! I hadn’t seen another soul since I’d left Nazareth. Apparently, Zippori is the midway point between the Mediterranean coast and the Sea of Galilee. Jesus may have also done some work there.
K in Motion Travel Blog. Religious Sites and Nature of Northern Israel. Zippori National Park on the Jesus Trail.

It was hot and I wanted a bit of relief from the searing heat. So I went and spoke to the attendant for the Zippori National Park. I wanted to use his little booth’s shadow to shield me from the sun for a bit. He also gave me some cold water before I continued on my way. That was nice. You see, I actually had plenty of water, but the intense heat had made it too hot to drink. That’s how hot Northern Israel gets in the summer!

Religious Sites and Nature of Northern Israel: J2 – Zippori to Cana

I continued along a very open trail with no shade as far as the eye could see.
K in Motion Travel Blog. Religious Sites and Nature of Northern Israel. Very Exposed Jesus Trail.

After an hour of that, I was on a ridge looking down on a farming settlement.
K in Motion Travel Blog. Religious Sites and Nature of Northern Israel. Farming Settlement in the Distance

Then a short while later, after passing through an eerily quiet village, I came across these structures.
K in Motion Travel Blog. Religious Sites and Nature of Northern Israel. Structures on the Jesus Trail

Walking A Long Way to See Religious Sites and Nature of Northern Israel

Having walked 16 kilometres in what I later found out was 40°C heat, I arrived in Cana around four hours after leaving Nazareth. I did not pass one single person on the trail or even bump into any people in the villages I went through. The locals were clearly smarter than me and were staying inside where it was cool. I may have been feeling a little bit like this guy.
K in Motion Travel Blog. Religious Sites and Nature of Northern Israel. Random Sad Ball on the Jesus Trail

Religious Sites and Nature of Northern Israel – Cana (Modern Kafr Kana)

If you’ve heard of Cana, you’ll know it’s famous for the first miracle and weddings. In fact, people come from all around the world to renew their wedding vows at the Wedding Church.
The Wedding Church in Cana

Right near the Wedding Church was another fenced-in church. I guessed it was a church from its gate, but all I could really see was the fence. The fence had biblical inscriptions on it.
K in Motion Travel Blog. Religious Sites and Nature of Northern Israel. Scripture in Cana

Inside, the Wedding Church was a bit smaller than I had expected. Some of it was closed off and there were some ruins in another section.
K in Motion Travel Blog. Religious Sites and Nature of Northern Israel. Wedding Church in Cana K in Motion Travel Blog. Religious Sites and Nature of Northern Israel. Ruins in Cana.

The Round About Way to the Religious Sites and Nature of Northern Israel

Strangely enough, even though I’d walked 16 kilometres along the Jesus Trail to get to Cana, it was only a 5 kilometre walk back to Nazareth via the road. So Jesus could do miracles, but couldn’t walk in a straight line!

Religious Sites and Nature of Northern Israel in Galilee – Capharnaum/Capernaum

Another site of importance along the Jesus Trail is Capharnaum, the Town of Jesus. It is also the end of the Jesus Trail.
K in Motion Travel Blog. Religious Sites and Nature of Northern Israel. Capharnaum, The Town of Jesus

You have to pay a small fee to enter the ‘town’, but it is quite clearly well-tended. There are gardens and ruins.
K in Motion Travel Blog. Religious Sites and Nature of Northern Israel. Ruins and Gardens at Capharnaum K in Motion Travel Blog. Religious Sites and Nature of Northern Israel. Ruins at Capharnaum.

And more ruins.
K in Motion Travel Blog. Religious Sites and Nature of Northern Israel. Capharnaum Ruins K in Motion Travel Blog. Religious Sites and Nature of Northern Israel. Ruins in Capernaum

They even built the White Synagogue on top of the remains of the Jesus Synagogue.
K in Motion Travel Blog. Religious Sites and Nature of Northern Israel. New Synagogue on the ruins of the Old One

The area is quite small, so you would need an hour at the very most. Just remember to go all the way to the back of the ruins to get this view.
K in Motion Travel Blog. Religious Sites and Nature of Northern Israel. View at Capharnaum

Religious Sites and Nature of Northern Israel Combined – Sea of Galilee

You’ve probably heard of the Sea of Galilee, but did you know it’s not a sea? Just like the other ‘sea’ in Israel, the Dead Sea, it is actually a lake. It’s also one of the few places combining religious sites and nature of Northern Israel. As the biggest lake in the area, it is featured prominently in the bible. Before heading to the shore of the Sea of Galilee, I stopped at Mount Beatitudes where the Church of the Beatitudes has been built. Overlooking the Sea of Galilee.

Jesus is said to have given the Sermon on the Mount there. One interesting thing about the hill is that it is the lowest peak in the world, at only 25m above sea level. It’s still 200m above the Sea of Galilee though. That means you get a pretty good view of the lake from the manicured gardens surrounding the church.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Religious Sites and Nature of Northern Israel. View of the Sea of Galilee from Mount Beatitudes

But nothing beats dipping your toes in at shore level.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Religious Sites and Nature of Northern Israel. Sea of Galilee Shore

As you can see, there’s a heap of things to do and see in Northern Israel. So much, in fact, that the religious sites and nature of Northern Israel cannot be contained by just one post! Stay tuned for the next installment; Historic and Natural Places to See in Northern Israel.

Other articles in this series:
Interesting Sites in Southern Israel
Religious Sites and Nature of Northern Israel
Historic and Natural Places to See in Northern Israel
What is it Really Like in Palestine?

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