Another breathtaking hike through nature, flora and fauna is that through Wadi Qelt. The hiker can only traverse Wadi Qelt from west to east, walking in its deep gorge. Since ancient times, this route has been used by people to travel from Jericho to Jerusalem. Today, it is being used as a hiking route by nature lovers for enjoyment and physical activity. Walking through the gorge, the Greek Orthodox Monastery of St. George protrudes from the walls of the cliffs overlooking spring below. The Monastery dates back to the 5th century, when it was originally built by John of Thebes. Later, the religious place of worship became known as that of St. George of Kozeba, after a monk from Egypt moved to the monastery.

The isolated monastery is open for visitors to pray, unlike the desert monastery of Mar Saba, which allows only men to enter its complex.

To enjoy an adventurous hike in Wadi Qelt, and a visit the St. George Monastery, register for the next walk on Saturday, 19th of March 2016, where you will also have the opportunity to explore the ancient remains of Herod’s Palace. This location, Herodion, which is approximately 12 km south of Jerusalem, is the only site that is named after King Herod the Great.

Recent excavations have unearthed many archaeological treasures, which give a better understanding of King Herod, his life and lifestyle. To end your day, relish a homemade traditional Palestinian meal at the Aqbat Jabr Refugee Camp near Jericho. Lunch will be prepared and served by the local women’s community center.

About the photo:
Jericho, Palestine, March 2015. St George’s Monastery. The rocky canyon of Wadi Qelt is often associated with the “valley of the shadow of death” from Psalm 23, and in the blistering heat of summer the moniker seems to suit just fine. In this isolated, barren and rocky spot a 4th-century monastery clings to the rockwalls. The Abraham Path is a long-distance walking trail across the Middle East which connects the sites visited by the patriarch Abraham. The trail passes through sites of Abrahamic history, varied landscapes, and a myriad of communities of different faiths and cultures, which reflect the rich diversity of the Middle East. Photo by Frits Meyst / for