As a big fan of walking in Palestine, I was happy that the slightly cooler weather allowed us to go on a spontaneous self-guided walk from our hiking book. This particular walk starts and ends in Palestine's only micro-brewery, Taybeh. Pretty good to start the walk with a glass of their newest wheat beer range.
Anyone can visit the brewery and get a free tour. The tour starts with a short promotional video, enjoyed with a glass of beer (also free) and then one of the staff members shows you around the brewery. The whole thing lasts max 30 minutes, depending on how many questions you fire at the staff member that takes you around.
After we purchased some souvenirs, we were ready to start the walk... via Taybeh's newest venture - producing wine, located 500m down the road. At the swanky new facilities we were treated to another tour and two generous tastes of Taybeh's wines. They do have more wines but we didn't want to over-do it.
Definitely time to start the walk now...
After 5 minutes of walking we were amongst the olive groves again, heading towards the valley bed (wadi in Arabic). It is amazing how quickly you can feel so far removed from civilisation and find yourself in the quintessential Palestinian landscape.
This particular walk is supposed to be quite popular as it is only 25 minutes from the centre of Ramallah by car (taxi=£16, Serveece=£2) , takes 2-3 hours, and involves beer... however we were the only ones in sight the entire time, despite the temperature being around 25 degrees, perfect for hiking.
Sadly it is impossible to avoid seeing settlements - I am still shocked by how many there are, and how green and lush they look while Palestinian farmers struggle to get water permits. In the photo below, the settlement is just about visible on the right.
I'm guessing the wall has been put in place to avoid settlers taking over the hilltop that we passed by, although I'm pretty sure the glass they used was safety glass.
Again lots of beautiful but dangerous looking plants.
And who knew that almonds and pomegranate look like this before they hit the shops???
Almost near the end of the walk (it was 8km total), we climbed to another peak, from which we could see mountain ranges in the distance. This may be Jordan and is in the direction of the Dead Sea. We were not entirely sure. It was quite hazy so on a clear day the view must be stunning.
Back in town, which is 100% Christian, we passed by some byzantine church ruins, and arrived just in time to take a Serveece back to Ramallah for less than £2 per person.