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This is Galilee (TIG) Newsletter, Issue #010 -- Snow in the Hermon and Winner of the Photo Contest
January 15, 2012

So ... What's New ?

Welcome to the first TIG Newsletter of 2012 - A monthly e-zine about Northern Israel and all that's new at (TIG).

As a fresh start to a new year, I've been redesigning my website. I hope you like the new look - feel free to contact me and tell me what you think about it!

So now the holidays are over and it's back to routine and - whether you've been eating donuts or Christmas pudding - time to get rid of those extra kilos!

Over the holidays, I had a guest from the UK and we made some nice trips in the area which I will, of course, be writing about on TIG. One of the places we visited was Amirim - click here to read this new page.

Another day, we went to the Wadi Niss Nass neighbourhood in Haifa (the gateway to the North!) to see the "Festival of Festivals".

Now in it's 15th year, the festival celebrates the three religious holidays which fall at this time: Hannuka, Christmas and Eid-al-Adha. Every weekend in December, you can see street entertainers, cultural exhibitions, colourful stalls and food vendors selling everything from hot chestnuts to sweet pastries. This is not for you if you don't like crowds, but it's worth a visit just to soak up the atmosphere.

I thought you might like this unusual photo of the local Santa Claus with his entourage who tours the streets during the festival.

As Israel is a place where there is little or no rain in the summer months, everyone is always very concerned when winter arrives and there isn't enough rain. The Sea of Galilee (Lake Kinneret) is the main water reservoir for the whole of the country and has been hit by the water shortage in the region for a number of years. December turned out to be mainly warm and sunny and the driest December on record for 19 years.

But so far, 2012 has been unusually cold and rainy like I don't remember for many years! There has been heavy snowfall on high ground and some flooding in low-lying areas.

Today's breaking news is that the Hermon Ski Park has opened for skiiers, snowboarders and all snow-lovers - quite an event as the season is extremely short - sometimes a matter of days!

All this is good news for farmers, nature-lovers, tourism in the north and the population as a whole! The rivers will fill up, the waterfalls will be gushing, Lake Kinneret will gain some much needed centimetres and the countryside this Spring will be green and beautiful!

And here is the news you've all been waiting for - the winner of the Northern Israel Photography Contest 2011! And the winner is ... Boruch Len with his photo Ladders in the Sky!

As promised, I will be dedicating a whole page to Boruch and his photographs - so look out for it when it goes live at the end of this month - just click on the "Photos" button in the menu on the left. I will also be adding the winning photo on the top right of my homepage. Well done, Boruch!

In my opinion, all of the top 10 best entries were awesome and I would like to thank everyone who participated, either by sending in entries or by helping to choose the winner and taking the time to vote.

In fact, I like them so much that I've decided to dedicate a page to all the runners up until the next contest! Click here to view the runners-up page.

If you've been to the Galilee or the Golan, tell others about the great places you've found there. Did you stay in a zimmer that was special or a green lodging that was eco-friendly? Did you find a restaurant that serves delicious food? Don't keep it to yourself - just fill in the form at the bottom of the appropriate page and I will publish your review at TIG.

I've temporarily taken off the Facebook Comment option at the bottom of my pages until some bugs have been ironed out, but that doesn't mean you can't Follow me on Facebook or Tweet me on Twitter - just click the icons at the bottom of my webpages. And if you have a question about the Galilee, feel free to contact me at any time!

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I do my best to make the newsletters interesting and helpful and would be happy to get your feedback and suggestions - just look for the Contact Me button in the navigation bar. But if at any time you want to remove yourself from my mailing list, just click on the link at the bottom of the Newsletter.

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