We continued to tour the Golan Heights from the breathtaking Mount Bental where we could see the Syrian border to the Golan Brewhouse. Golan is very suitable for wine grapes cultivation and we were introduced to the four types of Israeli beer produced by the unique Golan brewery. Golan beer, Galil beer, Emek beer and Baselet beer are sold exclusively at the brewery chain.

Golan Brewhouse

At the Golan Brewhouse, we sampled the 4 types of Golan beer: the fruity Galil beer, the Golan beer with a tinge of roasted barley malt, the light Emek beer with subtle bitterness and the Baselet beer that holds the flavours of coffee and chocolate!

More and Omry from the Technion, Chris and Big K the bloggers.

Ephi and Marcello happily posing with the Golan Beer…

A poser showing off her “excellent” gripping skill with 4 cups of Golan beer. The two ‘Js’, Jonnie and Joyce, were amazed, no?

The Golan Brewhouse is as good as a beergarden where you can taste different types of fresh beer made from the Golan springs, purchase souvenirs, join a tour to learn more about Israeli beer and have lunch with a good selection of mouthwatering local dishes.

Joyce and I are not much of red meat eaters but we loved the grilled chicken. The well-seasoned meat was very tender and succulent.

The guys were enjoying the platter.

The watering hole for Golan beer.

Galita’s Chocolate Farm

Ephi said he had a surprise for us. It was a chocolate treat at Galita’s Chocolate Farm that’s nestled in the Jordan Valley near the Sea of Galilee. I’ve been to chocolate factories before but this is the first time I had hands-on experience making chocolate at a practical workshop.

The chocolatier-wannabes: Eunice (me) and Joyce the bloggers, Jonnie, Omry and Maya the lovely project organisers of Once in a Lifetime Israel 2.0.

Our tables were spread with plates of colourful ingredients and bowls that contained white and dark chocolate mixtures. Next, it was a showcase of our creativity on choc-art!

Joyce said that from the way we decorated our chocolates, she could tell our characters/ culture differences! How? Perhaps she realised that we (Joyce, Big K and I) would lace our chocolates with colourful toppings whereas the Israeli friends at our table seemed to put the fillings hidden (low profile) under the chocolate mixture. O.K. That’s just a small talk. Hey, but I’m low profile too …

Our chocolates were placed inside the cooler for the final stage of cooling.

A candid shot of Marcello and Chris the bloggers.

A selection of chocolates at the Galita’s.

Beautiful chocolate creations in showcases.

Nicely wrapped Galita’s chocolates that are ideal as gifts and souvenirs made in Israel.

A group photo with the Once in a Lifetime 2.0 international bloggers at the Galita’s Chocolate Farm.

Galita’s Chocolate Farm.

The Holy Jordan River

I’m no kampong-girl and it’s the first time I swung out and dropped into the river for a swim at Kibbutz Degania. It’s no ordinary river; it’s the holy Jordan River where Jesus is believed to baptise in it and walked on it. Some parts of the river near the Sea of Galilee have been maintained for baptisms. The river also serves as an important water resource to the dry lands of Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and the Palestinians.

I bet Ephi has done this stunt for the upteenth time.

The synchronized water ballerinas.

Everyone was enjoying the cool dip at the Jordan River. We had a great time.

Don’t try to do this. Keren and More were sharing the same float and both were stuck in the float!

Meet our friendly guide, Danny, at the Kibbutz Degania. He prepared freshly brewed coffee for us and we tried the fresh dates. In particular, I loved the home-made cake.

Along the road at Kibbutz Dgania, we saw a Syria tank that was abandoned during the War of Independence at the Jordan Valley. The tank became a memorial of wartime.

To satiate our hunger, we dined at Ein Gev Fish Restaurant by the Sea of Galilee. Be there early to catch the gorgeous sunset.

A mesmerizing sunset shot at Ein Gev Fish Restaurant by the Sea of Galilee. (Photo by Once in a lifetime Israel 2.0)

The Israeli beauties: Keren, More and Maya, still soaked after the swim at the Jordan River.

Our picturesque dining area at the popular Ein Gev Fish Restaurant.

A group photo taken by Joyce while we were waiting for the main course.

Many of us ordered the signature St Peter’s fish. It’s char-grilled to perfection, still retaining the moist and freshness of the warm water species, the redbelly tilapia that’s found in the Sea of Galilee.

The humongous orange near the entrance of Ein Gev Fish Restaurant.

Galilee & Golan Heights Attractions

In summary, these are some of the attractions you can visit at Golan Heights:

1) Mount Bental – at a height of 1,170 metres above the sea level, Mount Bental offers stunning commanding views of Israel’s border with Syria and the mountainous landscape. View photos of Mount Bental.

2) Golan Magic Visitors Centre – Learn about the history, culture and get travel information of the Golan Heights at the visitors centre. Catch a short sensory film at the wide auditorium where you can smell, listen and hear, a moving journey through the open spaces of the Golan. (http://www.magic-golan.co.il/site/index.asp?depart_id=28111&lat=en)

3) The Golan Brewhouse – a restaurant and a brewery where you can taste freshly made Israeli beer and sumptuous local dishes in a cosy environment. (http://www.beergolan.co.il/english_main.php)

4) Galita’s Chocolate Farm – A taste paradise with Israel made chocolate treats where you can learn chocolate-making at the workshop housed in a lovely old stone building nestled in the Jordan Valley near the Sea of Galilee.  (http://www.ekinneret.co.il/site/eng/ip.asp?pa_cat=3&cat=30&biz_id=242)

5) Jordan RiverKibbutz Degania – Take a dip at the holy river where Jesus is believed to baptise in it and walked on it. Have a picnic by the river with Danny the guide.

6) Ein Gev Fish Restaurant –  Be there early to catch the gorgeous sunset by the Sea of Galilee! Casual dining indoor or alfresco at the popular restaurant that serves local delicacies. Try the signature dish – char-grilled St Peter’s fish from the Sea of Galilee. (http://www.ekinneret.co.il/site/eng/ip.asp?pa_cat=3&cat=31&biz_id=65)

Read all posts on my Israel trip.

Stay tuned for more updates of our Once in a Lifetime 2.0 trip in Israel.