Meeting Angels Along a TraIL…
By Yaara Markus and Shlomit Simon
You won't find any wild jungles, rain forests or volcanoes.
There are harder, longer treks, to be sure. But only here, on the Israel National Trail (INT) will you find the perfect combination between incredible changing scenery and the unique people who always make you feel like you are right at home.
It's not every day you get to meet a real live angel, and an official one.
But with the growing popularity of INT, so, too, has the number of Israeli citizens living along the trail or near it who care for the wellbeing of the hikers.
Known as 'Malach Shvil' (Trail Angel), these citizens voluntarily assist in placing water and food in hidden spots along the trail, host hikers at their homes for a good meal and a bed to sleep on - selfless giving without asking for anything in return.
This phenomenon of generosity and hospitality is unique to the INT. It seems natural to the Israeli citizens, as warm hospitality is a part of their culture. Hiking the INT, one can experience the magnificent merging of culture, nature and history.
The Israel National Trail (INT) - ranked as one of the twenty most beautiful trails in the world by National Geographic, is a trail that crosses through 940 Km.
The trail, beginning in Kibbutz Dan in the upper galilee and ends in Eilat, near the Tabba boarder of Egypt, is marked with white, blue and orange colors. The white symbolizes the Hermon Mountain (the highest point in Israel). The orange symbolizes the Negev area of the desert, and the Blue marks the Israeli flag.
As young students participating in the StandWithUs Fellowship program, studying in Ben Gurion University in the Negev, we felt like the INT is a one-of-a-kind platform to share the unique Israeli experience with the world, by creating the project TraIL.
TraIL is an adventure for leading travel journalists, bloggers and photographers from around the world.
These 15 members will experience selected portions of the INT, exploring Israel along the way.
The international “trailers” will be joined by fellow Israeli travelers and will meet the same welcoming "Trail Angels". These widely followed international writers and photographers will be encouraged to share their TraIL adventures with millions around the world, exposing Israel at its finest.
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