Walking the Ramparts of Ashkelon National Park
Updated: Mar 29
In case you were wondering where I spent my election day, apart from the ballot, I spent it with my friends in Ashkelon.
Ancient Ashkelon is mentioned in the Bible as one of the five cities of the Philistine Pentapolis that existed between the 12th-7th century BC. The city itself was razed to the ground and the main remnant that you see actually predates the Philistines and is an earth rampart with a gate from the Canaanite period (1850 BC), considered the oldest vaulted gate in the world. On top of the earth rampart are remains of walls that were built sometime during the Roman period (31 BC - 1453 CE).
A tour of the park starts by walking along these ramparts giving you an excellent view of the Mediterranean Sea on one side and modern Ashkelon on the other. The park guide was also very knowledgeable about the flora and fauna of the sand dunes, which constitute a separate biotope from the sand dunes that originate in Africa. The whole walk took us from the ramparts, down the sand dunes all the way to the beach. We were lucky that it was pretty hazy so we didn't get the full blast of sunrays (don't forget sun protection), but my photos didn't come out that well so I partly used my friend's photos.
At the end of the tour we could have stayed for a swim or for a picnic at the park. The beach is open for swimming between Passover (April) and Sukkot (October). The park itself is also lovely with large expanses of grass, nice stone picnic tables and a campground on site with showers, kitchen facilities and mobile chargers. However, we had pre-planned to dine in a restaurant at the modern marina. You are welcome to read my previous post because we returned to 'Niso the Fisherman'. It's kosher and the fish are fresh so everyone was happy.
For more details on tours of the park you are welcome to contact the Nature and Parks Authority at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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