Picturesque landscapes by day and fabulous entertainment by night, Eilat is an excellent base for tours to Petra (Jordan) and Cairo. You’ve got the underwater observatory, a zoo, camel rides to Beduin tents, mountain biking, archaeological excavation activities and exciting hiking trails at Timna Park.
Timna Valley Park was opened by the Jewish National Fund to share Rothenberg’s findings with the public, and there are around 20 different walking trails and some roads in the park to lead visitors to the various attractions. The Jewish National Fund, a non-profit organization that aids in the development of Israel, funded the creation of many of the non-historic tourist and family attractions and activities in the park.
One of the Attractions at Timna Valley is a life-size replica of the biblical tabernacle, a tent that God instructed Moses to build in order to have a transportable sanctuary during the Exodus from Egypt to the Holy Land. The Tabernacle replica, constructed in recent years, in the park does not use the original metals but is faithful to the biblical description in every other way.
The physical experience of the full scale replica really helps you appreciate its history and especially how it travelled with the Jews in the desert. The replica includes the laver (a ceremonial basin) and altar in the outer court, complete with the menorah, incense altar and table of twelve loaves of bread for Shabbat. The only object inside the tabernacle, known as the Holy of Holies, is the ark containing the Ten Commandments, the rod of Aaron, and the pot of manna.
Timna Mines of Time
The new Visitors’ Center houses a 360-degree multimedia experience called Mines of Time that uses computer simulation and state-of-the-art animation to introduce visitors to the Egyptian and Midianite culture, history, and copper mining before they enter the rest of the park. It shares stories, riddles, and mysteries of Timna Valley for visitors to learn about the rich culture of the empires that once ruled the area. The presentation continues as visitors walk through an artificial mining system, complete with life-like miners and equipment.
The JNF built the man-made Timna Lake and its surroundings as a center for family activities. The initial cost and fundraising effort was led, a to a large part underwritten, by Avrum M. Chudnow of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. A handicraft workshop offers the chance to make sand pictures, fill bottles with colored sand, press copper coin replicas, make pottery, paint, weave, and watch a demonstration of copper production. The lake has a playground and offers paddleboat and bicycle rides, Nearby are hiking, rappelling, and rock climbing sites.
After you’ve filled your bottles with sand, relax and enjoy a falafel platter at the Bedouin restaurant and a souvenir shop on the premises. The restaurant also rents the space for parties and special events.
Photography by Esther Moyal