This is episode four of a series of ten mini-videos, or moving snapshots, that bring you the essence of travel in Israel.

When I reached out through Facebook for contacts in Israel for my recent trip, Andy, a twenty-six year Israeli police veteran, offered his home and his expertise in the area. He turned out to be a tremendous host and great guide. He suggested we drive up to the border with Lebanon and then swing over to the Syrian border. I must admit, I was a bit reluctant, but after getting to know Andy, I decided to go ahead. He said we would definitely be within sniper range, but that it would probably be okay. I wasn’t sure how close the road got to the border, but it turns out that it gets “wicked close,” within about forty or fifty feet from the fence, and you could see a Hezbollah compound up on the hill.

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The voice you hear is my guide Andy, and the strange sound in the background is the windshield wiper.

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We pulled over and I shot a quick shot and zoom with the video camera, just so you can get an idea of the feel of the place. (That is the video you see here) I have never been a soldier or a police officer and don’t have experience with being so close to a real enemy, so I was kind of jittery, and I was relieved to get off that road, which is a bit bumpy due to tank damage. (Of course in retrospect, it was a blast) But I’m glad I went up there to see the spot and feel the vibe. I actually would like to do a documentary on that stretch of road. A lot has happened there.
During the drive, Andy told me stories of life in the area, such as how rockets hit his neighborhood, and how Muslim Brotherhood placed tires in the road and set them on fire, intending to kidnap a motorist.

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While it’s true that the MBTA and winter snow are a drag, a trip up there will remind you how easy Bostonians have it.