Okay, I'm being theatrical. It wasn't really that deep but what it lacked in size (if you're thinking Grand Canyon here), it made up for in two major areas...even three.
1. It's close enough for me to get here.
2. It's so beautiful.
3. It's mine, mine, mine.
The Red Canyon is about 20 kilometers north of Eilat. We got there to find ahead of us two groups of young students - one a large group of Arabs; another a smaller group of Jews.
At one point, the Arab group called out to the Jewish group and asked a question; without hesitation, the Jewish group answered and both continued. They were leaving the canyon as we were entering it. It's less than two weeks after a month of holidays.
While Eilat has many people visiting, it is still far less than the very crowded times we've often been here.It's hot, but not too hot - just wonderful. The entire walk through the canyon lasts about an hour - you walk through it, sliding down in some locations, squeezing between rocks in others.
Then, you have a choice - this way back to the parking lot; that way to go deeper into the canyon. The sun was setting and the colors were amazing; as the sun touched the mountains, the red stones deepened and the golden stones glistened.
We turned back to the parking lot because I didn't want to be out there in the dark.
The return path led us up the side of a mountain, at times holding on to handrails along the edges. We walked along the canyon rim, seeing the path we had traversed below us.
As we were about midway, we heard a young Israeli family - a father, mother, and two small children making their way far below us. At the area where there are handrails to slide down, the father took one of the children on his back; then reached to take the second.
We continued back...all along loving the colors of the mountains, the shapes of the rocks. At one point, in the distance - far beyond the point that my Blackberry phone could capture them, we saw deer (ibeks) walking the rims.
Mine, mine, mine, I kept thinking. Mine. So beautiful. Next I'll write about the road to get there but here, I'll put up some of the pictures because there truly are times when pictures need to do the talking.
If you ever find yourself in Eilat - take the time to go to the Red Canyon. You won't be disappointed.
There are deeper canyons in the world. There are higher mountains. There are seas that are bluer; skies more sunny. There are lands that are richer; with trees that are taller.
But no matter where I go in this land, I am left with the one great truth in my life. This is my home and there is nowhere more beautiful for me, no canyons more magnificent than those we have here, no higher mountains that call to me. There are no seas I would rather see, no skies under which I would rather live. The riches of other lands do not call to me and no trees under which I would rather sit.