Tourist tip #252 / Sha'ar HaGai, en route to Jerusalem
This is not a site to add to your itinerary, but a place you pass on a major highway. You don't even need to stop: Just read the piece before you set out and slow down for the landmarks.
Sha'ar HaGai – Bab el-Wad in Arabic – means the “Gate of the Valley." It is the point at which Route 1, from Tel Aviv or Ben-Gurion International Airport to Jerusalem, leaves behind the rolling hills and farmland of the south-central Shefelah region, and – in an instant – thrusts into the rugged, forested Judean Hills.