For years Ko-Bi (used to be Kobi) Itzhaki was an average Tel Aviv Hi Tech worker. When he felt that something was urging him to make a change he realized that he had enough of living in the center and yearned to move to the south of the country, feeling that for him it will be like coming back home.
At first he took time off, later he worked from his new home at Ein Tamar and finally he left the innovative developments behind and rested until the evening that changed his life. "I looked up to the sky and thought to myself that it would be nice to watch it through a telescope”, he tells. "In the next year I got deeply into the field of astronomy and started to study it through the internet and with the help of various courses. I started to be involved in it without knowing what it will lead me to”.
During his studies, Itzhaki was carried away into the enchanting world of celestial bodies and discovered that beyond studying their distances and sizes, the stars also told him about himself as a person. He decided to turn his big enthusiasm into a business by the name of "Uru Anna” (which is the name that the Akkadians gave to the constellation, or group of celestial bodies, of Orion).
Mythology, history and a great big telescope
The character of the activity is very much varied and changes according to desire and the limitations of the time and the weather, starting with an introduction which lasts about an hour and a half with the darkness of the desert and its sky at night, which with the help of a sophisticated telescope one can just get very much impressed with, and up to nights of adventure in the canyon which include an introduction to the desert at night and a deep exploration of the desert night’s sky and what it reveals.
The group meets up with Itzhaki at a dark location in the area of the Dead Sea and Ein Gedi, where the people in the group receive fascinating information about the various celestial bodies, including mythological and historical stories. "The people that are watching all of this are just so fascinated by everything”, Itzhaki says, "to the point that one needs to actually convince them to look at the sky through the telescope itself as well, which is the reason for their coming here in the first place”.
"As far as I am concerned, a dark night in which there is only a sliver of a moon is the most ideal, although on nights when there is a full moon in the sky, during which one can watch only Jupiter and the moon, one can also have an amazing experience. Watching the moon with the help of a telescope for the first time is one of the most impressive experiences that any one can have”.
The "Uru Anna” tours are provided by companies as a part of a group of activities that are offered to those who come for a vacation in the desert, but they are also available for independent travelers as a part of the wonderful desert experience.
An hour and a half long tour for 10 people: 500 NIS
A tour for a couple: 300 NIS
Suitable for ages: Children of the age of nine years old and above are very much interested in the experience.