The new railway viaduct which sweeps across the Ayalon valley, ancient gateway to the central hill country and the city of Jerusalem, symbolizes the contrasting faces of modern Israel. These contrasts are most evident in the center of the country; with its two major conurbations of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv-Jaffa, the center offers the visitor the variety of cultural and recreational attractions to rival those of any other modern country. Yet it also faithfully preserves the ancient historical and religious landmarks which are the main reason many visitors come to this country in the first place. Outside of the cities too – on the mediterranean coast, where the modern resort of Herzliyah rubs shoulders with the Crusader castle of Arsuf – or at the Dead Sea – where state-of-the art spas can be found in the shadow of the ancient fortress of Masada – you can thrill to the exciting contrasts of this land .