Our long and amazing day started with a quick tour of the Kibbutz Lavi (that runs our hotel. Kibbutzim have changed dramatically over the years. The original farming concept is too much of a financial gamble to sustain the community. Now, they run hotels, have factories (this one manufactures synagogue furniture), and have members work outside, bringing their salaries in to the communal pot. We’re told only 20% of Kibbutz kids come back after college.
Anyway, we’re off…now you can see why Marsha likes to travel…she just picks purple busses.
We head back toward Tiberias on the north shoreline of the Galilee. First stop is Tabgha, one of the most important sites in Christ’s ministry in Galilee.
This is a telling mosaic in the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes.
A little further on is the Church of the Primacy of Peter where Jesus is said to have appeared to the Apostles after the resurrection. It’s here, on these rocks that Jesus named Peter as the first leader of the new Church, and gave the sermon on the mount (at least nearby).
This a actually a priest standing in the Galilee with his pant legs rolled up…on a cell phone, maybe with a direct connection…?
Marsha could not make the connection….
On to Capernaum, the town of Jesus. A fascinating archeological site with a church built over the ruins of, perhaps, Simon Peter’s house.
An awe inspiring place knowing that here is where christianity was cleaved from judaism to go its own direction.
Fascinating, and telling designs in corinthian column caps. Decorations included stars of David and menorahs (well before they became religious symbols.
On our way south along the Galilee toward the Jordan river, we stopped for a wonderful lunch featuring St. Peter’s fish from the Galilee on a beautiful outdoor terrace.
We stopped along the Jordan to see (maybe) the spot where Jesus was baptized?
Then a ride through the lush Jordan River Valley to Beth Shean, the best preserved Roman town in Israel. It was discovered when a Kibbutz was being established, just ten fee under the ground. It is enormous, and only about 10% is uncovered. It was unfortunately destroyed by a major earthquake.
Its Amphitheater held over 7,000 people. It’s bath houses, mosaic streets, agora and even latrines are stunning.
From there our drive south takes us through a checkpoint into the West Bank. It’s amazing to see the miles and miles of lush farmland owned and worked by the Palestinians. Without Israel’s help and expertise they would still be living in what is otherwise a dry and barren land. We contine on Rt. 90 past Jericho and Israeli settlements toward Jerusalem. On through the last check point up Mount Olive to Mount Scopius for…
…our first, awe inspiring look at the holy city, Jerusalem. Quite a moving sight as the sun dips behind the hills and the night air becomes chilled.
Tomorrow a full day exploring Jerusalem.
You were breathing in the same air as the ancients!
I’m enjoying every entry–and your commentary is making me look up historical/Biblical references, names, words, etc. so I’m learning while you travel!!
I am all caught up and looking forward to your Jerusalem installment!
This trip must rank in your “top ten”.