Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Day 4 Israel

June 1, 2010

I wake early at 5:30 am. With extra time, I decide it’s time to find a gym. I do. It has a treadmill, elliptical machine and exercise bike. None of them are real equipment. So, after doing some lunges, dips, pushups and crunches, I decide to jog for 20 minutes. I marvel at running where Jesus walked and taught. A true time of meditation for me!

After breakfast, it’s time to start our day with a very short ride to our first location: The Church of the Beatitudes. It’s another gorgeous Catholic church. The grounds are lush, the view of the sea of Galilee is gorgeous and the white interior of the church is lovely. The dome is golden, the floor is tiled and the altar is simple but gorgeous.
Our next adventure is a walk from the Church of Beatitudes to the church of the fishes and loaves where Jesus fed the thousands. The walk down was wonderful! We ate mustard seeds and enjoyed a spectacular view. There were capers growing by the path as well. Dan and I agreed that this was the best part of our day. Truly walking where Jesus walked!
Faith as large as a mustard seed.
Us on the way down with the Sea of Galilee behind us

Next stop: Capernaum – there is another opulent Catholic church over the traditional site of Peter’s home. Around it are ruins of Capernaum. Small houses litter the hillside. We stop in the synagogue built in the 5th century over the site of the original 1st century location. The white stones or magnificent and tall. We sing songs of praise and listen to scripture before moving on.
A boat ride on the Sea of Galilee is next. It was motorized (obviously) but to be in the middle of the sea (lake) with the engines cut and the waves lapping against the boat again reminded me of Jesus and his time there, teaching from a boat to those dotting the shoreline. We sang songs and watched the boat’s captain show us how to throw a next over the side of the boat to fish, as the apostles would have done in their day. A unique and wonderful experience. Upon arriving on shore, we saw a true 1st century boat, preserved from 2000 years ago. It was much bigger than I expected.
LUNCH!!! I get to eat fish with a face, DELICIOUS! It’s St. Peter’s Fish (also called tilapia) and it is found in the Sea of Galilee. We ate pita and veggies, fries and dates for desert.
Caesarea Philippi is a drive and many of us doze off on the bus. The town here had many churches to greek gods including Pan, Zeus and a special altar to goats. There is a natural spring that comes from the mountain and this is the head of the mighty Jordan river. Although it is steaming hot, it is a gorgeous location and the presence of the water cools things down.
This is the spring that is the head of the Jordan River
On our return trip back to the hotel, we stop at the top of the hill before entering into the valley of the Sea of Galilee to try to visit Korazim. Sadly they are closed and we do not get to visit, just peak over the side of the barbed wire fences.
We return back to the hotel and dinner will be shortly. A possible trip into Tiberius tonight followed by an early start tomorrow!

PS All pictures are "naked" straight jpeg's from my camera with no post processing... I"m not even 100% sure (at this point) that they are all free of camera shake. SO! Sorry if the pictures or blurry or slightly less then perfect.

Will post again in a few days! :)