June 20, 2014
Tiberias Region (Israel, Day 3/6)
10 June, Tuesday: Tiberias Region, then ending in Jerusalem (11 out-of-the-car stops!)
- Tabgha - Franciscan (Catholic) Church of the Primacy of St. Peter on the Lake. We put our feet in the water. 2000-year-old dock, and church memorializing the spot where Christ told Peter about building His church.
- Capernaum - Peter's mother-in-law's house, where Jesus healed her from the fever and she served them. Village. Jesus' synagogue.
- Bethsaida - ruins from 300 - 586 BC (1st temple period). Only people around were active archaeologists working, and us. Completely ruined (cf Jesus' woe statements, Mt 11, Lk 10). Former Syrian military post. Near the Golan Heights. Saw Upper Jordan River Valley - green surrounded by dry tan land. Last rain had been May 8th (a month before). Oldest city gate from 1st temple period.
- Tabgha Benedictine Monastery (commemorates the Loaves & Fishes miracles).
- Ginosar/Gennesaret - Jesus Boat Museum (Pier, saw girls' student group with female bodyguard with gun, ex-military)
- Magdala/Migdal (where Mary Magdalene was from). Saw young camels and a donkey by side of road (near Bedouin village). Mexican Catholic church - new excavation, not even officially opened yet. Mikvot (ritual bathing pool). Boat altar with chapels with mosaics.
- Tiberias Jewish synagogue ruins (Hellenist influence, images of sun god in mosaic floor!), with hot springs water running down a gutter (warm). Turkish hamman ruins. 33° out.
- Yardenit - lunch spot by Jordan River baptism spot just below Lake Tiberias. Ate big St. Peter's fish (tilapia), then fed some baby tilapia in the Jordan river with pita bread from lunch (with our feet in the Jordan). Lunch: hummus, pita, eggplant, kohlrabi, tahini, along with the tilapia.
- Former "Peace Island" at border with Kingdom of Jordan. Drove on dirt road close to barbed wire fence, not allowed to get out or really supposed to take pictures. Signs for land mines.
- Passed Beth She'an (Roman ruins), Mount Gilboa (where King Saul died), Samaria; didn't stop.
- In West Bank for the first time ever! Lots of trash around. Jewish settlement in West Bank - two layers of barbed wire around it. Caves in the hills. Desert! "Judean desert" even though in territory of Benjamin.
- Jericho - red signs saying no Israelis allowed.
- Saw across the valley, Mt. Nebo (dark top of mountain) - where Moses died and was buried by God. Ammann, Jordan, in the distance on a hill (capital).
- Qasr el-Yahud - possibly the site where Jesus was baptised by John the Baptist (and crossing of the Jordan by Joshua & Israel). Russian Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, Romanian and Ethiopian churches - golden domes. Military zone - mine fields on right and left. Country of Jordan just on the other side of the water. K dipped toes of right foot in the water, but guide said filled with pesticides & dirty. Crossed border system to river, which is actual border.
- Drove down patrol road - mines of other side of fence. Licked leaf of "salt plant". Flour-like dry soil.
- Crossed out of West Bank into East Jerusalem at 5:15pm. Rain shadow desert. Dividing wall near populated areas - Jerusalem.
June 20, 2014 | Permalink