It only seems like we have been here a week. They are really keeping us going. Today from 8:00 - 7:00 - got back just in time for dinner. Hope we have the stamina to keep up. It's a SMALL country - how can it take so long? LOL
Some digressions: God is sooo good. I took my notebook out of my pocket to make notes on the boat on Galilee. Israeli Folk Dancing started so I put it down on the seat. Got back to the room and couldn't find it. Figured I left it on the bus. Not a real big deal - just hoped I could remember it all. Mentioned it to our guide and she said there was a notebook on the bus. I really couldn't see it slipping out of my pocket but I guess it did - unless someone else lost their notebook. (sure hope it's mine!)
Lunch was provided - Falafel again and chicken grilled on a stick. Soooo good. Served water and asked if we wanted coke or something. I had a sneaky suspicion it was extra and I was right. A regular small bottle of coke was $3!! Oh well, lesson learned. Things are pretty expensive here. Little magnets - plastic, cheap looking are $5 but that was at a "gift shop" Hoping I can make some deals in Jerusalem.
This blog and pics may be all over the place.
View outside our hotel on the Sea of Galilee
Our first stop was the Mount where Jesus gave the Beatitudes. Matthew 5 was read and we were sitting around on rocks. It was really neat to try and picture ourselves sitting listening to Jesus as we looked over the Sea of Galilee.
Stopped at another excavation of the City of Hazor then drove on to Cesearea Philippi. Saw some excavations there and had lunch at a Lebanese Restaurant.
Ben caught me writing my notes! :-)
Had to throw this one in. We were on the board of Lebanon and there were signs on the fences (we were on the bus of course) warning of mines in the fields!
We were close enough to the Syrian border Ben got a shot of the city flying the Syrian flag.
This is the UN base on the Israeli/Syrian border. Since the Disengagement Contract or Treaty in the 70's, this has been the most peaceful Israeli border. We have yet to see any soldiers with guns although we have been told we will probably see some.
Our guide was in High School during the period of suicide bombers several years ago and said she remembered times when they were suspicious of anyone in a large overcoat and sometimes wondered whether they really wanted to get on a bus after school. Cannot imagine living in times like that.
This was powerful to me. We sat inside the synagogue at Capernaum. This was a synagogue built in about 400 A.D. but it was built on the site of the synagogue where Jesus was. Just sitting in there listening to our guide, I could picture the service where Jesus read the passage out of Isaiah and said "Today this scripture has been fulfilled" Wow!
Now, I thought about this before we left on the trip but many times we visit places where historical things have happened or famous people have lived like Mount Vernon or Monticello and I don't think we go through places like that thinking "Wow. George Washington walked on these floors!" "Abraham Lincoln lived here" but for believers, being in the land where Jesus walked is so meaningful. And of course, being on the Sea of Galilee where so many things happened was powerful. I just really wish we could have sailed in the daytime rather than night. However, it would have really been hot.
Side note: It has really been warm, bordering on hot for Texans. Weather is much warmer than normal for this time of year. Several have mentioned that on this trip. :-) But skies are blue and weather is really great. Bus air-conditioning works great!!
At the beginning of the sail on the Sea of Galilee, they reaised the US flag and we sang the National Anthem. Then they sang the Israel National Anthem.
The guides on the boat sang for us and talked us a folk dance.
Tomorrow another full day I'm sure (which is what we paid for, right?) :-) We will be at a hotel at the Dead Sea for two nights.
We'll see if I can find Internet (hopefully free) again on the trip. If so, you'll hear from me. If not, I know I'll have Internet at the airport and can post before we leave to go home.