Tuesday, May 8, 2018

2018 Eastern Mediterranean Trip - Day 14, Sea of Galilee, A Test of Driving And Tours

Today the driving adventures really began. When we planned the trip I had in my minds eye that we we would be staying in some bucolic setting in the Northern Israeli countryside with lovely meandering drives through the scenery going from one isolated historic place to another.

In the event, because of the trials and tribulations associated with getting a rental, we are smack dab in the middle of a very busy small city (Nazareth) which is in Northern Israel's Arab heartland...a busy place with lots of industry. Driving here is not horribly stressful compared to many places...for example, I'd rate Southern Italy as much more challenging. Most people go a a fairly mellow pace and account for everyone's needs to move about. That last part is important because there is an fluid dynamic, sort of oozing character to driving with people having to cross busy streets, turn into traffic, negotiate convoluted turns. It's like Southeast Asia slowed down by 75% with and with a quarter of the vehicles.

Our goal to day was to go to the Sea of Galilee and see a number of the important sites. Did I tell you that the Northern Sea of Galilee is one of THE MAJOR Christian tour sites? No? Well I didn't because I was pretty much oblivious to it until I experienced it. Nothing I like better than sharing my history with hundreds of my favorite bus tour groups.

It was one of those days when all kinds of decisions were just not working out. It started out with the day being crap...rain pouring down. I did tell you we're here during the dry season right? Evidently 'dry' means different things in different places. (In the country's defense, everyone has said, 'they never have rain this late'). We headed to the largest town on the Galilee coast, Tiberias. They have a tourist information office which Wife researched as having all kinds of helpful information. Unfortunately when we arrived their at 10:30 AM, it was closed. Evidently its hours are from 4 PM to 8 AM according to the sign on the door??????

Then we went to a number of other sites which I will relate below in the picture section. But let us close the narrative with our experience driving home using the WAZE app. Having gotten English audio directions (but not names on the map), it has proved very accurate and easy to use. But WAZE big deal is supposed to be its ability to react in real time to traffic conditions to move your away from problems. There is major traffic and construction on the road between Tiberias and Nazareth. WAZE sent us through the most convoluted route ever. We were winding our way through these narrow streets of the if not old towns, certainly not the geometrically new modern road of Tiberias. We went through industrial areas, residential areas, it was wild. But we did make it back so I guess there's that.


Nothing stirs the heart more than the physical beauty of the Galilee
On gray, miserable day 

A kibbutz renowned for having one  of the first kibbutz owned resorts!
AND for the discovery of a fishing boat dating to the time of Christ.
They built a very large museum, gift shop, and snack bar to house the thing
The facility is about 10 times larger than the boat
But they do a great job of explaining how it was found and the extraordinary efforts it took to preserve it (they had to encase it in Styrofoam as it was being unearthed to keep it from falling apart, then they had it in a chemical bath for 10 Years! to preserve the wood.)

In the spirit of the Holy Land they start up by saying
"Could this be the boat of Christ?"
"Could it be a boat from the famous battle of Judean War (where the entire Jewish contingent was slaughtered to the man by the Romans)
"Or could it just be a fishing boat"

Evidently the boat is made up of wood from some 10 different trees, many of the pieces which were from some other boat - so it was scavenged together.


Modern boats on the Galilee
Photographer contemplating boats on the Galilee
Same art work from two perspectives

The Boat!

Home of miracles
The Lord said, 'I need multitudes to show me honor'
But there was but one tour bus and one tour bus group
And the Lord's messenger caused many tour buses to appear
And many tour groups to appear

Book of Michael

The large synagogue from the 4th Century
According to what I overheard from one guide was these were more assembly houses than places of worship at that time

House that is alleged to be Simon Peter's

Where the first miracle of feeding the multitudes was to have taken place

Finally scenes of Nazareth from the roof of our apartment

This would be a phenomenal view of the Basilica of the Annunciation were it not for the buildings in the way...but it is a nice old sewing machine

And closing with 

Evidently all considered to be equal threats

You have to love a country that is so concerned about the well being of its Unstable rocks!

1 comment:

alexis said...

if I look at your and mom's pictures I can understand why so many tourists come. The murals are beautiful