Two days ago I wrote a tongue in cheek recount of how everything shuts down in Israel for the Sabbath. Well it is now Sunday and my last day in Israel as I conclude my pilgrimage following in the footsteps of Jesus. Have you enjoyed reading about my travels in the Holy Land? Did you miss any of the blogs or pictures? If you LIKE svGuidingLight on Facebook that won’t happen again. Just saying :).
Since I was in Tiberias on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee I decided getting up at 5:30am in order to watch the sunrise over the sea sounded like a good idea. First off let me talk about the “Sea” of Galilee. I grew up my whole life knowing that Jesus did most of his ministry around this body of water, he calmed the storm at sea, caused boat loads of fish to be caught, and many other miracles at the Sea of Galilee. Let me tell you the air went out of my sail a little when I finally saw the “sea”. You see it is really only a medium size lake and I could see the entire thing from the shore. It only measures 8 miles wide by 13 miles long and the Israeli locals call it Lake Kinneret. I am not saying the water miracles did not happen, because I do believe they did. I just have trouble understanding why the fisherman were so scared during a storm since the shore could not have been any more than 3 miles away. With that said I did go for a swim in this important body of water (you saw yesterday’s “Photo of the Day” right?).
Today I checked out of the hotel and took a bus to the north end of the lake to visit the town of Capernaum. I worked it out that I would start there and take cabs to each stop (a total of 5-10 miles) and then catch another bus back to Tiberias and then on to Jordan.
This was a great plan but I very quickly found out there is no town at Capernaum anymore! 2000 years ago there was a small fishing village here and this is where the apostle Peter lived. In fact, you can visit a very cool church that is built over his house, but does not contain it or touch it.
Since I could not find a taxi and everyone seemed to be on tour buses and could not give me a lift, I humped my backpack three miles westerly to Tabgha. Once I was here I was drenched (it was very hot when I was there), but happy as I got the see the churches commemorating Jesus’s miracle of feeding 5000 people and where he gave Peter orders to lead the church. Also it was in this area that Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mound laying out the main principles of Christianity.
Luckily for me someone stopped and gave me a ride to Genossar so I did not have to walk 4 miles in the heat with my backpack. The reason I wanted to stop at this town is because recently they have found a fishing boat in the mud of the Sea of Galilee. While this boat is highly unlikely to have actually been used by Jesus or any of the disciples, it is called the Jesus Boat because it is around 2000 years old and was very much like the boats they would have used. This was my favorite part of today and I am glad I made it here.
Now it was time for me to catch a bus back to Tiberias where I took another bus to Beit She’an about half an hour south of the Sea of Galilee. From here I hitched a ride the 2 miles to the board crossing with Jordan. Tomorrow I am going to share my experience of crossing over to Jordan and how my crossing back to Israel went a week later. Plus, I will start a series of blogs and photos for my time in Jordan. I hope you are excited to learn all about this wonderful little country that is way more than just the home of Petra.
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