And so ends day three! It kind of feels like day two, though, since days one and two actually smooshed together in my brain. But here ends February 3rd, anyway.
We went back to bed at around 4AM, and then woke up at 6 for our day to start! We briefly looked around the Sea of Galilee (finally! daylight! We can explore!).
|Ready to explore!|
|The beach didn't really have sand--just lots of tiny seashells.|
|Some of my fellow adventurers.|
Breakfast was tasty. Pizza focaccia, shakshouka, salty feta cheese (I can't remember what it is called), other cheeses, some kinda of breakfast casserole thingy, olives, a sesame croissant, and mushrooms.
Focaccia tasted just like pizza, only less cheesy! I can see this being a teenager's preferred breakfast food. Shakshouka was, like I heard, exactly like how it look: eggs poached in tomato. It was tasty. The feta was AMAZING, and salty, but so crumbly and mmm. There was also something that tasted very similar to Gouda, a Brie with walnuts in it (also delicious), and some soft spreadable cheeses that were like a slimy Philadelphia, but better.
The casserole was WEIRD. It was bready and eggy with peppers and spaghetti (?). I don't know what it was. It was okay, but mostly just confusing.
The olives were also fabulous. So juicy and slightly salty and everything I dreamed an olive could be. The brown ones were best. The sesame croissant was kind of sweet and really nutty and lovely. The mushrooms were mushrooms. Nothing new there.
Cookie was like shortbread with raisins in it. The dates were not like the ones at home. Plump and kind of crunchy, slightly less sweet. Very good.
After breakfast, it was off to our first stop of the day—a memorial on the Sea of Galilee just outside the Golan Heights. Back when the heights were controlled by Syria (which, by the way, I could possibly walk to right now…I didn’t realize quite how close I would be), Syrians used to sit on the hills and sniper shoot Israeli fishermen. There was a quick and fierce battle, involving the IDF and the Navy SEALS (although the Navy SEALS quickly retreated, which is an interesting event), Israel got back the heights. Now there’s a memorial to recognize the people who died in the battle.
Best part, though, was a little rock formation. Tradition dictates that the little rocky slope is where Jesus put the demons into the pigs and they all charged down the hill (see Matthew 8). First actual Bible site!
|You can see the cave where they would have been on the left|
|Overlooking the Sea of Galilee|
|Me on the church's balcony|
|Inside the church|
|What Jesus would have seen while preaching|
|Signs with verses were all around the monastery, most in Latin|
|Bread and fish|
|The monastery is in the trees on the left, so people would have been all in the fields to listen|
|Door to the church|
|The rock! Where Jesus prayed! AHHHHH|
Nearby is Capernaum, Jesus’ main home. It’s right on the sea (makes sense for all those fishermen), and was a pretty large fishing village back in the day that did quite well. The ruins are in pretty bad shape, but there is a decent synagogue. However, that synagogue is from the 5th century, but you can see the darker volcanic rocks at the bottom that would have been the synagogue during Jesus’ ministry.
|The darker rock is the actual synagogue that would have been around when Jesus was there|
|Inside the synagogue|
Very close by is Peter’s mother-in-laws house, which was one of the first churches for Messianic Jews. Now it is still a church, which is pretty cool (building a church on the rock’s house), but the church looks a little bit like a flying saucer. Inside the church, there’s a glass floor where you can look down and see the remains of the house. It’s very close to the synagogue.
|Flying saucer-style church over Peter's house|
From here we went to lunch. At last, my fish and bread! However, we ended up at an actual restaurant, so it wasn’t quite what I expected (although it was filling). The pita bread here was super soft and chewy; it was far superior to any sort of pita bread I have had in the US. And the hummus! Nutty and creamy. I could probably have lived on those two alone.
|Pita, tomato, eggplant, Israeli salad, cheese|
|They literally gave me a full fish--tilapia|
|Getting on the boat|
|I'm on a boat.|
|Such a calm day!|
|You could throw bed in the air, and the seagulls would grab it before it landed in the water. A few of them collided with each other and got into fights.|
|Mount of Beatitudes on the left|
|The water was SUPER calm|
|The synagogue would have been covered in that sort of art|
|Magdala was a large village of about 10,000, mostly based in salting fish|
|The remains of the boat|
|It was fairly wide!|
|Mosaic of what the boat would have looked like, found in Magdala|
|Model of the boat|
Dinner wasn’t anything too Israeli; I actually got Thai Beef curry and rice pilaf. But I did try a potato-y popover, and had a poppy seed cake for dessert. All of these cakes are SUPER dense, and given that I just had one out of poppy seeds, I’m probably going to fail a drug test if I have to take one in the few days. Let me state now, for the record, that I am just eating a lot of poppy seeds at the moment.
|I still don't know what the jelly is|
I tried going to sleep after dinner—so sleepy!—but I woke up around midnight, so I decided to write all of this down. Also, I must confess that I now have a sore throat—it’s all swollen and scratchy. I don’t think it is a cold; just the sore throat. So if you can send a few prayers/thoughts for healing, I would appreciate it!
On to tomorrow! I might actually see the Syrian border tomorrow. That will be interesting.
Periodic updates throughout the day are available on:
Keep an eye on my adventures!