Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Israel Adventure: Sea of Galilee, a Flat Tire, and Caesaria

Sunday morning we got in our rental car (named "The Ladybug" by Rebecca) and headed out of Jerusalem and north toward the Sea of Galilee. As soon as we left the city we started seeing herds of goats, camels, and sheep, usually being herded along by a boy on a donkey. Once a whole herd of sheep started crossing the road right behind us!

When we reached the security checkpoint for re-entry into Israel from the West Bank territory, we were stopped and asked for our passports. Then we had to pull over to the area where they search cars, where we got out of the car and individually went through a metal detector while our car was searched with a search dog! Quite exciting, and a little intimidating, especially since each soldier has a huge gun! We knew they were the good guys, though, and they need to be extra careful with security, so we just did what they said and we were soon on our way again.

Our first stop was the Jordan River. We stopped at the very touristy baptismal site right on the river. This is not the actual site where Jesus/Yeshua was baptized, but it is a place where people can come and be baptized in the Jordan (after paying $10 for the white robe to wear). We didn't do this, but we touched the water and took a lot of pictures. It is a good place to see the river if you can ignore the extremely overpriced souvenir shop.

The girls and me by the Jordan River

Cute little creatures called Israeli Coypu were swimming in the Jordan
We continued driving until we reached the Tiberius area, where we found a place to walk down to the shores of the beautiful Sea of Galilee, which is actually a huge lake called Lake Kinneret. The strong wind and waves made it easy to imagine Yeshua calming the storm with his words. We could picture in our minds all of the familiar stories from the Bible that happened here.

We continued our drive to the ruins of Capernaum, where we saw the site of Peter's house and the remains of a synagogue from the 4th century that was built on the site of the "Synagogue of Jesus".

By now we were hungry for lunch, so we found a restaurant. We weren't sure what kind of restaurant it was, because the name was only in Hebrew, but we decided to try it. We didn't know what anything was on the menu! Robert and I tried the Lebanese fattoush (YUM!!!), and the girls had some kind of rice dish with beef and cinnamon. It was so delicious!
Lebanese Fattoush
We got back on the road after lunch, and within 10 kilometers (don't ask me how many miles that is...I never could remember how to figure it out) our car started thump thump thumping. The Ladybug had a flat tire!
Poor little Ladybug

Roadside view
A quick tire change by my wonderful husband, and we were on our way again, but much slower now traveling on a little spare tire. We drove to Nazareth, but all of the interesting places were closed because they were Christian sites and it was Sunday. I had not anticipated this, being in Israel where everything else is closed on Saturday for the Sabbath. So, we kept driving east toward the coast and Caesarea. Because of the flat tire and slow driving, by the time we arrived there the national park where the archaeological ruins are was closed, but we were able to go to the beach and see the Herodian Aqueduct, which was an amazing sight!
Herodian Aqueduct at Caesarea

Looking out at the Mediterranean Sea
The sun was beginning to go down, and the Mediterranean Sea looked so beautiful! We continued on our way back to Jerusalem, where we ate some more delicious Israeli food for dinner. What an amazing day!!!

Coming up next...David's City, Hezekiah's Tunnel and Zedekiah's Cave


  1. WOW! Loved looking at your pictures of the Holy Land. So sorry about the flat tire..but at least it was fixable! What a good hubby!

    Joining you from the Etsy blog team.

  2. Looks like you are having a great time here in Israel. Glad you are enjoying your visit in my country.