DAY FOUR THE GALILEE REGION
Above photo leaving Tiberias and onto the sea of Galilee
3rd June Netanya Israel 9 AM On the coach to Galilee area this morning. The day is as other days , hot and sunny, but with a little cloud cover on the coast at least. I slept well last night and I am feeling relaxed this morning. The headaches of the beginning of the week were down to dehydration I think, so I need to drink lots of water today.
9:25 AM moving up the coast road, now turning inland to the region of Megiddo, under the Central Spine of Israel through the hills of Samaria. Which culminates in the north as the Carmel mountain range. On the coast we passed three huge power stations one of which has a chimney over 300 m high. This complex is coal fired and supplies much of Israel with power. Hence there is a vast sprawl of power lines radiating out from this.
Israel has 6 1/2 million people, 1 million of whom are not Jews, excluding the 3 million living in the West Bank and Gaza strip. Driving through the cross Israel highway through a number of Arab towns we saw numerous unfinished houses with little or no town planning. We notice that many homes certainly in the poorer districts, have the hot water tank on the roof, and being exposed to the elements get free solar heating for the hot water supply.
Passing again through the valley of Jezreel ( 1 Kings 21- Elijah confronts king Ahab over Naboth’s vineyard). Another very fertile part of the country. Moshe points out to us the mount of Tel Megiddo and points out in the distant haze Mount Gilboa ( 2 Samuel 1:21 David’s lament for Jonathan) and informs us of the vicinity of the spring of Harod where Gideon chose his 300 men. (Judges 7)
3rd June 12:29 PM ( Local time) River Jordan. We stopped at the baptismal site at Yardenit on the river Jordan. No baptisms while we were there, although two black charismatic ladies from London were baptised for the third or fourth time! It was a real sun trap, extremely hot, with an extremely expensive souvenir shop attached to it. We were now moving on to lunch which I think is going to be at Tiberias.
5.03 PM Capernaum Just back from a very special boat trip on the sea of Galilee. We left from Tiberias after having lunch there. Most took the ’Saint Peter’s fish’ for lunch . I didn’t ask for fish as funds are a bit low by this stage . We journeyed across from Tiberias to Capernaum then pausing in the middle of the lake to take in the sights of the western shore of the lake, Magdala ( Mary Magdalene ), Capernaum , with the Golan Heights on the other side.
Glynn reads from Mark 5 – Jesus walking on the water. We sang and prayed on the lake. A highlight for us was when the Jewish skipper of the boat sang for us in a very good voice ‘ My Jesus My Saviour ‘ in both Hebrew and English .
3rd June 15.52 ( C.E.T) 13.52 ( B.S.T) Just back on the bus after visiting the Roman Catholic Church of the Primacy of Peter at Tabgha on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee. It commemorates Jesus’ reinstatement of Peter as chief among the Apostles ( John 21)
From there to the synagogue in Capernaum , the place that became the base of the Lord’s 3 year ministry. From there we went to the Mount of the Beatitudes where it is believed that the sermon on the Mount was preached ( Matthew chapters 5-7).
It has been another long , hot, tiring day. As we head back to Netanya we pass through the extremely fertile area of the Jordan valley . We pass extensive Banana plantations, much of this area is practically tropical in climate. Moshe pointed out that the only crop they have failed to grow in Israel funnily enough is Coconuts. The place is full of palm trees most of which are for dates.
Moshe our guide is a most capable, articulate and confident person. Well read in history, topography, geology, geography, political economy, and theory , as well as theology. During this trip I have heard him recite Latin, Hebrew, Arabic and make reference to French, German and Italian. He has the confident bearing of an ex-army officer ( which I suspect he is), and always seemed to speak to the soldiers we met with authority and confidence.
We are now passing extensive olive groves as we head away from Tiberias, and head towards the Mediterranean coast and back to Netanya..