Sunday, April 22, 2012

Kate (and Pam) on the Loose, Part 9: After Jerusalem

 My good friends, Kate and Pam, were in Jerusalem and Jordan before coming to Georgia. Kate started as a solo adventuress in Egypt. Kate and Pam met up in Jerusalem. From Kate's journal:

When Pam and I left Jerusalem our destination was Cesarea as there are Roman ruins to view.  The trip there involves lugging our luggage on two taxis and a train.  Quite exhausting.  We stayed in a guest house in Binyamina.  This area was purchased by Baron Rothschild in the 1920's and settled by a group of Jewish immigrants.  It is a small resort town known for its wineries.  We spent the day touring the ruins which are on the Mediterraen Sea.  We met an artist from California.  She does very interesting fabric art.  Pam and I both splurged and bought a piece.  Mine will look great on the back porch.

I had an Israeli dish for breakfast, shakshuka (misspelled I'm afraid).  It was several eggs poached in a marinara type sauce.  Quite good but enough to feed an army.

Next we went to Nazareth which is a large city inhabited mostly by Palestinians.  We stayed in a guesthouse run by nuns.  It was in this crowed noisy neighborhood but when you entered the gate, it was a quiet oasis.  Most houses are surrounded by a tall solid fence or wall.  The small garden had many flowers and trees, also some fruit trees.  We stayed for two nights.  We toured many churches and ate a lot of good street food.  We also went to Nazareth Village.  It is a re-creation of houses and a wine and olive press as it might have been at the time of Jesus.  There also were many wild flowers growing on the side of the hill and a few goats tended by a shepherd.  It was a quiet oasis in a busy city.  It was quite well done and very touching.

Do you know that grapes are crushed by feet (men only) because if you crush the seeds it makes the wine bitter?  I always thought they stomped for the fun of it.  Olives on the other hand are crushed by a large stone because the pits need to be crushed also as it adds to the flavor.

The next day we took a bus tour of many places around the Sea of Galilee where Jesus carried out his ministry. We saw Cana, commemorated by a church where you can renew marriage vows, not applicable to us.  The Mt of the Beatitudes was nearby, that sermon is a favorite of mine.  We also went to the River Jordan where you can be re-baptised, it was pretty commercialized.

But in a quieter area I dipped my hand in the river and took my favorite picture of the river with a bull rush in the middle.  The picture will be framed to hang in the sewing room.

We left the tour and stayed on the outskirts of Tiberius in the old home of a past director of the YMCA in Tiberius.  Our room was high on the bank overlooking the Sea of Galilee.  The views were spectacular and it touched my heart to be in the place Jesus lived.  I must admit the nature in and around Galilee was a more spiritual experience for me as opposed to the grand churches in Jerusalem.  We had planned to walk part of the Jesus Trail and you might think 10 days would me enough time but it wasn't.  Anyway probably couldn't have walked far.

Now on to Jordan!


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