After Jordan, we were only in Jerusalem for a week before going on a another trip. We spent about two weeks in the Galilee. It was our last big trip out of Jerusalem. On the way up to the Galilee, we of course stopped at several sites. There’s never any wasting time here!
The first site was Bet Shean. Another ancient city, yayyyyy! I have to say, I’m getting a little jaded about seeing ancient ruins. Oh, some columns, casemate walls, and a cistern? Cool.
But I’ll probably appreciate these pictures more when I stop going to ancient places every day of my life. So here they are:
Look, I dyed my hair!
The next site I was a little more excited for: Nazareth, the town where Jesus grew up!
The biggest Christian church in the Middle East is in Nazareth. It commemorates the Annunciation (Angel Gabriel’s visit to Mary).
Something cool about the church is that it has artwork of Mary and Jesus from tons of different countries. Here’s Mexico, France, and China. It was fun to look at the different depictions that were all culturally connected to the country that donated them.
Also in Nazareth were two little churches built near the remains of the first-century synagogue of the town. I didn’t get any pictures of the first one, but it was a tiny little Crusader church. The other one is an Arab Christian church. See the Arabic under the painting on the right?
Along with that...Nazareth used to be a mainly Arab Christian town. Violence and contention between Arab Christians and Muslims prompted most of the Christians to leave Nazareth and move out of the country. Hey, not all of the issues in the Middle East revolve around Muslims and Jews!
Evidence of the contention that still exists..
Just so you know guys, if you’re reading this and you’re not a Muslim, you’re a loser. That’s the Church of the Annunciation in the background.
There are lots of Jesus-themed souvenirs in Nazareth. Nativities, rosaries, etc. I, however, bought red stilettos. Not random at all, right? I really hope one day someone asks me where I got those shoes so I can brag about buying them in Nazareth. “Where’d you buy your shoes?” “Oh, just in Jesus’ hometown.”
Before going to our hotel we went to an overlook point to get a view of the whole region of Galilee. This was my first look at the Sea of Galilee!
Guess what! We drove a few hours to get to Galilee, and our bus didn’t even break down once! We’re not in Jordan anymore.
Then we got to our hotel, which was right on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. It was a pretty great view to see everyday. We were all excited to get to the hotel! Someone did a survey of our bus, and the average amount of sleep was 3 hours. We had two papers due that morning. No one procrastinated that at all!