the sea of galilee & golan heights {israel travel}

In case you’re still hanging with me, I’m chronicling our trip to Israel from January … still! A quick trip for 3/5 of us to Florida to visit my sister, sick kids, sick mom, kidney stones, heading towards the final stretch of pregnancy, a ridiculously warm February, getting our house ready to put on the market and talking with sellers, builders, realtors, drywallers, a painter, electricians and my husband many, many times about whether or not we should move (still ongoing …) have all happened in the last 30 days. And I have a feeling life isn’t about to slow down.

I left off at the beginning of our trip, with our arrival in Tel Aviv and a stop at Caesarea. Afterwards, we headed on to the city of Tiberias on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee. Leaving Tel Aviv for the lake was like going from New York City to small town Indiana. Quiet. Tranquil. Stunning.

 In Mark, he talks about Jesus’ travels through Galilee.

‘Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.’

And I can see why. I’m not a morning person, but sitting out on the balcony watching the fishermen do their thing was so worth getting up for.

Afterwards, we got in the tour bus and headed for a small artist’s colony in Safed – a little town full of cobblestone streets and shops. The bread in Israel is fresh and so, so good.   

We kept going to the northern tip of Israel, along the Syrian border to the Golan Heights. 

This is the highest point in Israel. In fact, we saw a little snow. In recent times, Israel has only occupied the Heights since 1967 after the Six Day War. We could actually hear Syrian military exercises from where we stood. Maybe that should have been a little crazier to me, but the whole area was really kind of peaceful. In the midst of abandoned minefields from past land conflicts, there is lots of agriculture, and in the Spring, I hear they have the most gorgeous wildflower fields.

We learned that Israelis are pretty carefree. A waitress we had later in the week in Jerusalem grew up in the Gaza Strip and talked about a missile landing IN HER HOUSE like I would talk about a water leak … just a slight nuisance. Maybe they just cannot afford to have the false sense of security we grow up with in America. There’s something about their spirit that gave me an attachment to the country.

On the way home, our guide stopped at the Mount of Beatitudes – the place where Jesus probably preached his most famous sermon.

Until he spoke those words, many people believed if you were sick, poor or otherwise down on your luck, you were unworthy. Imagine how his words, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek,” revolutionized how they thought about Jesus’ love.

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