RTW 2011: Day 26

We continued to explore the Galilee region of Israel today by starting our day sailing on the Sea of Galilee. Our group missed our boat, so we sat for a few minutes along the shore waiting for the next boat. It was very peaceful: birds singing and a gentle rustling breeze in the grasses. The Sea of Galilee is large, but you can see across it on a clear day. It was humid on the day we were there, the air was too thick and a little smoggy, and we were unable to glimpse the far side of the lake.

We stopped in Capernaum next. This is also an archaeological dig site, with a large church built over the house where they think Peter lived.

Our next stop was the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fish, and the Mountain of the Beatitudes. There was a very nice view from the mountain-top out over the countryside and the Sea of Galilee.

After lunch, we visited the border between Israel and Lebanon. We saw the fences, but there was no fighting anywhere in Israel. It was very peaceful, and would be easy to forget that every neighboring country wants to destroy Israel. I don’t think our guide felt that way. He liked to stop at a lot of war sites, saying that great battles had been fought in various places. We also saw the border with Syria, and looked out from a high point over into Syria. Of course, the other side of the Jordan River is Jordan, so we saw that border as well.

We visited a park, took a short hike and saw a lovely waterfall. Then we continued to Pan’s Grotto, where there used to be human sacrifices to the god Pan. This is also where Jesus said that the gates of Hell could not stand against us.

We stayed in a hotel run by a Kibbutz, which is a fancy was of saying commune. We went to a presentation about life in a Kibbutz by an old Irish man drinking his beer. He had moved to Israel in his youth, but he definitely kept his accent through all the years. It was very interesting to me, how they manage their affairs as a group and pool all their resources. It’s inspiring that people can work together so well, although I’m sure it can be very frustrating at times. It is a socialist democracy in action: everything belongs to the group, and every member is responsible to vote and make the decisions together.