Mount of Olives panorama

Mount of Olives panorama
A panoramic view of the Mount of Olives

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Northern Israel, Day 1

On Monday we took Paul and Denise and both Rachel and Samuel with us on a the first day of a quick tour through northern Israel.  After leaving Jerusalem, we drove up the Jordan Valley along Highway 90 to Bet She'an.  Most of the extant ruins date from the Hellenistic and Roman period, when the city weas known as Scythopolis.  For more of the history of this site, see the first part of this post from last semester's student visit.

For this post, first see this fun little post of Samuel at Bet She'an and then posts of our family and friends exploring the ruins.

In the theater of Scythopolis

Sam Man in the theater

Cat fight in the palaestra or wrestling grounds in the bathhouse
Hypocausts in the calidarium or hot bath

Paul with columns felled in the earthquake of A.D. 749

"Some day my prince will come . . ."

Next we stopped at Belvoir Castle, located on the summit of Kohav Yarden.  Built by the Knights Hospitallers late in the crusades, it dominated the upper Jordan Valley.  It was an impressive site, but now in the hot, late spring it was, much to Sam Man's dismay, infested with clouds of bothersome gnats!

Samuel as a Crusader knight
Now it is Rachel's turn

Belvoir Castle
View of the upper Jordan Valley

Looking towards the Sea of Galilee

Paul and Denise in one of the gates
Elaine leading Samuel through the gnat field!
Crusader dining hall

Through the haze Mount Tabor, traditional site of the Transfiguration, appears
We stopped in Tiberias, where we were staying the night with our friends the Grahams, to drop off our stuff and leave Rachel and Samuel (Sam had been a trooper up to this point but was ready for a break).
On the balcony in Tiberias with the Sea of Galilee in the background

Hyrax! (The biblical rock badger)

Samuel loves to draw . . .

Ever wonder what the inside of a Koopa (a.k.a. Boswer) looks like?
With the children settled, we took Paul and Denise to Capernaum, where so many of Jesus miracles were performed and which he used as his home base for much of his Galilean ministry.  Read about our visit a month and a half ago.  There on the shore of the Sea of Galilee we read the account of the calling of the first disciples from Luke 5 before exploring the site.


St. Peter's Cat?

In the fourth century synagogue
The white fourth century synagogue is built on the black basalt foundation of an earlier first century synagogue

The white synagogue is built on a slightly different alignment from the black basalt foundation

We then stopped at a site next to Tabgha called St. Peter's Primacy, which commemorates the events of John 21, where the Risen Lord appeared to Peter and six other disciples.  Here he interviewed Peters, asking three times if he loved him.

We ended the day with an Arab feast shared with our friends Ray and Bobbe Graham.  Yes, we ate too much!

St. Peter's Fish, fried

St. Peter's Fish, grilled

Before . . .

 . . . after

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