Travel Diaries :: Israel (Part 2)

1:03:00 PM

If you missed part one of our recent Israel trip, check it out HERE. We started in Tel-Aviv, hitting Jaffa, Ceasarea and Haifa.

Magdala - along the shores of the Sea of Galilee
GET READY FOR PICTURE OVERLOAD...I couldn't help myself!

After our trip up the coast we headed East towards the Sea of Galilee. This was possibly one of my favorite places the entire trip. Our VRBO we stayed in was out in the countryside, so it gave us all some much needed quiet, removed from the noisy cities. The views were gorgeous and honestly didn't take us too long to get anywhere. The places in this post are definitely a MUST if you are planning a trip to Israel.

SEA OF GALILEE

It doesn't get much more serene than being out on a tiny boat out on the Sea of Galilee. With the breeze in your face and the beauty of the mountains surrounding you, you can really start to put yourself back in time. Close your eyes. Imagine joining Jesus and his disciples along one of their many, many fishing trips or boat journeys across the sea. The only word I can think of to describe it is magical. 


CAPERNAUM

Another favorite for sure if you are looking for a peaceful place to stop, pray and take it all in was the city of Capernaum. We were pleased to come across this city towards the end of the day, close to sunset right before closing. Most of the tour buses had packed up for the day, so it was not too full of people, giving us an actual opportunity to take in this beautiful city that now lay in ruins. Being the home of Jesus' disciple, Peter, this would have been a city Jesus would have passed through or stayed at often. Right along the coast of the Sea of Galilee, the views couldn't get much prettier, which is another reason this city will hold a special place in my heart.


TABGHA & CHURCH OF THE BEATITUDES

 Tabgha is the city where the miracle of Jesus feeding the 5000 with just 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish happened. This church has now been erected to commemorate the miracle.


MOUNT OF THE BEATITUDES
This beautiful church now stands on the mountain side where Jesus gave his famous sermon on the mount, including the beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-12).



The hillside was breathtaking, overlooking the Sea of Galilee. You can just imagine being there, with the perfect acoustics to not even barely raise your voice to talk to thousands of people. It is honestly mind blowing when you think about it.


NAZARETH
Driving out of Nazareth, through Canaan...this gives you a little picture of just how big these cities actually are.

As the city Jesus would have grown up in, going to Nazareth was definitely on our list of must-sees. One thing that surprised me and that I wasn't totally prepared for, was for it to be such a big,  developed city. To do something a little more appropriate for the kids, we visited Nazareth Village, an open-air museum featuring how life would have been like in the first century, during the time of Jesus. Definitely would highly recommend this place, especially if you are traveling here with kids! We got to see a wine press, an old working olive press, animals, reconstructed homes and a synagogue. It truly transported us back in time and the tour guides were so knowledgeable. It was the perfect way to get a feel for first century culture and how Jesus may have grown up.

A replica of how tombs would have looked in the first century.

Saw how olive oil was made. First they crushed the olives, to remove the pits.

After the olives are crushed, the oil is then pressed out under the weight of these stones.


JORDAN RIVER

Our last day in this region we went to where the Sea of Galilee pours into the Jordan River. The Jordan River is of significance, as somewhere along it would have been the place where Jesus himself was baptized by John the Baptist. We breifly visited a baptism place, but it felt commercial and now how I imagined. Just a short walk down the road we actually rented some canoes and got our group out on the water.

Both of these cuties were fighting a stomach bug this day so they were definitely not 100%. But were total champs!

Even though the stomach bug had started running its course through our family on this day, especially hitting Elijah and Adelle right before and during our time on the Jordan, we powered through and made the best. I will commend our kids, because each one of them got sick at some point on our trip and they did amazing at powering through and keeping up their spirits. I was honestly so impressed with them. It definitely confirmed that we will be taking many more family adventures like this one in the future. I can only imagine it getting easier and more fun the older they get.

Stay tuned for part three (probably the last part) coming soon!

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