Monday, March 15, 2010

Sea of Galilee

On Friday morning we left around 10:30 for our one night trip to the Sea of Galilee. We took the local bus down to the central bus station and then from there took a three hour bus ride to the North. Now, Israeli's have never heard of a line before, and just like Greyhound it is first come first serve on the buses. So if you don't get there early, you won't get a seat. Well, here, you have to wait in line, but then you have people come from other doors and cutting in front of you. You have to be very assertive and make sure no one gets in line ahead of you. Because then you have to wait another three hours for the next bus. And it is really hard if you were raised to let the elderly and pregnant step in front of you, but what are you supposed to do when the old women cut through the other door and push you aside? I stood firm and didn't let the woman on. And when I say, stand firm, I had to hold out my arms to touch the bus. It is just ridiculous. So we get on the bus, crowded and we couldn't find seats next to each other. Mike, Aviva, Morey and I were taking the bus as Effe and Jake were meeting us there. I found a seat next to a soldier and was quite lucky. there were two people that just sat in the aisles as they didn't want to wait for the next bus. The bus ride reminded me of the soccer bus rides in high school, where all of our bags were in the aisle and the freshmen had to sit there if there was no room.

It is not uncommon for you to sit next to a soldier as everyone has to go to the Army for two years. I think I was sitting next to one that was in the Air Force, he had a grey uniform on. He had his gun, and he had his clip hanging on the handle on the seat in front of him. The bus ride was alright, I enjoyed however, driving along the highway and seeing the villages in a distance. Specifically the Arab villages as you can see the minarets. Once we arrived a little north of Tiberius we had to walk about half a mile to our hostel. We were staying in the guest house of a was a regular hostel to me. Although there were six of us in the room, it wasn't too bad. We each had our own bed, bathroom was big and the food was excellent. So now I understood that the Sea of Galilee is not a Sea and is a fresh water lake, but I expected there to be some type of man made beach. No. There were rocks and swamp area that you walked through to get to the clear water. Boy, did it make me miss Echo Lake! We didn't stay in the water too long, but we saw many boats that were replicas of the ones Jesus would have sat in. This was the area where Jesus walked on water. After our adventures in the water we all got ready for dinner and headed downstairs. They had a wide variety of food (no dairy, as it was a meat meal), and then we went back outside. They had TVs in the room, but we all just sat around playing frisbee and what not. We were pretty far from a town, and you couldn't get there as it was Shabbot. Later that evening, we watched Mrs. Doubtfire on Jake's computer...I think it is better to watch it when you are older as the jokes are a lot funnier. It was a good time.

Saturday morning we thought we had to be out by 10, but the gentleman at the front desk told us we could keep our things in the room until 5. Perfect! That way we wouldn't have to carry all of our things with us when we went for a hike. The hike ended up just being Mike and I as everyone else wasn't properly prepared and thought it was too hot. Mike and I walked probably two miles one way along the highway to the Mount of Beautudes, where Jesus gave his sermon on the mount. We had to cut through some thick grass and then walk along a farmers land. We saw a huge (!) black snake slither in front of us. Once we got to the top of the hill, they were closed for a few hours while the monks prayed, we walked down the hill to the Church of St. Peter, and the Fish and Loaves Church. There were a ton of tourists and many wanting to know where we were from. I wish I knew more about the Bible and Jesus' life to fully understand more of the things I am seeing. On our way back as we passed one of the bus stops ( and when I say bus stop, a wooden bench with roof on the side of the road, no taxi stand, no nothing. Middle of nowhere.) we walked in the shade and the smell of Camp Farnsworth camp back. Memories of being called Jellybean and living in Tall Timbers flashed before me. When we got back to the hostel I ran into the water. I was overheated. I floated for a while and thought about where I really was. The north is very quiet and picturesque. Many of the mountains reminded me of Northern France and a little bit of the White Mountains. On our way back to Jerusalem, the ride seemed to take forever. When we stopped at the rest stop, only one store was open as it was still Shabbot, I'm really starting to become irritated with so many things being closed...oh and the bathrooms at the rest stop! You had to pay a schekel and take your toilet paper in with you. Weird. Once we got home around 9 pm, I had a little reading to do for my class on Sunday.

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