Welcome Friends! I hope you enjoy tasting these teaching and travel tidbits.
Come along with me as I attempt to navigate my way through a new country, school system, and life for a year!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Israel, the First 24 Hours

Windsurfers at Sunset on the Mediterranean Sea

All my life I've read about the Holy Land, so traveling to Israel was a dream come true.  After landing at Ben Gurion airport, I headed to the Mediterranean Sea where I walked along the beach watching the windsurfers at sunset.  I found my hostel in Tel Aviv and set my alarm to catch an early bus to the childhood home of Jesus, Nazareth.   There I went to the Basilica of the Annunciation, which was built over the spot where the angel Gabriel told Mary that she would be the mother of the Son of God.   My friend, Kim, recently asked me if I have had any Mary sightings, and I had to laugh, as this place is "Mary Central".  All around the courtyard and the upper church are mosaics of Mary. Each one was made in a different country in a style characteristic of that nation.  Below the church is the grotto on the spot of  the angelic announcement.  Not far from the Basilica is  St. Joseph's Church, which was built at the site of Joseph's carpentry shop.  
Grotto of the Annunciation

Mary's jacket  is made of real pearls in
this mosaic from Japan

This could be the site of Joseph's Carpentry Shop

Statues of the Holy Family in Nazareth

 From Nazareth I continued on to the shores of the Sea of Galilee where Jesus multiplied the 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish to feed 5000 people.  There is a church there with a mosaic depicting the loaves and fish in the floor in front of the altar, which dates from the 5th century.   Of course, I stopped to eat fish at a restaurant on the Galilean shore.

Sea of Galilee
Fish right out of the Sea of Galilee!

These little critters were all over Galilee

Ruins of Capernaum, the home of  Peter, Andrew,
James, John and Matthew

Next stop, the Jordan River, where many people were being baptised.  I couldn't resist a little wade in the water.
Wading in the Jordan River

From the Jordan River, my bus took me to Jerusalem where I made my way up the Mount of Olives to the Lutheran World Federation Guesthouse where I would be spending the next 5 nights.  My first 24 hours in Israel were fabulous!  Not a bad way to start my spring break!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please feel free to let me know what you think!