Miracles in Nazareth and the Sea of Galilee

Trip Start Sep 07, 2007
Trip End Sep 21, 2007

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Where I stayed
Kibbutz Sdot Yam

Flag of Israel  ,
Monday, September 17, 2007

We decided to have an easy day and go to the Church of Annunciation (St. Gabriel) located in the downtown Nazareth, and afterwards take a drive to the Sea of Galilee.

Downtown Nazareth is one of those places that one has to experience themselves.  We believe that it is a miracle that we made it out in one piece - without a scratch on the car - which by itself deserves to be commended and a church built for us.  Traffic is horrendous, with cars literally inches away from one another going in all sort of directions, as the drive you have to pay attention to every vehicle on the  road because they might do (and usually do) something unexpected.   For example, we tried to make a right turn on the road while cars are wheezing by on every side, and another car is reversing onto the road from a side street ... we made the turn but mind you this was a main road.

The signs to the Church of Annunciation are OK, but they are missing a sign in a major intersection which threw us off a bit and we miraculously stopped at a gas station to ask for directions.  Once we made it around the church (which is huge) we drove around in bumper-to-bumper traffic looking for a parking spot, when we found one it was on the other side of the street.  When in Rome, do as Romans do - we decided and jumped the median to fetch that parking space.  Nazareth smells of many spices, food and people - not a bad smell by any means, but distinct.

The Church of Annunciation, or St. Gabriel, is held in Roman Catholic tradition as the place that where the virgin Mary was visited by the Archangel Gabriel and told that she has been selected to be the mother of Jesus.  The church standing is a third church built on the site, finished in the 1960s and it is humongous.  In the middle of the church is a well where supposedly the whole revelation happened.  There are intricate pictures from all around the world depicting Mary, which we happen to find very interesting, how each culture sees the story through their own eyes.  We happen to come exactly when a bus full of pilgrims arrived, and they held an impromptu mass so we simply walked around the church.
Bella was needing potty, so accidentally we asked a person who owns a gift shop with a bathroom ... another miracle.

After a short bathroom break, we managed to miraculously  squeeze through the Nazareth traffic and make our way onto the Sea of Galilee (Kineret).  On our way out we got a good look at a few of the gorgeous villas that are built in and around new Nazareth (to distinguish from the old city).  After a few "scenic" stops we arrived in Capernaum (Kfar Nachum) to eat lunch.  Capernaum is an old village from about 150 BC to about AD 750 which is suppose to have a few miracles to its name.   "The town is mentioned in the New Testament: in the Gospel of Luke it was reported to have been the home of the apostles Peter, Andrew, James and John, as well as the tax collector Matthew. In Matthew 4:13 the town was reported to have been the home of Jesus himself. According to Luke 4:31-44, Jesus taught in the synagogue in Capernaum on the Sabbath days. In Capernaum also, Jesus allegedly healed a man who had the spirit of an unclean devil and healed a fever in Simon Peter's mother-in-law. According to Matthew 8:5-13, it is also the place where a Roman Centurion asked Jesus to heal his servant." (Wikipedia).

We ate at the Kfar Nachum restaurant right up on the Sea of Galilee, the food was a step above canned food (about 200 NIS for four people), but the location was fabulous.  Another group of pilgrims stopped with their tour bus, and they ate in between taking a dip, which looked very inviting to be honest.  After our meal we went down to go in, however we were very disappointed that we couldn't walk on the water.  On our way home we stopped at a monastery (which was closed) and at Kibbutz Ginosar to look at their museum, they suppose to have an ancient fishing boat from the time of Jesus which was recently discovered.  However they were closed also, we were told to "come tomorrow, the boat will be even more ancient" by one of the bus drivers.

Bella was winy almost all the way home, it's a miracle she made it.
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