Today was indeed a day of rest and adventure. After a crazy Saturday, I woke up to a fly buzzing in my ear, and numerous other flies landing all over me. Our whole group was being bombarded by annoying house flies in fact, at 5:00 in the morning. Instead of taking a sheet and mummifying myself as a form of protection from the flies in order to catch a few more hours of sleep, I decided to get up and watch the sun rise over the mountains of Seria, the Sea of Galilee, and the banks of Tiberias. It was quite a beautiful sunrise and I was taken back 2,000 years to the morning when Jesus called to his disciples on the shore of that very sea. I pictured him sitting on the beach by a small fire waiting for his friends, and the excitment that his Disciples must have felt at the miracle he performed and to see him again after his death.
It’s something special to be able to actually picture the stories I’ve heard so often happening right where I am standing. I’ve been a little disappointed with many of the stops we’ve made, however. There is a church on every sight that is believe to be Holy. It’s hard for me to get past the “monument” and to figure out what it must have been like for Jesus and his disciples. The seas, so far, have definitely been my favorite because they are the least tainted by the modern world.
We left relatively early from the Galilee because it was getting hot and muggy very fast. Arriving back at the hostel, many of us simply crashed for 3 hours in a well deserved nap.
We then traveled to Caesarea, to the ruins of the Roman empire. This part of the country is most well known as being the place that Paul began his final journey to Rome. There are stunning architectural ruins from the reign of Herod such as an amphitheater, a man made harbor, a palace base, and a beautiful aqueduct. All of these looking over the vast, blue Mediterranean Sea.
After a long, sweaty day, we finally got a chance to cool off in the sea. I couldn’t have asked for more in a day at the beach; REALLY warm weather, soft white sand, few people, clear blue and refreshing water, and some of the best snorkeling in the world. (too bad we aren’t equipped for that…) It was a tropical paradise.
I’d say it’s a good day when you can watch the sun rise over the Galilee, and set over the Mediterranean.