Settling into the Doctor’s House at the Scots Hotel overlooking the Sea of Galilee. Hot apple juice with a swig of Glenfiddich at check-in sets me in the right frame of mind to enjoy the evening. A clear sunny afternoon doesn’t get in the way either. All’s well.
Since leaving the ship in Ashdod Port this morning, I’ve had a chance to visit the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth, and on to Cana to see one of the six stone jars into which Jesus changed water into wine at the Marriage Feast – located in the crypt of the Franciscan Church. Tomorrow we go to Capernaum before visiting the Golan Heights. And then back to the ship in Haifa for the cruise across to Rome, ‘non-stop’ for three days.
There’s such a marked contrast between Nazareth and Tiberias. There are more Arab Moslems in Nazareth today than Christians and it doesn’t have the shine of an Israeli city. Tiberias, on the other hand is welcoming, tree-lined and tidy.
For centuries after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70AD, Romans and Byzantines forbad the Jews to live in Jerusalem. So the Jewish people migrated to Galilee here in the north and made Tiberias their spiritual centre. Only at the time of the Moslem Conquest in 635AD that the Jews were allowed back into Jerusalem. How things have changed!
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