Thursday, June 24, 2010

Galilee Golan tour

Touring Galilee and Golan Heights
A very nice lady at the front desk of our hotel helped us find a tour guide for today. This tour guide is going to take us all around the Galilee and also to the Golan Heights. Both Joe and I are very excited about this tour. Also, we are very lucky to be helped by the lady at the front desk. Without her, we would not have been able to find this guide.

Before hiring the private tour guide, we tried to book a tour bus. However, no tour by bus is a available. The private tour guide should be much better for us as this guide will be much more flexible in where we go.

Avis Car Rental
Tomorrow is Friday, the day before the sabbath. And the following day is sabbath. Just like in Jerusalem, everything is closed down Friday afternoon and all Saturday. So, the front desk lady arranged for us to rent a car from Avis for these two days.

We hope to buy a guide book today that will help us for tomorrow and Saturday when we will be driving around on our own.

Yitzhak Peri - Tour Guide
In the pic below you see Yitzhak "Ezu" Peri and Son Joseph. Ezu picked us up at our Astoria Hotel and we drove north following the shoreline of the Sea of Galilee [Hebrew: Yam Kinneret].
Ezu and Joseph

Tour route

We came to the Kibbutz Ginosar and the Yigal Allon Museum where is displayed the "Sea of Galilee Boat" [link]. Below is a pic of the rescued and restored boat that lay in the mud of the Galilee for over 1,900 years.

The Town of Kefar Nahum [Capernaum] is the home of the Church of Heptapegon where Jesus fed the five thousand. Unfortunately because Joseph and I were wearing short pants, we were not allowed to enter!

Outside church at Capernaum

One of the sites that I really wanted to see is the famous, River Jordan. When Ezo drove his car over the Jordan Bridge above the Sea of Galilee, both Joseph and I were excited to stop and go back to see the river!
Looking downstream at the River Jordan

After leaving the River Jordan, we drove up into the Golan Heights heading for Bental Mountain, site of a huge tank battle during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. From the heights of Bental Mountain, we could look down into the Country of Syria, with its undeveloped and barren land [link].
Beyond the green of Israel is Syria

At the Israeli war bunker - Mt. Bental

After leaving Mt. Bental, we retraced our route traveling south. We came to the River Jordan again where the stream leaves the Sea of Galilee. No water flows here at this time. However, just south of the Allenby Bridge is the place where Jesus was baptized by John.

Many Christians were here to be baptized in these same waters. These people were all dressed in white clothing, worn specially for their baptism.
Baptism site of Jesus