We arrived in Tiberius on Tuesday evening and found the hotel Aviv just a block from the Sea of Galilee. We’re on the third floor with a small balcony which presents us with a beautiful view of the lake. We know it as the Sea of Galilee but the locals call it Lake Kinneret. It is difficult for a Christian familiar with the ministry of Jesus to see this as anything but a sacred place because of all the events and miracles on and around it that made this place so famous. This whole region is a favorite place for Israeli vacationers because of the moderate climate and its natural beauty.
It’s also a great place to just stroll and take in the local color. Jews and Palestinians mix together with all their various customs and foods that make this such a delightful place. We always make it a habit to stay away from American hotels and food so that we can truly become part of the culture around us. It’s a good thing that all three of us love Mediterranean food because it is everywhere. We strolled through the market area this morning and purchased what we needed for breakfast, since we booked a hotel without a food plan. Fortunately, our room contains a small kitchenette with a microwave, full refrigerator, a hot plate and the utensils to make and eat our own food. Eric is a great help with that since he has so many great recipes in his head in case we can’t think of any.
The weather turned hot and humid today and it’s only May. It really gets warm in this place during the summer months and this time of year is usually delightful. But we can be thankful for one thing—the wind that comes in off the sea. Without that it would be almost unbearable. We booked a boat ride on the lake in the afternoon and found ourselves in the middle of what was probably a Palestinian middle school outing. Arabic music was playing very loudly and the boat deck rapidly filled up with girls dancing together to the beat of the modern music. Soon the boys joined in, dancing together among themselves. You would probably never see boys and girls dancing together under such circumstances since it is considered religiously forbidden for them to have such intimate contact in public. The boat just circled around for about an hour but it gave you time to think about the many events that happened in this place as recorded in the Bible—the miraculous catch of fish by Jesus disciples, the feeding of the 5,000 (on its shores), the calming of the sea by Jesus command, the walking on the water, etc.
This evening we decided to stroll along the boardwalk on the southwest side of the lake and eat some “St. Peter’s fish.” This is a favorite meal among the locals and because of its name it’s a “must eat” meal among the religious tourists as well.
Bud & Kathy
Bud and Kathy Downs are making another trip to the Lands of the Bible-- first Turkey and Greece (from May 11 to 22) and then to Israel (from May 22 to June 8). We invite you to join us through our travel blog. We intend to post regular updates and pictures of Bible sites.