On Wednesday Elias and I took a day to catch up on necessities. I did a load of laundry and we went shopping in New Jerusalem town for some clothes and a few other odds and ends. We rested in the afternoon and finished planning out trips to Galilee and Jordan.
A word of warning. Two hungry Americans spotted a McDonald’s and thinking that a hamburger and fries would do for lunch we yielded to temptation. It was terrible. The prices were high and the food disgusting. I know McDonald’s is not top of the line, but this didn’t come up to McDonald’s rather low bar.
On Thursday morning we got a taxi to the car rental depot and set off on our adventure to Galilee–Padre behind the wheel and Elias navigating. What on earth did we do before the internet? Car rental, hotel booking, maps–everything available on the cell phone.
We drove North on the main Israeli highway past Tel Aviv and finally turned East toward Tiberias where we had booked a hotel room. Wonderful to be driving through the beautiful country of Israel and to see signs for Nazareth.
Tiberias is a modern town built on the site of the town named for the Roman Emperor Tiberias–who was emperor during the time of Our Lord. Some scholars believe St Joseph was one of the many Jews who moved from Judea–from Bethlehem in his case–to Galilee to find work. As a builder or even an architect he would have found ample work in the new towns of Tiberias and Philippi.
The roads were congested and the trip which should have taken two hours took four. We had planned to see a fair bit in Galilee today, but by the time we arrived Tabgha–the site of the feeding of the 5,000 and the church of Peter’s primacy were closed. Capernaum was still open so we spent a half hour in the ruins there viewing the site of Peter’s house and the amazing synagogue–built on the site where Jesus opened the scroll and began to read at the beginning of his ministry.
Chris Landfried made another connection for us which turned out to be delightful. A lay missionary lives as a solitary on a hillside in Galilee/He is an Italian–Philippo Rossi. He invited us to visit,, so after Capernaum we texted him and he showed us his tiny home on a hilltop overlooking the Sea of Galilee. There are some pics on Twitter.
Philippo lives a life of solitude and prayer there where our Lord preached the, fed the 5,000, called the first disciples and so much more.
Speaking of fish, on the drive back to Tiberias Elias, needing some dinner, pulled into a restaurant overlooking the Sea of Galilee and we had a wonderful dinner together–he had St Peter’s fish–head, find, tail and all, and with a beer each Father and Son headed back with stomachs full of fish and hearts full of gratitude.