This morning we visited the Galilee Boat Museum. In 1986, during a drought, some fishermen on the Sea of Galilee discovered in the mud what turned out to be a first century fishing boat. The story of its recovery from the mud and the preservation of the boat is an amazing tale of ingenuity and dedication. The remains of the boat and the story of its preservation make for a great visit when you come to Galilee.
After that we attended a special mass at Magdala as the gospel reading for the Saturday of Easter week focuses on the resurrection appearance to St Mary Magdalene. The town of Magdala was lost for centuries after it was leveled in the Jewish War against the Romans around 70 AD. The site was remembered, but not until the 2010s did archeological excavations get underway. The Legionaries of Christ occupy the spot and international fund raising has gone on not only to excavate the remains, but also to build a modern guest house, restaurant and church. The Patriarch came up from Jerusalem to celebrate the Mass. We were invited to lunch afterward, but had to get on our way.
Elias has taken up the job of being a safe and effective chauffeur and his next task was to get us up the winding switchback roads to the top of Mount Tabor–the site of the Transfiguration. The beautiful church on the site is early 20th century, but built on the foundations of a crusader church which was built on the foundations of a Byzantine church. The mountaintop above the Jezreel Valley is fantastic with great views all around. I especially liked visiting two small. chapels on either side of the church entrance–the Moses and Elijah chapels.
Our day’s pilgrimage was complete as we wound our way down the mountain and found our way to Nazareth. Nazareth today is a busy and congested city, and Elias was brilliant at navigating our rented compact car through narrow alleyways to find our pilgrim’s hostel for the night.