Thursday, April 27, 2023
Netanya to Tiberius

8:16 pm

The sun has set. We’ve eaten three meals.  And we’ve walked 9,816 steps (just over four miles) today. And we also put a ton of mileage on the bus. From Netanya to Nazareth to Megiddo to Mt. Carmel to Akko to Tiberius. And there was lots of traffic to deal with along the way. But we made it. The weather continues to be stunning. Clear. Cool. Breezy. And that means that the views are pretty spectacular. From Mt. Carmel we could see from Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea. Just stunning.

Started the day with a crowded breakfast buffet. It was just ok. There were a couple of really large groups, so it was crowded, but it did not delay us. We were on the bus by 8:00 and on our way.  First stop? Clear across the Jezreel Valley to Nazareth, technically Mt. Precipice to see the Jezreel Valley.  We could see from the Jordan Valley to Mt. Carmel.  It was beautiful. We say the Hill Moreh, Mt. Tabor, Nain, Mt. Gilboa in the distance, and Nazareth behind us. We broke out the map and will do so tomorrow.

Back on the bus for a drive back across the Jezreel Valley to Tel Megiddo. We toured the site (as usual). They have done some improvements that are lovely.  New restrooms (ha). But they have reconstructed the gate built by Solomon and it is easily understandable.  They’ve built some new shade structures and it is a much easier site to navigate. We read some Scripture and made our way to the water system.

Back on the bus. Off to Mt. Carmel.  It was approaching noon so we went to lunch first. Manhal (the guide) said we’d go to the place everyone loves. There were just a couple of buses in the parking lot when we arrived.  When we left? We were blocked in by all the huge buses. That took a while to sort out. I thought lunch was just OK. The place was huge and very organized, I’ll give them that.

Our next stop was just a few minutes away, the Carmelite Monastery on top of Mt. Carmel. We were there alone (heavenly) since we at fast. The views were spectacular. It was a bit hazy, but so much better than anything I’ve experienced in the last ten years.  For sure.  You could see Jordan in the distance -- and the blue of the Mediterranean in the other. Gilboa. Mt. Tabor. Moreh. Nazareth. Samaria.  Wow.  It was wonderful.  Time for a devotional (the Elijah story, of course) and then back on the bus…just as the parking lot was filling up.

Up north to Akko.  I had never been to Akko, but it was another driver of over an hour. That was our third one of those today, which was a bit much. And the traffic was a problem on each of our legs of travel.  I guess Thursday traffic is notoriously heavy in Israel. But the view from the coast was lovely. We could look south to Haifa and the water was bright blue and the old city section was fascinating. It was a nice stop.  But then back in the bus for another long drive to Tiberius.  I would have slept, except there was no way to get comfortable.

We arrived at our hotel just before 5:30. We are at the Caesar.  It is clean and lovely.  Folks are liking it. And, of course, Iike it because I’m at the end of the hall with a full view of the Sea of Galilee (my folks don’t really know that). It is lovely. And dinner was our best yet. So we are liking this place. We are right on the boardwalk, so I hope it is not too noisy tonight. I do think that I’m exhausted enough that it won’t make a difference.

We are changing our program for the next couple of days. It is supposed to rain on Saturday so we are going north tomorrow and save Galilee for Saturday.  Rain won’t be as big of an issue around the shores of Galilee.

Some of us walked the boardwalk a bit, but I left a tad early and came back to get some pictures out…and a journal. A bit short tonight, but I did walk over 180 steps down into the water system at Megiddo, so I have an excuse. Right? There is an ice pack on my knee as I type.  Time to get some sleep for now.  We are on the bus at 7:15 in the morning.  So the day will start early.  But…I’m in Galilee…with a vew!

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