Today we journeyed to the most northern regions of Israel. We walked through a beautiful, lush nature reserve in the city of Dan (named after the tribe of Dan) and saw “Abraham’s Gate”. This gate existed during the time when Abraham lived and is known to have visited the city. It’s a fairly recent discovery – only uncovered in 1979. (Archaeological discoveries happen quite regularly in Israel).
We enjoyed a surprise “serenade” by another tour group while walking through the ruins. We were able to capture a couple minutes of their happy melody on video and we made sure to show our appreciation with hearty applause and some greetings and introductions.
Caesarea Philippi was our second stop of the day. The location is significant – it’s built at one of the sources of the Jordan River. But what’s more interesting to note is that it was here that Jesus revealed His purpose to the disciples. And it was here that Peter identified Jesus as the Messiah. We are seeing, smelling, hearing, and stepping foot in specific locations mentioned in the Bible knowing it will forever change the way we read scripture.
Our bus groups split up for lunch – each going to smaller restaurants in a nearby town. We enjoyed some fresh, traditional dishes like pita and hummus, baba ganoush, falafel, tahini, fresh salads, and to finish, baklava and Turkish coffee. A delightful break in the middle of a full day.
We bundled up to appreciate the views atop Mt Bental (it was chilly). This site offers some of the most spectacular views in the region. Atop the mount is a now disused Israeli army out-post, complete with old Israeli bunkers. (See the pics included with this post).
The on-site cafe offered warm drinks and a few of us tried something called Sahlab – a smooth, milk pudding type drink originally made from Orchid roots flour. It was quite delicious but very sweet and filling.
Our next stop was at the third most mentioned place in the Bible.
Any guesses? (Don’t cheat and keep reading!)
Tel Bet Saida – better known as Bethsaida. This was the home of three of the disciples – Peter, Andrew and Philip. It was also the site of some well known miracles – the feeding of the 5000, healing a blind man and walking on the water. These events happened at actual locations we are able to visit – how amazing is that?
We had a special end to our busy day – a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. But as I mentioned in the video, that will be included in a separate post.
My personal highlight of the day? Sharing these experiences with some really great people.
Thanks for following our journey. There’s lots more to come.