Wednesday, January 15, 2014

14th January 2014 – The Biblical Trail and we Lie on Water

Weather is fine today for our tour toward the Dead Sea. First stop is one we didn’t get to yesterday. One of the problems with touring in Winter is that the days are shorter, so we always seem to be running behind time. We go to  Capernaum where Jesus recruited his first disciple Peter….a fishermen.
St Peter's Place
She exact site where these events is a little speculative. Effie just says “its tradition” as the explanation. Effie was an archeologist and historian in a previous occupation …. But science can only go so far. I would expect that archeology would be a common occupation here in Israel…..seems that they are stumbling across ‘old stuff’ all the time!

Next stop was the site where John the Baptist did his stuff. According to Effie it wasn’t really here but a bit further down the Jordan River. It was totally commercialized with ‘crash gates’ in the water to manage the ‘baptizees’ … happy to move on.

We move on to a crusader castle at Belvoir (beautiful view…and they were right). The engineers in the group speculated about how the archways that did not have obvious keystones, stayed in place …. Its just what engineers do … others may take a more holistic cultural view!
Fortress at Belvoit
Nasty Crusader

Lunch is a quick stop for a Gyros …. We have been looking forward to this as we lived on these when we were traveling in Greece a few years ago. We weren’t let down but inflation has hit the Gyros market since those 2 eruos a Gyros days!

Off to see the mosaics at Beit Alpha….discovered in the 1920s. Nothing too spectacular as we have seen many mosaics this trip.
I was most impressed by the fact that the whole floor had been removed and transported to New York to exhibit at one time. Apparently they siliconed the surface and then dug it up! doubt some wealthy NY based Jews thought they might bring a little bit of their old home to their new home … most of us settle for a few photos or a fridge magnet :)

Finally we head off to the Dead Sea….this is where its starts to get real interesting. The lowest place on earth (that is still above water that is). We go first to Qumran…where the Dead Sea scrolls were found. This is real desert country, with a Grand Canyon feel to it.

Dead Sea country
Effie makes a tactical error and makes a coffee stop and a skin care products factory. Selling skin care products to middle aged women is like selling candy to a baby….the males are meant to be entertained by the factory, that doesn’t seem to be operating much today. We leave with more VAT tax receipts!

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