Sunday, March 18, 2012

Day 8: From the Sea to Shopping

Matt and James:
Today we went to the Sea of Galilee. First, we learned some history about the location; including the miracles performed by Jesus (ie. walking on water and multiplying bread). Additionally, we visited a museum that housed a 2000 year old boat discovered recently. The boat was from the time of Jesus; it has been argued that this boat may have belonged to one of his apostles. Then, we took a relaxing voyage upon a boat that played the American national anthem.  This was a nice, relaxing experience that was different from our usual walking routine.

Izabela and Kalina:
We visited multiple churches today. We went to the church of the Mount of Beatitudes where Jesus preached his last sermon. The inside of the church was simple and was centered around an alter. There was a hospice nearby where people go to peacefully die. Later on we went to the Church of the Primacy of Peter where Jesus assigned Peter his name. Peter comes from the word rock. There were rocks in the shape of hearts in the ground and we tried to break off pieces from the foundation rock for luck. It’s the one holy spot with access to the water and we were able to get shells from the Sea of Galilee. Both were beautiful, yet completely different.

Rachel and Aline:
Today we visited Tzfat in the north of Israel in Upper Galilee. Tzfat is a community that teaches Kabbalah and Jewish Mysticism.  The city is painted blue to represent the heaven in the sky. Members in the community will paint their doors, windows, etc. blue. We visited the Ari Ashkenazi Synagogue which was located right after the shopping market. It was interesting to see a lot of the city painted blue; it gave the city a community vibe. Bruce declared it to be the artistic city of Israel. So at the end of the afternoon, we were sure to walk along local artist shops. It was probably one of the coolest markets we've visited so far. It was so great to walk along this long tiny street full of artists’ shops where we could actually see the artists working on their pieces. Not only the traditional jewelry and art were great, but the people just made it so much better. Every shop we walked in we were greeted with smiles, and there wasn't a single shop owner that didn't try to start an outgoing conversation, or even guess where we were from! (I got Russian quite a few times) After an hour of walking around and being lured with beautiful art pieces, and getting some free gifts from the charismatic locals, we finished up out visit to the village with some natural fruit juices made by the locals!

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