Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Israel for the Second Time

Hello again,

A couple weeks ago we drove to Israel and attended a wedding for two friends from our church. It was a fun little trip, only three nights away. We used airbnb for the first time, and had mixed feelings about it. But first, the drive. We had a smooth trip through the border and drove through the West Bank without incident. We stopped for lunch at McDonalds in a small town, Bet She'an. It was about $40 for the basic nuggets, happy meal, and burger. Yikes! We drove to our little town, Kfar Hittim, and all told it was only about a four hour trip, driving time.

Strange first sight in the town.

Benjamin is so excited to see a big truck!

We had some trouble finding the house, our host didn't give us any directions after telling us where the town is. So Thomas asked a neighbor. It was the upper apartment inside a house, not exactly what I'd pictured. It was perfectly adequate though, despite lacking substantial curtains. Thankfully the boys did fine in their own bedroom, except for waking up at 5:30am with the sun. Groan. We ate dinner at a little pizza place on the main tourist strip in downtown Tiberias. Surprisingly good, and nice to be in a different environment, even if it felt a bit seedy in spots.

Pizza dinner makes everyone happy.

The main reason for our trip was the wedding, which started in Tur'an at the bride's family home, then moved to Nazareth for the ceremony at the church. It was wonderful to see an Arab wedding, the first part at her family's house involved the women sitting in the house while the men hung out on a patio. The ladies danced together or sat and visited, caterers brought sweets and drinks, and it was a big party. Then the men of her family escorted her to the waiting car and she was whisked away to the church. The ceremony began two hours later, then after that the reception. We skipped the reception, knowing the boys would completely freak out. As it was, they were in bed at 9pm, much past their regular bedtime. But it was wonderful to celebrate Brennan and Abla, and have such a cool experience.

Waterfront in Tiberias


More Tiberias/Sea of Galilee

The next day we did some sightseeing around the Sea of Galilee. We visited the Church of the Loaves and Fishes, Benjamin's favorite part were the fish in the pond outside.

Loving the fish pond.

Church of the Loaves and Fishes

Hot as blazes.

We also saw Capernaum. We attempted to visit the Church of the Beatitudes, but sadly it was closed for a few hours and we needed to keep moving. The Sea of Galilee is pretty and it was great to be near a body of water. We'd like to go back and spend more time close to the water, but it was a fun jaunt. The trip home was equally smooth and made perfect by some delicious gas station coffee. It was the real deal, made with a Lavazza espresso machine. They even heated my chocolate croissant. A great end to a nice trip.

In Capernaum.

Thomas getting fancy with filters.

There you have it! Second time in Israel, a success. Now to plan to see Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Jericho, Tel Aviv, Haifa....


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