Galilee is the go

We have made it to the Sea of Galilee!  Now our guide, David Goldberg, reckons it is more like a big lake and maybe so but it still looks great late in the day with the afternoon sun lighting up the Golan Heights. It has  been a long  10 hour day on the road getting here from Tel Aviv,  with plenty of on and  off the bus stuff to wander around various sites.

First stop was Caesarea.  Now this was a town built by Herod the Great as a port city and very much designed on a Roman plan.’ It was the place where The Holy Land connected with the outside world. Outward flowed the agricultural trade with Rome and inwards the things to keep the Romans in the Holy Land happy!  Helped keep Herod in a job too.

The port site at Caesarea today,in Herod the Great's time it extended out 3 times as far.

The port site at Caesarea today,in Herod the Great’s time it extended out 3 times as far.

Caesarea is remembered for a number of things.  Among them the story of the conversion to Christianity of Cornelius, the Roman centurion, by Peter following the insight he received in Joppa (see yesterday’s notes). It is also the place from which Paul was sent by boat to Rome by the authorities.  At one point today we were standing on a spot where the biblical and archaeological  evidence suggests  Paul was questioned by the Roman authorities, if not that spot then within yards of it.

This is the spot where it is thought Paul was questioned ahead of being put on the boat to Rome. Nice view.

This is the spot where it is thought Paul was questioned ahead of being put on the boat to Rome. Nice view.

 

 

Caesarea, is also the place where we have a clash of two cultures. The rather blood thirsty Roman existence, gladiator games, chariot racing etc where blood and gore was  entertainment;  but to the Jews blood (whilst being involved in sacrifice ) was considered to be life. Little wonder the Romans and the Jews did not see eye to eye. The Caesarea that Herod the Great built has long gone and what we walked over were the not insubstantial  remnants uncovered by archaeologists and now protected within a National Park.

The Aquaduct that brought water from Mt Carmel 80 km away to Caesarea.

The Aquaduct that brought water from Mt Carmel 80 km away to Caesarea.

From Caesarea we moved onto Mt Carmel. This was after a short stop at the aqueduct that carried water to Caesarea from a spring at Mt Carmel, a distance of about 80 km. A very significant piece of engineering. At Mt Carmel Elijah dealt with the Baal worshippers. Our guide is pretty convinced that the biblical and archaeological evidence points to Mt Carmel, perhaps not exactly where we were but not far away, for this event in biblical history. The linkage is the reference to the spring on top of the Mt.  Mt Carmel is quite high up and looks over the Jezereel Valley, which connects the coastal area to the inland, the Jordan River and Sea of Galilee.From here we headed off to  Mt Megiddo. This is a largish hill which has been built up by 25 layers of historical occupation. From memory the guide suggested 5000 years of history is lying underneath. This is also the place which overlooks the plain of the Jezereel Valley where John in Revelations claims the battle of Armageden will be fought. Not sure I will be around to see it. The big event here was wending our way down 270 odd steps to the bottom of a shaft that was dug to connect via a tunnel at the bottom  to a water sorce outside the walls of the city. Leanne (true to form) and a couple of others got a bit twitchy here descending these steps, but all made  it!  Including getting out at the other end up 80 steps.

Taking it easy down the shaft at Megiddo

Taking it easy down the shaft at Megiddo

Across the Sea of Galilee to the Golan Heights.

Across the Sea of Galilee to the Golan Heights.

      

From Megiddo we headed off to Tiberias on the shores of the Sea of Galilee and our beds for the next few nights….

About allthegobro

I am a retired accountant who does a bit of consulting work from time to time. Leanne and I enjoy travelling around seeing the world and we are now going to have some fun recording our experiences in this blog

Posted on April 4, 2013, in Israel & Turkey 2013. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Glad everyone made it down and up all those steps

  2. Libby McConochie

    Good job with the steps Mum!

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