All Things Awesome with Amanda Walls
In Israel, we had our own bus with our own personal tour guide. He was really good at what he does – he took us to so many different places and gave us so much information for each destination!
Our first stop was the Church of the Beatitudes. It was pretty crowded because there were so many tourists like us, but it was a really gorgeous church! It had eight sides. Each side represented a different beatitude. When we walked in, we went around the altar which sat in the middle of the church. It was really interesting because there were many people praying at the altar.
After visiting the Tabgha, we walked down to the Sea of Galilee and put our feet in the sea (body of water number two). The sites were so amazing. I know that I keep saying that over and over again, but it is all so surreal and so amazing – pictures do not depict the true beauty of these countries.
We visited Capernaum which is known to be Jesus’ home town. This is also where we visited the home of St. Peter as well as the synagogue that Jesus went to worship
Our tour guide took us to a part of the Jordan River that is not occupied by any tourists. This was pretty amazing because we were able to see what is would have looked like when Jesus was baptized.
After that visit, we made our way to Yardenit on the Jordan River, which is where Jesus was baptized. We were able to put our feet in this water and we could see otters swimming about. There were many people in robes, baptizing each other. Some of the people were becoming extremely emotional – it was really touching to see.
Our guide took us to an olive oil factory. Olive oil is huge in Israel and this was a really awesome experience. We went in to see a video (that our guide translated) about the factory. We were than able to taste some of the tea and coffee. I don’t like coffee, so I had some tea. It was really strong and I could taste many different spices. I am still not sure if I really liked it enough! We only had a little bit, and that was just enough for me! Apparently, the coffee was really strong – some people couldn’t drink all of it!
We then drove by the Cana Village which was the place of the first miracle. This is the miracle where Jesus turned water into wine.
The final place where we stopped was the Dead Sea. This was pretty cool because we went to lie in the water, and we would just pop up like buoys. It is said that the mud is good for the skin, so everybody was covering themselves in this mud, waiting for it to dry, then walking into the Dead Sea! We had to be careful when walking, and take the same path because there were so many crater-like holes that made it nearly impossible to walk in!