Today was day two of my Northern Israel tour. Today we started out at Caphernaum, the town of Jesus. It was more of a small courtyard than a town. It was right on the sea of Galilee and had excavations of walls from the first century.
After Cauphernaum, we drove to the Mount of Beatitudes, where Jesus gave the sermon on the mount. This was especially cool for me as I had just read about this in Matthew 5: 3-11 a few days ago! Behind me is the Sea of Galilee.
Next we went to Banias Nature Reserve where we saw the most beautiful waterfall. We almost had the place to ourselves. I find the barriers a great hindrance, so again Gillian and I hopped over the railing to put our feet in the water and really experience it! If only we could have gone swimming! We explored downstream and then went to a Druze village for lunch. As the day went on we made our way more and more to the north.
After lunch we stopped at a winery where I experienced my first wine tasting. I have never been a fan of wine, and today did not change my mind. Next we drove to the top of Mount Bental, which gave us a beautiful view of Northern Israel and also allowed us to see into Syria. It was surreal. Just the day before, the Israeli Defense Force shot down a Syrian plane for flying into Israeli airspace. This happened in the same area we now were, as tourists. We were able to speak with some UN soldiers about what was going on and it was very interesting to hear. You see operational vineyards on the Israeli side, and just a little ways away is a completely different situation in Syria. It was a bit too close for comfort for me, and I was happy to head south, away from the Syrian (and Lebanese) border.
The green fields are Israeli, and past that is Syria.