To begin, all photos can be seen on my facebook album: click here
This weekend the family took a trip to the Galilee region.
Let me backtrack. By "family" I mean the little family I'm a part of here at Gezer: mom and dad are Marcella and Trey, and then there's the 5 children, Lesley, Jared, Ryan, Kirsten, and me. This has so been named because Marcella and Trey were the only ones old enough to put their names down as drivers for our rental car and there are 7 of us total who wanted to go in on a car together for travel. A purple Kia Carens with a third row of seats. It's cramped but has been a ton of fun.
We began our weekend trek with a stop off at Caesarea Maritima to see the Roman ruins and swim in the Mediterranean. Herod the Great had built a great harbor and city here. We were hoping to get in some snorkeling, but the water was too rough and they weren't letting anyone out, not even to dive. I do not have photos of this spot, but I'm sure someone has tagged me in some awesome pics on the FB. Next we wanted to see Mount Carmel. Unfortunately we ended up getting lost in a Druze village and it was quite late by the time we found our way out. At least I got to practice my Hebrew directions three or four times. It was so late by this time that we realized we had to get to our hostel for check-in. We were too exhausted for anything else, and the parks were all closed anyway.
We stayed at the well-hidden and fairly okay Tiberias Hostel. At least it was fairly clean, offered us private rooms with private baths, AC and a TV. After a very late dinner on the boardwalk and a deep deep night of sleep, we set out Saturday for our next adventure.
Jared realized he'd left his sneakers at Caesarea the day before and wanted to find somewhere to get new shoes. Unfortunately, the only places to go on Shabbat are Arab villages, which can be few and far between when you're looking for something specific. We made a stop at Rosh Pina only to find out everything was closed. Fail. We moved on to our next destination: Tel Dan, the beautiful nature preserve. We enjoyed a lovely hike through a familiar and cool forest, finishing it off with a quick game of Pooh Stick between Lesley and me at the freezing cold spring beginning the Jordan River.
Then we were off to the fortress at Nimrod, the largest fortress in all of Israel. It was so high and so crazy! Trey got some awesome panoramics of us. I'll have to see if I can steal some of them. We then made a very quick stop at...I can't even remember the place. Wow. We had to run through the site. It was a synagogue complex made almost entirely from basalt stone... It'll come to me.
We spent the rest of the evening relaxing in the AC, watching VH1's Best Soundtracks countdown, and eating pizza on the boardwalk.
This morning we made a quick pit-stop at Bet-She'an to climb to the top. Most of us had all seen this site before (Roman city destroyed in an earthquake) but had never climbed up to the highest point where the temple was. I'm very glad we did this because I did not know they had preserved an Egyptian governor's mansion! This is the first time I have ever seen evidence on a site of Egyptian habitation in Israel! It's always removed and placed in museums all over the world, but there were Egyptian hieroglyphs and stelae!
And that was my very busy but very enjoyable weekend! Check FB for photos!