10-10-18 To the Golan Heights
The morning was beautiful to those who woke up early enough to see the glorious sunrise over the sea.
Our first stop was the Mount of Beatitudes. The grassy floor with the stone pathways made a truly tranquil place to stop and read at. Exploring the landscape we could not help but catch another glance a the shining blue sea.
We couldn’t believe the sea of buses we had to plow our way thru to find ours. We heard the other day there were 70 buses at one time trying to fit into the parking lots and lining the streets later today. It seems like Isaiah 2:2 is being fulfilled where it says “…all the nations shall flow to it…”
Our next stop was Dan where Jeroboam built the alter to the Golden Calf. The journey up to it was magnificent as the natural park was very well taken care of and clear running water made you want to take a refreshing drink on the spot. I could feel the smooth,solid, green leaves brushing against my arm and each area had something unique to it.
Next was the Abraham Gate that at one time was possibly the gate that Abraham entered to rescue Lot in Genesis 14. Seeing the sudden change in landscape was fascinating as it went slowly from tranquil and flushing green to a rocky and tan sand.
Our next stop was to the marvelous Banyas Falls. As we trecked down to the waterfall we could hear and feel it from the top all the way to the bottom. It was like hearing a marching army off in the distance and the breeze felt like it was coming from an air conditioner. We had a glimpse from time to time of the falls through the thick jungle like trees. The water flowing beside us was giving us a hopeful look at what smooth blue water we were going to see ahead. The sight when we finally arrived was like nothing i had ever seen before, a pure and almost angelic white waterfall poured into a smooth pool of blue.
After lunch in a Druze Village our next stop was The Valley of Tears where we learned about the war of 1972. We could see off in the distance the border between Israel and Syria. The tanks on the hill looked like they were still guarding the border like hallow sentinels. The sun was hot but the temperature was low and science as we all took the battlefield in fell over us but we spoke up and discussed and took photos of the closer tanks.
Our last stop was the home of Mary of Magdala which has just recently opened to the public. We saw the ruins of the oldest synagogue ever dug up dating back to the time of Jesus. We also got to see a beautiful new church they had built there. The art decorating the walls were meaningful to so many of us and the design was incredibly creative. Our great guide Father Kelly gave us great information,explanations and moving words.