Friday, June 5, 2009

Jesus Trail - Day 1

UPDATE - for some unknown reason, days 2-4 are below. Scroll down to see the rest of the trip.

(Click on pictures to enlarge)

Jesus did it many times. It can't be that hard. Famous last words spoken by those who have no clue what they are talking about. So I said to myself as I eagerly decided to take on the challenge of the Jesus Trail - a 4-day hike from Nazareth to Capernaum on the Sea of Galilee. 41 miles or so through mountains, valleys, farmland, villages, and ancient ruins which clothe the beautiful Galilee.

We loaded up our packs with food, supplies, and plenty of water for the first leg of our journey - heading out from the Old City in Nazareth to Kfar Cana (where Jesus performed the miracle of the wine at the wedding). As we made our way up and out of Nazareth, we were confronted with this sign:This is a bad English. And besides, we were on our way to Capernaum, not "the Hell". So on to the outskirts of Nazareth we look out toward Zippori (in the far distance), a place not mentioned in the Bible but where many believe Jesus undoubtedly worked while growing up.The trail crossed through some beautiful countryside.Soon we got our first glimpse at the Netofa valley.We made a small detour to the ruins of Zippori......where we saw some famous well as some spectacular views from the old fortress.We continued on through a forest and into the Arab village of Mesh'had, the alleged birthplace of the prophet Jonah. We stopped in the shade for a rest and some children came out to see what these crazy Americans were doing walking around in the hot sun.Then an Arab man kindly brought us some cold water. Everyone who has experienced it agrees that there is nothing like Arab hospitality.We continued on and soon we were within reach of Kfar Cana.And we arrived not a moment too soon at the last shady spot before entering town when suddenly we had another Arab lady bringing us more cold water to drink. I was beginning to wonder if it was because we looked so pathetic that we were eliciting feelings of pity and compassion out of people. Either way, whatever it was worked and the cold water was greatly appreciated.

In Cana we stayed overnight at a guesthouse in a Christian neighborhood and, though there was a thumping-loud music of a wedding party (of the Muslim sort, what you'll most likely find in the Cana of today). It didn't matter much that the walls shook until 12:30am as tired as we were. It did make for some rather unusual dreams that night.

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