What I did:
Sea of Galilee-
Although it is called a “sea,” the Sea of Galilee is actually a freshwater lake. At 686 feet below sea level, it is the lowest freshwater lake on the planet. The Sea of Galilee area is where Jesus grew up and where many of the events recorded in the gospels took place. I was able to go out on a boat on the Sea of Galilee, and I got to explore much of the surrounding area.
The Church of the Annunciation-
The Church of the Annunciation commemorates the announcement the angel Gabriel made to the Virgin Mary at the site in which the Roman Catholic Church beloved it took place. It is a beautiful building with a variety of mosaics in the courtyard and inside the building itself. There are also historical artifacts contained on the site.
St. Gabriel’s Church-
While the Roman Catholics believe Gabriel appeared to Mary at her home, the Greek Orthodox Church believes he appeared to her at the local water spring. St. Gabriel’s Church is located at the spring, and the water source is still running inside the building.
There is a nice market in Nazareth that sells a variety of different things. It is definitely worth waking through and checking out.
Mount of Beatitudes-
The famous “Beatitudes” speech Jesus gave on a hillside on the coast of the Sea of Galilee is commemorated by a Roman Catholic Church building. The hillside is shaped in such a way that the speaker’s voice is naturally amplified. The hillside also has some picturesque views of the Sea of Galilee and the surrounding area.
Nazareth Village is an area in Nazareth set up to resemble what life was like in that area in the first century. It is a very interesting glance back in time.
What I ate and drank:
Tishreen has very good, local food for decent prices. It was a nice place to have dinner with new friends.
Where I stayed and how I got around:
I stayed at the Fauzi Azar Inn, which is part of the Abraham Hostels chain. It is set in a renovated mansion that is over 200 years old. It is a highly rated hostel and a great place to stay in Galilee. I arrived and departed from Nazareth on the Abraham Hostel shuttle, which took me from one of their hostels to the another because I booked two nights or more at each one. While in Nazareth I walked (and even hitchhiked) everywhere I went.
My favorite thing:
The best part of being in Nazareth and the surrounding area was seeing where Jesus grew up. Also, the Sea of Galilee is a beautiful body of water. Additionally, the area is not too overrun with tourists the way that many other cities with historical significance are.
My least favorite thing:
There is not too much to dislike about Nazareth. It may not have all the offerings of some other major Mediterranean cities, but I think that just adds to its charm. However, to visit Nazareth you will most likely need to fly into Tel Aviv and take a bus or car to Nazareth rather than flying there directly.
For next time:
Next time in Nazareth I would like to try more of the local food. Also I would like to walk the “gospel trail” from end to end.
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