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Archive for September, 2009

Today it´s hills and tels that are scattered all along the Tiberias Lake. Some of them are Christian sacred sites – they are easy to discover because there is always a church on top, with the matching monastery or nunnery attached to it.

It´s funny to bet which site belongs to which part of Christianity. Roman Catholics nuns (“would you please cover your shoulders, woman?”), Roman Catholic monks (“shhhhhhhh keep quiet, this is a sacred place”), Greek Orthodox (“no shorts no shorts get out of here”),  Egyptian Copts (“cover everything”!),  Armenian Patriarchate (“your shoulders! your knees”!)… it is absolutely impossible to make out who is who – except that the monks from St. Francis never bother to shout “cover yourself up”!

There is Mount Tabor, where Jesus the Christ said “blessed are the meek for they shall inherit”. There is Mount Kedumin, where Jesus the Christ was tempted (“but sir, how can a God be tempted?” – I earn an irate look from the whatever-it-is priest and my question goes unanswered).  There is Meggido, where the last battle shall be fought.

Valle del Jordan

There is a beautiful view from each mount. The valley of Jezreel lies at our feet, and the breeze plays with our hair. I end up deserting the group to try my skills at walking on water.

Lesson learnt: never try to walk on water or through water when not appropiately dressed to walk on water.  The bottom of the Sea of Galilee is rocky – and the rocks are slippery. And if one wears white linen trousers the best advice is to stay away from a muddy shore.

Specially when you are part of a group and the group is waiting for you shouting “come back, we´re going to miss our boat!”. Damn, it is difficult to run uphill when all your clothes are wet and stick to your body.

And I wouldn´t miss my boat trip for anything. An old wooden boat which sails the Sea of Galilee while old Jewish songs are being played and I can sing and dance on the deck.

 

The little harbour, Kibbutz Ginosar

The little harbour, Kibbutz Ginosar

 

 

From the upper deck.

From the upper deck.

 

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Just arrived to Ben Gurion Airport.  I have, very obviously, brought my new laptop along with me.

The rest of the group is due in two hours,  so it´s going to be a long wait. There is a big fountain in the lobby and children are running to and fro, peyots flying wildly about their faces.

The cafeteria has the best lemon cheesecake I´ve ever tasted, and that´s a hell of a compliment for an airport cafeteria. Cheap, too. Lovely.

And having left Madrid-Barajas Airport six hours ago, where if you want to connect to the airport WiFi you have to pay six euros for thirty minutes, finding a free of charge airport WiFi here feels wonderful.

Mmmmm. I think I´m getting another piece of lemon cheesecake.

My group has finally arrived, and I´m having a quick cigarette with the girls after my bit of a squabble with our guide (who was a bit surprised at the “you´re the one I was waiting for” legend on my T-shirt). It is very hot outside though it is already dusk. But it´s dry. No humidity, so it does not feel bad at all.

We´re headed for Lake Tiberias, it’s a two hours drive from Tel Aviv. I wonder what we will have for dinner.  I have had a most delicious lemon cheesecake tea, and I´m ready for a whatever the future may bring delicious dinner.

Our dinner is waiting on the lawns. Funny because is dark, dark, and the paths are lighted with torches. The first one we take leads us to the bar – how thoughtful! – where I go for the freshly squeezed mango juice and the girls for cold beer. Apparently we have to follow the paths and get bread hmmmm I want that bun covered with sesame seeds, and then go on walking and fill our plates with salads, meats, falafel, fish, sauces. I get falafel and salad,  Mediterranean cucumber is so tasty.

But the Heaven on Earth is the dessert table, just beside the pool… white chocolate, black chocolate, chocolate covered fruits, almonds, nuts, coconut… my poor mates say bye bye to their diets… and I fill my dessert plate with as many varieties as I can get.

Now that´s what I call a reception!!

 

Tiberias Lake

Everybody drifting towards the drinks hut. Lake Tiberias.

 

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