This morning we got up bright and early, packed our bags, and enjoyed breakfast in the Leonardo Hotel's lovely dining room before loading the vans and heading out again. Our first stop was Kenerath (Biblical Geneserat ) to see a 2000 year old fishing boat that was discovered in the lake bed during a drought in 1986. This would have been the same kind of boat used by Jesus and His disciples on the lake.
Next, we drove a short distance up the road to Capernaum, the home town of Peter, James, and John. There we saw the ruins of the Biblical town and the foundation stones of Simon Peter's actual house. I got a chill down my spine thinking I was staring at the very stones my Master once walked on. I felt more connected to Christ than I have in years! There was so much history made in this one tiny town.
Next, we drove up the road to the ruins of Bethsaida, another town where Jesus taught and healed. We were the only ones at this site, and nothing was roped off. We could wander through the ruins of ancient houses, businesses, and gates. There were shards of pottery lying everywhere. It was easy to close your eyes and imagine Jesus and the disciples walking down these dusty streets.
After Bethsaida we dropped and ate lunch at a nice little Jordanian restaurant. They served some of the best chicken I have ever had, a variety of vegetables, sweet dates, and this rich, dark Arabic coffee. After my positive experience with Cafe Aroma yesterday, I was willing to give it a try. BIG mistake! It tasted like an oil slick seasoned with pine sap!
Next we drove down right thru the West Bank to the famous site at Qumran, where the Dead Sea scrolls were found. This was very exciting for me, since Qumran Cave #4 was used on the cover of my book, Matthew's Autograph - and now I saw the site in person! I was also thrilled to see they sold Dr Pepper there, albeit for 14 shekels a can - over $3, but well worth it for a taste of home.
After Qumran, we drove down to our hotel here on the Dead Sea. Of course, I had to fill in a lifelong bucket list item by going for a quick swim before dark. It's true what they say - you CANNOT sink in this water! I lay flat on my back and it was like lying on a very soft trampoline. I even raised my head, both arms, and my feet up and STILL couldn't sink! The water does taste 1000 times worse than sea water though.
Back to the hotel, showered and changed, and another delicious supper. Once that was done, I came to my room to tell you all about it! Goodnight from the land where Jesus walked!