What a dynamic start! We boarded a boat at the Ginossar Kibbutz and motored out into the Sea of Galilee, where Father John said Mass. It was quite an experience on particularly blustery day.
After the boat ride we headed for Mount Tabor, the highest point in this part of Israel. It was the site of Jesus’ Transfiguration, during which he met with Moses & Elijah. The meeting was designed to impress and reassure the apostles who were chosen to accompany Christ.
The Church of the Transfiguration is positively spectacular!
It is another glorious creation of Antonio Berluzzi, the Italian architect who designed the Church of the Mount of the Beatitudes.
The exterior of the church is equally striking, with much symbolism:
Even the grounds of the church are beautiful.
Getting to the top of Mount Tabor was particularly interesting since buses are only allowed part of the way up the mountain. Then we had to board taxi/vans which traversed the steep, windy road filled with hairpin turns.
After our visit to the church we had an absolutely marvelous lunch at the monastery.
Next we headed for the northeastern corner of Israel, the most northern part of the Golan Heights. Here we spent some time at Banias National Park, which features the remains of Caesarea-Phillipi, an ancient town which contained a temple to the Roman god Pan (God of Revelry).
We saw the grotto which pre-existed the temple,
The ruins of the temple were impressive.
Our day ended with a short visit to the Kibbutz which produces Naot shoes (Lee didn’t find anything!).