There were four lifts, but they weren’t very big, seemed to take a long time to arrive, and when one did come it was full of other people. That was the case when we went down for breakfast a bit after 8am. The fruit juice from the dispensers was very watered down. There were things like salads and raw vegetables there, but nothing appetising, nothing that I wanted to eat — apart from breakfast-cereals, and when I operated the tap on the milk dispenser nothing came out. So I threw the bowl down on the table with a clatter that turned a few heads nearby. I guess I should have asked a staff-member about the lack of milk, but I didn’t. There were oranges in a pile intended to be sliced in two and squeezed on the juicer that was there, so I took one to peel and eat; but it proved tasteless. I had a bread-roll that was acceptable. We went back to our room to get the cases, then were waiting a long time for a lift to arrive, and even longer for one with room in it for us and our luggage. We were standing, standing— waiting, waiting— for perhaps ¼-hour in all. One lift arrived; there would have been room for one of us to squeeze in with a case, but the occupants said “No.” By this time I was feeling really pissed off, so I said, “Fuck off!” as the door was closing. (“Fuck off!”, I believe, is understood by speakers of Hebrew, much as “Hallelujah” is understood by speakers of English.) Here is the information supplied by Riviera Travel:
Day 2Despite the delay, we were checked out and ready to board the bus just for just about the specified time: 8.45am. Our luggage was stowed below and we found seats. Norman introduced our guide, Eric, who was a naturalised Israeli, though originally from New York.
After breakfast we leave Tel Aviv and travel to Caesarea, where we will have a guided tour of this ancient city built by Herod to honour Caesar Augustus.
Next we visit the Crusader city of Acre and, after time for lunch, we will explore the Citadel and parts of the old walled city, which was a bustling Arab port in the sixteenth century.
Travelling on to Nazareth, we see the Church of the Annunciation and the Church of St Joseph, constructed on the remains of a Crusader church that marked the supposed home and workshop of Joseph.
Tonight we stay at the four-star Leonardo Plaza Hotel in Tiberias. The address is 1, Habanim Street, 41403 Tiberias, with the telephone number from the UK being 00972 467 13333. Dinner is included at the hotel.
We proceeded northwards, and stopped to visit the ruins of Herod’s palace at Caesarea. It was very hot — in the 30s — and sunny.
10:24:10 Remains of the upper palace. Paul may have been imprisoned in the palace grounds here (Acts 23:35).
10:27:28 The Pilate Stone (replica — the original is in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem). It is the only archaeological find, to date, with an inscription mentioning the name “Pontius Pilatus”. It was discovered in 1961 while excavating the theatre; it had been reused in the 4th century as part of a set of stairs leading up to the seating.
10:31:48 The lower palace. The rectangular pool was fresh-water in Herod’s day; channels to the sea were later cut, either side.
Lunch (optional) had been arranged at a restaurant in the town, where tables had been reserved for our party. There was a choice of falafel or shawarma in pitta bread. I chose the former. There were shredded vegetables also in the bread, and other salad items on the table. Afterwards, there was a visit to the Citadel of Acre. My feet were more or less OK while we were walking, but I was in considerable discomfort during the lengthy pauses of standing while Eric explained the original functions of the places we visited, how they’d been preserved, etc.
11:40:16 Arab town of Fureidis, which Eric reported as peacefully coexisting with the Jewish town of Zikhron Ya'akov on the next hill to the south (out of shot to the right)
Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. He taught in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.We stopped and visited to the Roman Catholic Basilica of the Annunciation. (The equivalent Greek Orthodox church is on a different site.)
He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to release the oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.”
Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” they asked.
Jesus said to them, “Surely you will quote this proverb to me: ‘Physician, heal yourself! Do here in your home town what we have heard that you did in Capernaum.’”
“I tell you the truth,” he continued, “no prophet is accepted in his home town. I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. And there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed—only Naaman the Syrian.”
All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him down the cliff. But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way.
15:48:14 Mosaic portraits of the Virgin Mary, as envisaged by different nations, in the courtyard at the front of the church
15:50:50 …the focal point of which is the grotto. According to tradition, this was the home of Mary and the site of the Annunciation. There are also remnants of former church-buildings around it.
16:02:20 Courtyard at the rear of the church, with the tower of St. Joseph’s church in the background
16:09:48 Approaching St. Joseph’s Church, where according to tradition Joseph had his carpentry workshop
little feller”. Ca.7pm, we headed off to the restaurant. We sat with a couple who introduced themselves as Michael and Elizabeth. As well as buffet items available for one to help oneself, there was a chef slicing roast beef, so I had some of that, medium cooked and tasty. I also enjoyed a half-bottle of Israeli red wine: Yarden Mount Hermon. My appetite failed me, though, and I couldn’t finish everything on the plate. We returned to the room, ca.8.30pm. It was still hot, so we opened the window. But that meant that the sound from some sort of light show with the playing of fountains below was intrusive. Janet seemed to have inherited the problem I’ve had on previous holidays (but escaped this time): the need to pass wind, but finding it “parlous”. She had a shower, sorted out stuff for tomorrow, and got into bed, ca.9.20pm. (She’d booked a wake-up call tomorrow for 5.45am because we were supposed to be checking out tomorrow at 7.45am.) It was annoying that the noisy light show below was repeated. I continued on the “little feller”, editing four of the photos from this morning (21:14–21:30), etc.
16:11:48 Interior of St. Joseph’s Church, left, showing the way down to the crypt. (We didn’t go down there.)
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