The last thing we did before we went to bed was to walk around Tiberius for a little while and we stopped at this restarant/bar called the Galileo. We talked a lot to the owner there who was also the bartender. He was very nice and we got to know him well as the week went on. We crashed out around 11 like we would in our time so we could try to get used to the time. I slept well and woke up feeling well. We got breakfast at the buffet and were on our way to see the area around the sea of Galilee. The hotel overlooked the water and was very cool. We left right away around 8 in the morning and went to check out an awesome ancient town called Ceasarea that Herod built. We walked into this theater and I was thinking how awesome it would be to play music there. This was the place where Cornelius was baptized and it was awesome to be at the place where I, as a Gentile was included as one of God's chosen people. There was all sorts of cool things there in the ancient ruins and Herod's palace was right on the water so he could make a quick escape if he needed to. Our guide's name is Mike and he is very cool... he has great progressive theology. He said we should call Herod, usually called Herod the Great, Herod the Crazy and has been referring to him as that ever since.
After this we went to this place that was on top of what is called a "tell" which is just cities built on one another over and over again until it forms a huge hill. They dug out a slice of it so you can see all the layers, it is pretty rad! This is a place that is fought over a lot because it controls like 4 or 5 of the valleys, so it was very strategic to control it. There were tons of people killed there and it is called Mageto. The Jewish term for it is Ar Mageto which eventually turned into the word Armageddon. Many people think a last battle will be fought here one day because of all the past bloodshed. We went down into some tunnels and it was amazing how they tried to hold enemies off from here.
From there we went to Nazareth and saw the town where Jesus grew up. We went to some churches and went to a place where we could look down on a lot of towns. It is crazy, you can see all these towns in different places and there are absolutely no suburbs. We then went to Cana where Jesus turned water into wine, we didn't get any wine, but lots of people were selling authentic Jesus wine :-) After this, we went to a diamond factory where they clean and cut diamonds. Lots of people made engagement jokes to me and I deflected them :-) The gave us a good deal, but even good deals were way out of my price range.
When we got back to the hotel a bunch of us went into the downtown section of Tiberius. It was really cool... we walked pretty far and finally found this place to hang out at called Big Ben. It was karaoke night and most of the songs were in English. None of us wanted to sing, but we saw some pretty funny stuff. There was this dude in a terrycloth bathrobe with a towel around his neck. We has many guesses to what his occupation was. :-) After a while, we walked back towards the hotel. A few of us stopped back at Galileo and the bartender was much more talkative. He was telling us about the policial situaion and how he felt about living in Israel. It was very intersting. It seems we are making a friend here. There were a few more people there this night, amd it was a lot of fun!