Wednesday, April 30, 2008

To the Beach

As I mentioned before there is a huge cat problem here. If a cat has a good home and food to eat, they are SO blessed. Most don't have a home and are always in the garbage. This is the trash bin at the end of our hilly road. There is always cats there. When we first came our friends told us they are the Fraidy Cats. I love them just the same though they wont come near me. The other day Bryan and I rolled our window down to put our trash in and I didn't expect that cats would come jumping out from every directions. It was kind of funny. All these cats flew out of the bin. I guess I scared them.

We went to the store to get some food for dinner before we went to the beach. It is hot during the day so we thought we might try the beach at night. I have been wanting corn and we have searched for it everywhere. We finally found some!

We got some other groceries as well.

We tried to find the road we took to the beach last week, but some how took an offrad path with gravel and rocks with HUGE pot holes in them. I nearly pee'd my pants I was laughing so hard at our adventure. I recorded a little bit of it. It was fun though. We arrived at the beach and this was my first water test. It felt a litle cool at first. But we really did get in and swim. It was past 5pm...but we only have so many opportunities to do it.

Here is proof!

We got dressed and sat by the beach for a while. It was so pretty that evening and the sun was going down. You can also see Hiafa center in the background.

Bryan found a pretty rock.

When we got home I noticed something scurrying on the floor when I got inside. It was an Israel Oliver!

Akko: Well Kind of

Oh yikes! What a day this was. We left Haifa for Akko around noon to meet Bryan's friends. We were so excited and had the directions to the coffee house in our hands. But we never found it. Actually for nearly 2 hours we kept asking people, driving to different mall areas, and borrowing people's cell phones to contact our friends or people who could help us. All of our efforts didn't succeed. We thought we actually found it and Bryan took this picture to celebrate, but as we approached our friends were not there. We called someone else and found out that we were at the other "Aroma" coffee house in the next town over. By this time it was just too late, we were so hungry and tired. We exhuasted every effort we knew to find them and it just wasn't happening. So we decided to eat lunch and go home.

We had yummy food...even pasta!

Bryan sits where we ate.

Our waiter offered to take a picture of both of us.

As we drove back into Haifa we stopped at a red light and I saw this woman with her young baby on the ledge. I couldn't believe it and it scared me.


Finally we are home. Bryan's face says it all "We tried!"

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Friends

After we got back from our journey we were taken by a friend to turn in our rental car and then to his house to have dinner with his family. We were so honored to be there with them and have a great dinner. They had other friends for us to meet. I never though in a million years that I would want a turtle...but this one was so cute and nice.

Can't you just see me, Gracey, and a turtle having fun?

They also had a dog that really like to be pet and sneak scraps of chicken...but who wouldn't with that yummy cooking?

Nazareth: the Church

After Bet She'an, Bryan and I drove to Nazareth. I was so expecting to see an old city with beauty. I knew this is where Jesus grew up and where Mary heard the Lord tell her that she was to have the Messiah. As we approached I could already tell my expectations were not going to be filled. It was a crazy city with people and cars everywhere. Bryan and I actually took a wrong road and paid for is with about 40 minutes of nonsense driving in a traffic jam. For what?I don't know. It seems to me that it was just people in their cars. We drove by the site we wanted to see and had to turn around and there was no where to do this. In the midst of all this I HAD to use the restroom so badly. It is a Palastinean ruled area so Bryan didn't want me to jump out and go somewhere. But minutes later, as we knew it would still be years and years before we got to where we needed to go, he told me that he would watch me. I jumped out in fast flight to the first dinning place I saw and begged the man outside to please let me use the bathroom. He gave in and I rushed through the place. I felt so much better when I came back outside and Bryan had not really moved the car much anyway. He had the camera ready and shot this photo! Silly.

We finally found the church! An Arab man was sitting outside and I really liked the effect it gave to the place.

We walked a little more to the entrance and there were tons of little outside shops to look at.

We noticed a blind man who was begging for money. Bryan gave him some and wanted to pray with him, but the man didn't seem to understand Bryan. We still prayed for him together later on.

As we walked into this church that respresents the area Mary was told about Jesus being miraculously conceived, we noticed tons of people pilgramiging to this area. Of course many were Catholic. This priest was leading his people to the doors of the church.

All around the outside courtyard are mosaics representing many (if not all) countries in the world. I deperately wished to find Hungary, but the more I looked the more disappointed I became. I found BOLIVIA though!

Here is Bryan and I in the courtyard with all the mosaics around us.

Inside the church was an area that was kept safe and looked like it would have in Biblical times. Within these gates where these people are looking is where they say Mary was visited by the Angel. A lot of Catholic people kneeled and prayed. It was very beautiful in there.

Guess what??? I found Hunagry! It was inside an area that no one was allowed...only the priests. Bryan actually found it. I had given up. But it was in a more special place than the others! I walked to the end of the gates and got this shot from kind of holding my camera out over the gate. I was so happy.
After we saw the church we needed to get a quick bite to eat and head back to Haifa. Bryan was meeting some friends and we were already worried about being late. We went into a place and ordered Filofal which is a fried chick pea mixture. They put it in a pita and add some pickled cabbage and stuff. It is actually very good. But as our order was cooking we heard something and I turned around. On the street, like 10 feet in front of me, a huge fight broke out. A man came out of his car and began beating another man very hard. I mean like punching the face and body over and over. Everyone, except me...even Bryan, went out to the street to find out what was happening. All these other men started coming out of no where. It was a little frightening. I hid by the counter. I didn't know if they would whip out guns or anything like that. Again I piered out the window and they attacked the man who initially was being hit. He ran away finally and the other man got back into his car and drove away. The others went back to where they were before, and almost as quickly as it had started everything went back to normal. We inquired of the owner what was happening. He didn't speak english and all we got out of them was that there was a "problem." I wonder if it was maybe gang related? Bryan thinks that someone was trying to steal out of the mans car and he caught him and began to discipline the guy. I was just glad it was over and no one else was hurt as well as our rental car which was even closer to them then we were.

Bet She'an

This is the view outside of our bed and breakfast. You can see the Sea of Galilee and Tiberias up on the hill.

Bryan loved these signs that alert of windy roads ahead. In the Galilee there are tons of roads that can flip the stomache.

This is the hippodrome where they did horse races and public gathering hearings for the city. It was very big and of course has been warn down over time.

This is the view of the city of Bet She'an. It was a pagan city in the days of Jesus. If you read in 1 Sam. you will notice that Saul and his son Johnathan were killed and hung for display on these actually city walls. In the movie "Jesus Christ Superstar" the character Judas hung from the tree up on the top of the hill about in the 11 o-clock position (it kind of looks like a cross). The view from here shows how big this place was.

Bryan and I pose outside the theater.


I sang! The theater was created very wisely in that it allowed vioces to be carried up all the way to the top seat. Bryan went up the seats and I sang on stage. I sang "Trust in the Lord." Bryan said he could hear me just fine way up there!

There is Bryan climbing the seats!

We decided there must have been some statues on these rocks...Bryan describes what he thinks one looked like! I think he was close.

There was a massive earthquake here. The roads we altered severy and the entire city was demolished. You can kind of see the bumpy roads. I have some great photos of the columns that fell.

These columns lined the main road in the city.

Bryan and the blue sky.


This picture demonstrates how badly the earthquake destroyed the place. The columns you see here are fallen where they landed in the destruction.


I loved the sunflower in this. It must have taken forever to carve it. They must have had way to much time of their hands! LOL.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Qurazim: A City Woe'd by Jesus

Here is Bryan and I outside the the Qurazim site. The lady behind the counter took the photo. She was nice. This ancient city is one mentioned in the Bible. Jesus actually spoke a warning, or a woe, to it because of it's sin.

Bryan looking at the site.

This is a baptistry. One would walk into it on the right and there would be a path on the bottom to follow it around and up the steps on the other side.

Me by the outside of the baptistry.

Bryan explained that we were about to cross a threshold...so we had to pose for this one.

I pretended to do some laundry. Wow! That must have been hard.

This is the seat of Moses. It is the place where the ruler of the synagoge sat to represent the religious leaders authority to speak the word of God.

This is a part of the remains of the temple's pillars. They must have spent so much time carving on the stone.

The Church of the Beattitudes

This is inside the church of the Beattitudes. This is where Jesus was said to have spoke the beattitudes in Matthew chapter 5 which begins as "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" and continues with descriptions like this. There were a lot of people there and this room in the photo, you walk around the blocked off center area and then leave. People were barefoot, some were kneeling, others were monks. It was neat. I took a photo up of the ceiling since it was made of gold.

Bryan is by the iron gate to leave. I was looking at how neat th shadows were with the gate and the priest began to walk in. He at first had a sun hat on and glasses, but he took them off at this point. It presented to me such a neat contrast to see Bryan and then this man at this particular gate.

Outside a man was reading from a book really loudly and people (perhaps from his group) were listening. I recorded a little bit of it and got this great photo.

This is one of our many tickets. We needed to pose together somehow.