Sometimes when you travel, you end up having days that do not end. Days fraught with ups and downs. Days that twist and turn, jerking you from anticipation to disappointment to delight to frustration to surprise to chaotic confusion. I guess traveling is kind of like a metaphor for life.
Ooh, I feel so deep now.
July 16, 2011 was one such day. It will take several posts to tell the tale of all we did on this day.
It was a day that began in Jerusalem, brought us all over the Israeli countryside, and concluded in Tel Aviv.
From my journal:
“Woke up VERY early — I got up at 3:45am so I’d have time to pack. Even so, it took me until 5am. Then we checked out of our guesthouse and made our way through the streets of the Old City to Jaffa Gate, and from there to the David Citadel Hotel… where we proceeded to wait until after 6am for the bus to pull up. At least it arrived, and we were on our way to Tel Aviv where the bus picked up 48 more people.”
Our flight was to leave Tel Aviv quite late that night, and we figured a great way to get from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv would be a tour, to see some sites of Jesus… but our main objective for this day was to see the Sea of Galilee.
We were traveling with our friends Steve and Cara. Here are some of the things we saw!
About to enter the Church of the Annunciation…
Oh, I see. We’re losers!
Door to the Church of the Annunciation, depicting scenes from the life of Jesus.
Walking inside the church…
Apparently this is the place that the angel Gabriel told Mary she’d be the mother of God.
Grotto containing the Virgin Mary’s traditional home…
Apparently smoking a pipe is okay, though.
First century house… so Jesus and Mary may have hung out here.
Looking down into more remains of the first century house…
Well, this certainly proves it. They were here!
We’d just spent several days in Jerusalem, and had seen dubious claim after dubious claim with regards to places Jesus or King David spent time. I mean, yeah they were there. Sure! But the claims are so specific, and so… so eager, so frantic, so saturated throughout the city, that it seemed to me the root of these claims was tourist’s wallets, not necessarily anything meaningful or factual.
That’s just my opinion. I don’t mean to take away from the meaningful experiences that you or others may have in these spaces. We’re all different, and process differently. And we DID have some great meaningful experiences on this trip. Just not in these particular locations.
Basically, if I’m being TOLD that a specific item/place is very meaningful… it will automatically feel false to me. Contrived. That’s pretty much the root of my skepticism in this case.
Bein Harim Bus Tour Part 2, tomorrow!