Vacation Tips Tiberius, Beatitudes, & the Galilee Sea, Israel

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Blissful Tiberius, Beatitudes, and the Sea of Galilee Israel

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When I went to the Sea of Galilee, Israel, I wasn’t sure what to expect. After reading an article about The Ten Best Things to Do on the Sea of Galilee, Now, I was more unsure than sure. I went to see peaceful Tiberius and the Beatitudes. But, some people think the ten best sites to see are Christian sites while others think of the best things to do or see at the Sea of Galilee. Free activities include water sports, hiking and relaxing on the beach. What I loved most is Free at the Sea of Galilee. My favorite is the morning light. I enjoy watching the sunrise. The way the light changes on the water throughout the day is mystical to me.

Sea of Galilee Israel

Because the morning light was so inviting to me. I woke up early every day to experience the sunrise. As dawn broke, over the Sea of Galilee, I hoped to capture the beauty of this mystical light.  This photo only captures a small essence of this beauty.

Sea of Galilee Israel

Tabgha

Tabgha is also known as the Jesus Trail and follows the path that Jesus walked in his ministry. The Sea of Galilee was where he walked on water, and Tiberius was the Bible location where Jesus fed 5,000 people with five loaves of bread and two fish (Matthew 14:13-21). As a travel writer and photographer, my goal is to share travel information and photos. When I visit locations that I learned about in Sunday School where Jesus walked and preached, these places become very magical to me. In my heart I know them. Seeing them makes me calm and peaceful. It’s magical to me not because of what I think about them. But because of what I believe about them they are magical. As I step into the places, Jesus walked, His’ messages and teachings take on a very special meaning for me.

The Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes commemorates the place where Jesus fed the 5,000

Sea of Galilee Israel

Two Miracles in One Location

This church has intricate mosaic tiles on the floors and walls. Also, in the Tabgha region is the Church of St. Peter’s Primacy where Jesus is said to have appeared for a fourth time (John 21 1:24) to his disciples after the resurrection. The Bible says that Jesus conferred the Primacy to Simon Peter at this time. I was able to take these photos because I was alone. The tour buses hadn’t arrived.

Sea of Galilee and Tiberius

Sea of Galilee Israel

The Beatitudes

I walked the gardens and took the time to sit, relax and meditate on the beauty and serenity. Below is a photo of one of the Beatitudes. There are eight beatitudes. Which are part of what’s known as the “Sermon on the Mount” (Matthew 5:7).  Eight stone markers like the one below line the walkway.

The shadows on them add an interesting design element to the simple, artful display of the Holy Words.

Sea of Galilee, Israel

Early morning services in the gardens

When the tour buses arrived, I moved on to my next location further up along the trail. Staying ahead of the crowds, quietly walking.

Mount of Beatitudes

Someone offered to take my photo. Like this picture because I look peaceful. Did I mention the light?  Can’t talk about the light enough. It is memorable.

Sea of Galilee, Israel

The Altar Inside

Sea of Galilee, Israel

Tiberius and the Sea of Galilee, Israel

I drove to the Monastery and saw breathtaking, spectacular views of the Sea on the drive.

Sea of Galilee, Israel

Higher Up the Mountain

If you love nature, you will love it here.

Sea of Galilee, Israel

The House of the Galilee  – Domus Galilaeae

On the peak of Mount of Beatitudes, above and north of Capernaum and the Sea of Galilee was Domus Galilaeae.

Sea of Galilee, Israel

The Open Gates of The House of the Galilee  – Domus Galilaeae

It wasn’t yet 9:00 am as I drove through the open gates. By the time, I parked my car the gates closed. Now, the only early morning guest is me. Walking up to the front door, I  see no one. The vast openness makes me feel empty. The area felt intimidating. I walked down the hallway and saw a man in a casual outfit sitting behind a desk. Where am I exactly? Maybe they have tours, I thought? Then the man, a priest, offers to show me around without me asking. He is a visiting priest from Rome studying the Torah and Judaism at the Monastery. The priest is serene, welcoming and not the least bit intimidating.

Sent here to learn about Judaism before being assigned to his parish the priest is a teacher. He believes he couldn’t understand the origin and his religious roots without living in Israel and studying the Tora. Then, he explained each sanctuary’s meaning to me.

He said to me. “See if you agree.”

Inside the Tabernacle were a silver and gold covered copy of the old and new testament. They sit inside the white closet above the altar. The photo below shows a white light shining on The Books framed by arched pillars with Turkish lanterns on each side.

Sea of Galilee, Israel

Polished Metal Reflects the Books, Multiplying Them

Sea of Galilee, Israel

The Altar and the Marble Wall

He explained to me that the most important part of this altar was the marble wall which represents man – a man without God is like a marble wall.

A man is like a cold, lifeless stone. Man cannot come to life without God. He pushed his body into the marble wall, and said, I am like this marble wall without God I’m a cold, lifeless wall, not warm flesh and blood. Therefore, I can’t be human without God. I am cold and dead without a relationship with Him. I am like this marble without God. When His word is in me, I become alive and have life.

My tour became personal, very fast. The priest seemed to be sharing his most intimate beliefs.

We walked to the next room where there was another altar in a very modern, conference room that was half sanctuary and half meeting hall.

The priest explained the modern painting. It is a vision of Heaven and Hell. Heaven is on the top – Christ – God, is in the middle with the Apostles on His side, all very orderly. At the bottom is chaos. Red is the unifying design element. On top, it represents the passion of the Cross and on the lower red representing fear and loss. No fire and brimstone in this painting. We moved on to the next room.

Sea of Galilee, Israel

Bronze Casting, the Tree of Life

Sea of Galilee, Israel

300-Year-Old Tora Scroll

I saw a 300-year-old Torah the Hebrew Bible. Delivered in a special ceremony by Rabbis and Bishops in 2005 the book rests in this place.   

Sea of Galilee, Israel

 Sculpture of the Apostles Learning the Beatitudes From Jesus

Sea of Galilee, Israel

Sea of Galilee, Israel, Memorable and Dramatic Light

Every time we came to a new area in this sanctuary, the light seemed to change as if we were on a movie set.

Sea of Galilee, Israel

The Light

He explained this skylight – but for the life of me, I can’t remember what its hidden meaning was. Everything, from the room size, art, windows, archways, writings on the wall, everything at the Monastery was positioned thoughtfully and had symbolic religious meaning. What do you think the explanation of the skylight is? It’s nice that it’s open to interpretation.

Sea of Galilee, Israel

Halls and Rooms Located Around the Courtyard

The inner garden and the sunlight brighten up the center and courtyard.

Sea of Galilee, Israel

On the Way Out

As I walked through the inner courtyard, I looked back to see a man working on the calligraphy on the marble wall. It was the Ten Commandments.  Outside, I got ready to leave when I decided to walk back to find the priest. Compelled to ask the Priest for prays for my safety I asked the priest to pray for me. Heading to Jerusalem, I felt a little intimidated. But, I am very glad I asked for prayers.

Shortly after that request, I drove into the wrong area in Jerusalem. Jerusalem is where I got in a little bit of trouble. The deeply religious areas of Jerusalem are scary. On a street, I ran into a group of men and elders who wanted to stone me because I had driven into their neighborhood during the Holy Day of Rosh Hashanah and Shabbat. In hindsight, I wonder if the priest’s prayers had protected me?

Sea of Galilee, Israel

Must See

The wall is a massive re-creation of Moses tablets, the Ten Commandments engraved in Hebrew letters. Then, the tree of life in the glass and metal door is the last thing I see before Jerusalem. As the priest explained, this is a place where the Torah and Bible, Judaism and Christianity meet. It was peaceful at the Monastery. A must-see for any traveler visiting Tiberius and the Sea of Galilee. Now on to my short ride to Jersalem.

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Kate started traveling for work. Now with grown children, who are travelers, she travels for pleasure looking for great travel experiences. Currently, her home is in Bellevue, WA, and lives with her cat Angelina Jolie. She has a Bachelor's of Fine Arts, Studio Arts and Art History from the University of Colorado, an MBA and Master of Arts, Management. Her favorite things are exploring new cultures, traveling the world, creating a painting and sour or spicy foods.

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