Sunday, January 3, 2010

01/02/2010: Peter, I can see your house from here

Today we decided to book a minibus with driver and guide - and invite as many relatives we could pack in. It was a sort of rolling family reunion, stopping at various sites of interest including:

The Sea of Galilee - where all drinking water in Israel originates

Tiberias - seems to be a cute town with some Roman ruins and a cool name, but it was completely closed for Shabbat

Capernaum - where Jesus did a lot of his teachings. St Peter has a house here and there are largely-intact ruins of the synagogue that was one of the first synagogues built after Jesus' time, and it appears to be built on top of a synagogue Jesus' was said to have preached in.

The Golan Heights - home to battles with the Syria and Lebanon, several wineries (all were closed for Shabbat and the vines had been bare for the winter), land mines, cows near land mines, vineyards near land mines, and cows near vineyards.

We were also able to see the Syrian border.
We met and became good friends with Olga's cousins Ariel, Dani, and Sonia. Ariel and Dani's parents Gena and Marina brought equipment to boil coffee with cardamom to enjoy at roadside stops. We also noshed on figs, sweet tea, and other goodies. Lunch was provided by the Druze at a Druish (I think that's what the guide called it, maybe that's what inspired Mel Brooks) roadside stand: warmed thin dough (similar to flour tortilla) with goat cheese spread and olive tapenade. Yum!

At one point, Mike accused me of wining about something. Clearly he was overreacting, but now we have the classic quote "On Shabbat, the David winery should be closed."

On the way home, Sonia used her cell videophone to call a friend. The camera is on the same side as the screen and you can have a realtime Skype-quality videochat from a tiny cell phone. I think I saw our friend Johnny use similar technology in Russia a couple of years ago. Why don't we have this in the land of unlimited cell phone minutes/data?

We had dinner at an Italian restaurant again. They are hard to avoid! :)

Please read more about this family reunion on wheels at Olga's blog:

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