On Sunday morning I stood at the Sea of Galilee, with my toes in the water and my face in the early morning sun. I washed my hands and face in the sea where Jesus walked on water and calmed the storm.
Our last two days in Israel were spent near the Sea of Galilee and Jerusalem. If you missed it, be sure to check out Part 1 of my Israel Trip here.
Later Sunday morning we arrived at the Mount of Beatitudes, where Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount and fed the 5,000 with the fishes and the loaves.
Can you imagine this view over the Sea of Galilee while listening to Jesus teach?
At the top of the mountain is a Roman Catholic chapel known as The Church of the Beatitudes.
Our final full day in Israel was spent in Jerusalem.
We started with a panoramic overlook of the city from Mount Scopus, near The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Next we went to the Mount of Olives. Several key events in the life of Jesus took place on the Mount of Olives. Scripture describes the Mount of Olives as the place from which Jesus ascended to heaven.
At the bottom of the mountain is the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus prayed to the Father hours before his crucifixion.
We then made our way to the Via Dolorosa.
This is the path that Jesus walked, carrying his cross, on the way to his crucifixion.
The Via Dolorosa has 14 stations. It is located in the Old City of Jerusalem and travels through busy streets lined with shops.
We started at stations 1-4, where Jesus is condemned by Pontius Pilate, where He took up his cross, and where Mary watched her son go by with the cross.
Station 5, pictured here, is where Simon of Cyrene was forced by Roman soldiers to help Jesus carry his cross.
According to tradition this is the spot where Jesus stumbled and rested his hand upon the wall to keep his balance. Many pilgrims to the Via Dolorosa over the years have made a smooth imprint deep into the stone.
Station 7 is where Jesus fell for the second time.
Stations 10-14 are located inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
Stations 10-11 are located upstairs. Jesus is stripped and nailed to the cross.
Station 12 represents where Jesus died on the cross.
And Station 14 represents where Jesus was laid in the tomb, and rose from the grave 3 days later.
After an introspective morning, we took to the markets of Jerusalem for lunch.
When in Israel, you must get a freshly squeezed pomegranate juice! This was my second one of the trip. I fell in love!
We honestly had some of the most unforgettable dining experiences in Israel. Since we were with a group, we never ordered anywhere we went. They would just bring plate after plate and we ate together family-style. The first night, before we knew what to expect, they brought out so much food, and when there was a break, we thought the dinner was finally over. Then they started bringing out more plates. “Is there more food??” we asked. “Oh yes,” they smiled. “That was just the appetizers.” We ate good in Israel.
One of The Best Things I Ever Ate was at our final dinner together in Jerusalem, at Chakra. Above is the Spicy Tuna Bruschetta & Aioli. If you are ever, ever in Jerusalem, please find a way to go to Chakra and order this Spicy Tuna Bruschetta & Aioli!! I had to ask them to bring out a second plate, because I ate the entire first one myself that was supposed to be for the whole table.
The last time I had such a strong reaction to a dish was 10 months ago in New Orleans.
Here’s a peek at some of the fun desserts we had from Chakra.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this quick glimpse from my time in Israel. I loved sharing it with you guys. I definitely hope to go again someday soon and spend more time there.
When in Israel…
If you ever find yourself in Israel, here are my recommendations for where to eat and where to stay. :)
Ha’achim, Tel Aviv. Authentic Israeli dinner. Great atmosphere. Mediterranean menu. Lots of options. Great for sharing lots of appetizers.
The Blue Rooster, Tel Aviv. Decadent pastas and fun desserts.
Chakra, Jerusalem. Small plates with lots of options. Great for sharing. Recommended: Spicy Tuna Bruschetta & Aioli.
HaChatzer, Jerusalem. Modern Israeli cuisine. Recommended: Meze platter and Halva Ice Cream.
David Intercontinental Hotel, Tel Aviv. Right across the street from the beach, gorgeous sunset view over the Mediterranean, has an American outlet in the room.
Rimonim Galei Kinneret Hotel, Tiberias. Located right on the Sea of Galilee, with a beautiful pool, spa, and beach access to the Sea of Galilee.
Mamilla Hotel, Jerusalem. Incredible 5-star hotel. Luscious beds. Amazing breakfast. American outlets in the room.
*If your hotel doesn’t have American outlets, (or you need more than the 1 or 2 American outlets they have in the room) here are the type of adapters you’ll need to make your plugs fit: Israel (Type H) Adapters.