Sunday, April 21, 2013

Chillaxing in Galilee

Yoga in Galilee
I just got back from 10 days in Galilee!  And, yes, "just got back" is not the most accurate statement ever made.  Like when I told my brother I didn't eat all of his Halloween candy that one year and blamed it on my sister and then a huge fight ensued and I think I just stood back and laughed mischievously to myself.  Tess Bertonneau, ladies and gents.  Creating family unity since 1993.  Don't follow my example, little cousins.  For 10 days, we stayed in these little condos right on the Sea of Galilee.  It was practically perfect in every way except for the fact that we also had class and full day field trips.  But, on free days, you best believe I plopped myself on a hammock and stayed there.  There was a lot of hammock plopping going on that week- I think our group broke about 5 of them?  Seriously, people.  Cool it with the chocolate pita consumption already.  Because I was in "vacation mode," I can't say I took a ton of pictures.  But, I'm not going to let that get to me because I've taken more pictures this semester than I probably have in my entire life.  Don't worry, I still got some decent pictures.  And, more importantly, I stole plenty from my friend's camera.  All is well.  That'll do, donkey. Side note: do I quote Shrek too much?  I didn't think that was at all possible.  Maybe I'm just too stuck in the glory days (5th grade=glory days=when I wrote my very own Shrek play starring myself).  I'll try to censor myself a little better, but I make no promises.  Also, I won't even promise a little bit to have this blog make more sense.  I prefer just throwing out my unorganized thoughts and seeing what happens.  Shall we recap?
One of many Biblical translations at the Jordan River 
Monday, we departed in the early hours and stopped at sites on the way to Ein Gev, our seaside condos.  We hit up Bet Shean, Nazareth, and the Jordan River.  We had been to the Jordan River before if you remember, but this spot was a lot prettier than the first.  There were some beautiful churches in Nazareth.  It was a very reverent site, so long as you ignored the small children peeing on a tree.  Hey, when you gotta go!  (That's what I told my teacher when I tried to do the same thing but was reprimanded.  Then I said, "I'm mad as hell and I can't take it anymore!"  Did I mention I'm actually home in the U.S. because I got sent home early for "disorderly conduct?")  In Bet Shean, there were some ruins.  That's about as good as it got.  But, then, miraculously, something new!  A surfboard!!  Unfortunately, it was not an ancient one.  Also, I don't even think it was a surfboard.  But, it was a fun, new treasure so I practiced.  A huge dust storm set in later.  So, we cancelled plans to go on a mountain summit and went to the Church of St. Peter's Primacy instead.  

Contemplation at the Sea of Galilee
Jordan River
On Tuesday we went on another full day field trip.  The best part was the boat ride where I pretended to be a Southern preacher as soulful music played in the background.  Then, the dramamine set in and I almost passed out over the side of the boat.  The sad part is that the water wasn't choppy at all and there's no way I actually needed it.  Point 1: mother nature/my overly anxious mind.  There were a lot of sites we visited on Tuesday- the Mt. of Beatitudes, Tabgha, Capernaum, Bethsaida, and Mt Arbel.  At least, I'm pretty sure we went to all of them.  (I definitely consulted the weekly schedule to double-check.)  A few places stood out to me.  The Mount of Beatitudes has a beautiful church and little plaques with scriptures inscribed on them.  We had a bonfire late at night but there weren't s'mores, so it was a little lackluster.  I don't mind smelling like a fire, so long as I get my s'mores!  Remind me to talk about that time I ate 14 s'mores in a competition.  That was gross, actually.  Still, a good party story!  Tuesday was the last day of Passover, which meant the last day of unleavened bread.  My unfulfilled stomach rejoiced!

Galilee Boat Ride
Mt. Arbel
Wednesday consisted of class, tanning, and a restaurant on the pier for dinner.  We also went to the Tiberias boardwalk.  The ice cream I bought was so mediocre that I considered buying another one- like a Magnum bar.  You know it was bad if I had to buy another ice cream.  Okay, maybe I was just looking for a reason to buy some cream is my drug.  Thursday was another pretty full day.  We went to the area called the Golan, namely Gamla and Kursi.  We were supposed to go to Hippos, but it was closed.  I couldn't believe it- the site I spent hours doing my paper on and we didn't even go there!  MADNESS, I tell you, madness!  After we got back we went river rafting.  I got the hardest job- sitting in the middle trying to stay dry and cowering in fear when I got splashed with water by other boats.  Also, I had to insert as many movie references as I could.  "The water's so cold, Jack!"  "You're gonna need a bigger boat."  They didn't all exactly fit the situation, but it sure was fun.  

Frodo + Gollum = I'm so very nerdy

On Friday we went on a hike.  It was cold, but super fun.  Did I mention I didn't take a ton of pictures on this trip?  It was super cold which means my fingers had no blood circulation to take pictures...also, I left my camera at home.  Sometimes you just have to experience life, you know?  *she says, sighing wishfully, as she types a blog post in her room all alone while the other students are at a dance party*  But, I did get one picture from a friend.  
Hiking with my friends!

On Saturday we went to church at the Tiberias branch.  It overlooked the Sea of Galilee and was so beautiful.  The rest of the day I just relaxed.  Or should I say "chillaxed?"  I know you thought that word died 10 years ago, but I'm bringing it back!  Trendsetter in tha houseeee.    

Rachie Rach & me at church
Sunday was a really great field trip- we went to Mt. Tabor, Nain, Megiddo, and a natural spring.  Okay, Megiddo was only good because we laid on the ground after Armageddon.  The natural spring- talk about crazy!  Little fishes nibbled on our toes.  I thought the fish would take one look at my nasty feet and swim in the opposite direction.  They are not in the best shape after trekking around the Holy Land for 4 months.  Believe it or not, fish have pretty small brains (but they do have huge hearts), so they didn't think about how gross it was to eat the skin off of my feet.  

Mt. Tabor- the Mt. of Transfiguration
Dying at Armageddon/Meggido
Not much of anything happened on Monday- I think I took a nap.  Cool story, bro. Tell it again.  

On Tuesday we went to the Upper Galilee.  The best part was probably Nimrod's Castle- lots of great acting moments happened there, included but not limited to Rapunzel letting down her hair and lots of great conquering poses.  But actually, we also went to some really gorgeous places.  Tel Dan has a stream and a beautiful trail.  I thought I was in Virginia or sumthing!  So, of course I had to start talkin' in my Virginya ACcent.  Caesarea Philippi is also beautiful. 

"Take me home, to where I belong"

Making our own fortress
Wednesday was a visit to the Western Galilee. Akko is the site of a beautiful Crusader fortress on the Mediterranean.  In case you've been counting- that means I've been to the Red, Dead, and Med Seas all on one trip!  The next post will concern the Dead Sea, no worries.  Chorazin and Sepphoris- hmm I can't remember much about them.  We also went to an Israeli bunker from which we could see Syria.  For our last night in Galilee, we had a bonfire- with s'mores!  About time.  Unfortunately, I was only able to have around 4.  Poor showing, indeed.       

So far from D.C.!
The last day we hit up Mt. Carmel, the Haifa overlook, the Haifa Templar Cemetary, and Caesarea Maritima.  We had our very own piggyback race in the ancient hippodrome.  Naturally, I was carried on the back of my 5'2" friend.  Thanks again for that- hopefully your back pain has subsided some.  After that, we went to an overlook of Haifa.  We looked over a Baha'i Temple.  Apparently it's a huge religion, but I had never heard of it before.  Just when I thought I was getting cultured....We made it back to the JC just in time for the Oasis.  Good thing we made it back on a Thursday- Friday is ice cream night!   

2nd Place (of 2) in the Hippodrome race!

A final post is coming in the very near-future!  I know, I don't have much time because I fly out of here on Wednesday.  So, stay tuned and check back real soon!

1 comment:

  1. Where is the last picture from - so pretty! And I can't wait to see your pretty face - only 3 more days - hooray!