It was the end of the Jordan leg of the trip and onto a new country that would be equally exciting. This country being a birth center of 3 major religions and its modern day political controversies definitely had us both excited and concerned, as we weren’t sure if it was really safe to go on our own during planning.
As arranged earlier with the vehicle rental company, we would be dropping the vehicle at the crossing, King Hussein bridge (also known as Allenby at the Israeli side. This links to a website that had a detailed description on crossing between Jordan and Israel). Drove the short route there and upon arrival, called and met the rep near the immigrations who took our vehicle with no problems. Proceeded to go to the departures for document processing. There were mini buses that ferried people through to the Israeli side of the immigrations. There weren’t a lot of people but it did took a while to go through all.
At the Israeli side, we had wanted to avoid a passport stamp as there could be issues travelling to other countries in future, especially for some whom still do not recognise Israel as a state officially. So we asked if the officer could stamp on a separate form (known as a 17L sheet) but was asked the reasons. We said we wanted to visit Malaysia but he informed that it was ok for Malaysia as they were friends. We couldn’t convince the officer and so ended up with a stamp in our passport. Thereafter it was a getting a short taxi drive out to the main gate as it was not accessible for our rental vehicle.
After dropping off, called Green Peace car rental rep who arrived not too long after. Taking over the car, I started my GPS and we were on our way to our first city of Tiberias, right next to the Sea of Galilee. We first checked in at Berger hotel which was not too far away from the town center.
Next priority was to exchange currency as there weren’t any at the borders. By the time we arrived at Tiberias, it was late afternoon and there weren’t any forex around and so I had to changed some at one of the bigger hotel’s reception (ours didn’t have either). For lunch, we had MacD, after which we took a short stroll at the port side town before leaving for the attractions.
First stop for us was the Church of Primacy of St. Peter at Tabgha, a town real close to Tiberias, after negotiating the small windy roads. This little church was just beside the water which made it picturesque. Within was a rock table that was once used by Jesus while having a meal with the Apostles (or to that effect, am not a Christian). There were tour guides bringing their guests who were most likely on a pilgrimage tour to the site, and while they told the tales, we listen to some and left for the next location, another more famous site.
On arrival to the Church of Multiplication, we were disappointed to find the gates closed. We had probably there during the closing hours. The significance of Jesus feeding thousands by multiplication of 5 loaves of bread and 2 fishes was represented by this church. Couldn’t see more, we snapped a photo of the stone by the entrance with what looked like chalk drawings of the fishes and bread and left.
We knew we were running late already and as we drove around in search of “Mount of Beatitudes“, not knowing how it looked like. Stopped at a church and snapped the nice view of the surroundings.
Went back to the hotel for a rest before heading back to the town for dinner. There were many food stalls around the area, something like a pasar malam, but not as crowded or squeezy. Had our nutella pancakes for dinner. At night, what was quiet in the afternoon became an area of lights and food and games and people enjoying the night walking about.
We walked to the end of the Yigal Alon promenade to see the water and light show at the Tiberium, which had a few scheduled timings. Had to be there earlier as many people turned up for the show. Went back to the hotel for a much deserved rest after such a long day.