Jordan River Valley

Day 3 – 6th February, 2014

We left Tiberias for good and went down along the Jordan Valley. We had a quick stop at Bet She’an, where according to the Bible, the dead bodies of King Saul and his son Jonathan were hung on the walls of the city (1 Samuel 31:10). Then we had longer stops in hot pools at Gan HaShlosha National Park and at the Baptismal Site in Qaser El Yahud, where according to the tradition Jesus was baptised by John the Baptist. It is less visited than Yardenit, because it is very close to the border with Jordan and not often there is an access. Before the sunset we made it to Qumran by the Dead Sea and spent one night in Kalia kibbutz. I was so tired I went to bed at 8 pm.

Upper Galilee and Golan Heights

Let’s get on with it, shall we? For anyone who’s just ‘tuned in’, I’ll just explain that on average once a year I blog about my travels, shows and plays I go to. I do it more often than blog about it, hence the delay. This post is still about my trip to Israel I did last year.

Day 2 – 5th February 2014

From Tiberias, we went North to Tel Dan and then Banias, where the ruins of an ancient city of Cezarea Philippi are, shopping at the Winery and Olea Essence, lunch in Kartzenit, then down to the very south of the Sea of Galilee to Yardenit and an evening walk in Tiberias.

from Toowoomba to Dandabah

SUNDAY.

That morning we spent at the Community Baptist Church in Toowoomba. I was a bit surprised to see a senior pastor dressed in a polo shirt and shorts and thought there must be some explanation. I was right. There was a baptism and after the ceremony he got changed. We had found out that that day a pastor from the Mueller church was preaching. We had a laugh that we were his groupies following from city to city.

Toowoomba was most severly hit by the summer floods and there were about 20 people killed. I was told a story of a boy who, when a rescue team came to save his family and they could take just one person, he told them to take his younger brother. When the team later returned for the older one, he was found already dead with his mother.

But the city didn’t look destroyed, in fact it was really pretty. Australian cities don’t have tall buildings, they are just wide spread. There are some shops, cafes and offices in the centre and suburbs around them.

We had lunch at a restaurant opposite Queens Park. There was some festival at the Park and I wasn’t expecting to see camels while in Australia! (Though, there are some, but they’re not native 😉 ).

We went for a walk to the Botanic Gardens. Toowoomba is famous for the Carnival of Flowers organized every September.

Then it started to rain, so we didn’t stay long in the park. We went back to our friend, had a coffee, packed our stuff and hit the road. It was already late afternoon and the sun was coming down. This part of trip was boring for the driver, because the landscape was completely flat as far as your eyes could reach. For me it was new, so I was looking around and imagining what the life in the outback looks like.

We stopped by in Dalby to fill up P.’s car. While waiting I got this feeling I was on the wild west of America and not in Australia. There was McDonald’s, Hungry Jack’s (i.e. Big Mac) and another fast-food restaurant, Red Rooster. In shops I could see cowboy hats, cattle bells etc. That’s a different face of Australia which I won’t see in Brisbane… or will I?

It was already dark, so we had to be careful driving up the Bunya Mountains (I have completely no idea where they came from!) not to hit any kangaroo, wallabie or other wild animal. We were lucky and safely arrived in Accommodation Centre in Dandabah. P. had booked one of the chalets there when we were still in Toowoomba and they had left a key for us. Driving up the chalet we could spot wallabies on the field eating grass like cows. The chalet was awesome: 3 bedrooms, toilet, bathroom, kitchen and living room. It cost $130 per night and was too big for us three, but G. said I shouldn’t talk nonsense. So I stopped and prepared farmers’ tea: steaks, potatoes and carrots. We had no salt but still it was pretty good. I was quite proud of my cooking skills… or maybe we were really hungry.