It was late afternoon by the time we reached this small town of Tiberias situated on the western coast of the Sea of Galilee, in a region called Lower Galilee in Israel. Well the Sea is not really a sea but a lake. The sky was clear and sunny. Town maybe small but it has a huge relevance to the 3 major mono-theistic religions of the world.
After a small welcome drink and dumping our stuff in the room over looking the cool blue lake. We spent a few minutes savoring the fantastic view for a few minutes. As our dear friend and guide was too tired to show us around we went out to explore on our own, with a promise to meet him for dinner.
The Lake Tiberias (Biblical name Sea of Galilee and Hebrew name Kinneret), although small, is very serene and beautiful. This is the region where Jesus is believed to have performed several miracles. This is also Israel’s largest fresh water lake, fed by the Jordan River measuring over 50 Square KM, makes it the most important source of potable water for Israel.
We were actually at around 200 M below the sea level. This is second lowest lake after the Dead Sea and the lowest fresh water lake in the world! We could see a stark difference between the green and fertile landscape here than the desert like topology in most other places. I wondered how in a desert could be a lake this blue and full of life.
Tiberias is one of the 4 most important religious sites for Judaism and it represents the element Water. (Jerusalem depicts fire, Safed – Air and Hebron – Earth). Several Synagogues, Churches and Mosques have been painstakingly preserved and the waterfront has a promenade. One could sit at the lakeside and watch the beautiful lake for hours. We are told that most of the development has taken place here after the 6-day war. Also we were given to understand that a huge Roman theater has been unearthed (literally) under the Tiberias hills. Hope to visit it next time, sometime!
Tiberias, which gets its name from the Roman Emperor Tiberius in the first century AD, has now become a major attraction for tourists and pilgrims alike including Israelis. An added attraction for those who may like, are the several nature trails on the hills surrounding the lake. Not too far from Yardenit Baptismal site, tourism is perhaps the major revenue earner for Tiberias. For those inclined there are hot springs, ruins of ancient temples and some newer churches to visit.
We had dinner in the open, by the lake, when it turned darker and we could see a lot of lights from the Druze villages dotting hills of Golan Heights. All of a sudden the peace was broken by jarring music originating from one of the tourist ferries. We could see a group of obstreperous tourists going out into the lake for a late evening fun. The whole scene was so incongruous.
Next morning, I was waiting for sun to rise behind the mountains to take some photos, but true to its finicky behavior dark clouds gathered all around and sudden violent winds rushed down the mountain side threatening to blow us away.
A lot more to do and see here, like the various other biblical sites and archeological finds (Bet She) but we needed to get a move on for Dead Sea and other places.
Travel Tip:- If you are not in a hurry, spend a few days here.
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P.S.- This article, Pastoral beauty of Tiberiasbelongs in Le Monde, the Poetic Travels, one of the top Indian Travel Blogs, published by the traveling couple bloggers, Nisha & Vasudevan. Reproduction without explicit permission is prohibited. If you are viewing this on another website other than the RSS feed reader or www.lemonicks.com itself, then that website is guilty of stealing our content. Kindly do us a favour by letting us know via Contact Us. Thank you.
What is this place? I only knew of Israel, never heard of this.
You are right. I cant imagine a desert like this. 🙂
Even I had not heard of this beautiful place. My only regret, we didn’t have much time to spend here.
Amazing photos Nisha. Loved going through your post.
Beautiful pics. The lowest fresh water lake in the world looks absolutely beautiful.
Very beautiful part of Israel. Pictures are lovely.
Team G Square,
Very interesting. Thanks for sharing
Thanks for sharing such a beautiful place.
You are welcome.
A great virtual tour for me.
Thank you. Glad you could travel with me. 🙂
Thank you for the wonderful virtual tour!!
You are welcome. 🙂
What a wonderful post Nisha … Its sounds such a beautiful experience with lovely scenery and rich history …
Thank you. Do you want any image for your Haiku?
wow… Its truly amazing
It is. 🙂
Glad to know about this lovely place. Loved that azure. Nice captures, Nisha.
Thank you. You’ll love this place. 🙂
Hello, so nice to meet you and thank you very much for stopping by my blog. I would love for you to join us in Today’s Flowers. These photos are wonderful. They show me a part of the world I have never visited. It looks an amazing place.
Thanks for dropping by. I’ll try to participate in your Today’s flowers sometime.
Such lovely blues in that lake! I had never heard about Tiberias, so thanks for putting it on my map. 🙂
Thanks Ami. It’s a great place to relax & admire the beauty.
Tiberias sounds so different then I thought of Isarel. One thing which got me moving for this place is 200 M below the sea level.. Well I m keen to see that side of this place :).. Didnt know Vasuji was also great photographer 🙂
Glad that you liked the place thru our pictures. 🙂
The place is really a cool place to chill and yeah 200 M below sea level too.
Wow that is some blue. And what a contrast there with those dry landscapes.
Tiberias looks like a place for a laid back holiday and a great place for strolls. 🙂
Yes, it is indeed. 🙂
Looks like an amazing place, that boat in the lake gives some idea how big the lake is…
Yes, that was the idea. 😀
Amazing photos and post
Always love reading about places that I have never heard off! Wonder if anyone can possibly see the whole world…
No, that’s not possible.
And look at me … instead of going to new places, I keep going to same places … just to see how they have evolved with time. 😀
What a lovely place!