The Fourth Day – Nazareth (Galilee)

01 - More Construction.jpg

More construction. The road was being widened.

02 - Netafah Valley.jpg

This is the Netafah valley.

03 - Purple Muslimah

Nazareth is a primarily Arab city. This is the purplest, sparkliest muslimah I’ve ever seen.

04 - Nazareth

We made our way to the (Catholic) Church of the Annunciation. I say (Catholic) because there are two, a Catholic one and an Orthodox one.

05 - Church.jpg

It’s the tallest church in Israel and was actually built by the government.

There were mosaic panels donated from various different Catholic countries. Ireland’s was right by the entrance.

06 - Ireland.jpg

The writing reads “A Mhàthair Dè a Mhàthair muirneac ‘is a rìghinn nan dùl guidh ar muinntir na h-Èirinn” – “O Mother of God, O Mother of Sea-Beach and Queen of the World, beseech our People of Ireland”.

07 - Door.jpg

The big bronze door tells the Gospel story.

The church is built on the ruins of the original village.

08 - Inside

09 - Under

And has a massive dome.

10 - Dome

Then we walked down the hill a bit to have lunch. The options were yiros or falafel. The yiros here is served in round pita bread and is called shuwarma. The falafel is essentially the same thing but with fried vegetable ball instead of meat.

11 - Shuwarma

The yiros and drink cost $15, which was a little steep, I thought. (Everything’s more expensive in Israel). The owner of the shop gave us teeny-tiny little cups of coffee gratis.

12 - Coffee

I don’t normally like coffee – actually, I can’t stand it – but I think that if I could ever become a coffee-drinker, it would be on Arab coffee. It’s probably the cardamom.

13 - Jamil.jpg

Jamil, the owner.

15 - Big Fashion

14 - Nazareth Pizza

We went to Mount Precipice, which is where the people of Nazareth tried to throw Jesus off.

18 - Valley

17 - Nazareth

We drove through Nazareth Illit, the nearby Jewish town. You can see the differences immediately. Arab towns are built all higgledy-piggledy around a water source, with single-family homes and small yards. Jewish towns are built in grids, with tall apartment buildings but lots of green spaces in between them.

20 - Nazareth Illit

Then we drove through Cana.

21 - Cana


Cana is also an Arab town now, but it has large populations of Eastern Orthodox and Catholics, as well as a small Baptist church.


8 thoughts on “The Fourth Day – Nazareth (Galilee)

  1. jedika98 says:

    Some more nice views and another interesting read. Keep up the good work. I like the Muslim lady’s clothes (I could see myself wearing something similar). Also it is interesting that you had surwarma (was it nice btw?) because mum and I were watching a show yesterday (probably about around the same time you were eating your surwarma) and the characters were eating surwarma said and mum had never heard of a surwarma (I had through previous watching of said show in another episode where they eat surwarma) until the characters ate and now you have eaten one.

    • Rachel says:

      Yeah, it was pretty good. It’s essentially yiros, though. You can tell it’s more Israeli because the spices used on the meat are different, so it has a little bit of a different flavour. I’ve got a picture of the meat cooking and it’s a big skewer like you see at a yiros shop. It comes with salads like lettuce, onion, and tomato (like a yiros), but you put the garlic sauce on yourself and dip it. Also the garlic sauce is tahini-based, so it has a bit of a different flavour to and is thicker than the Greek yiros. I’m convinced that shuwarma is basically just a regional variation on yiros (slash souvlaki slash doner kebab).

  2. Ruth Hay says:

    I must try and get on and comment before Jess because she is saying all the things that I want to say.

  3. Jo Creek says:

    When I saw the purple clothes worn by the Muslim lady my immediate thought was that Jess would like those colours!
    I giggled at “Nazareth Pizza” and “Cana Wedding Wine”.

    • Rachel says:

      It’s a little weird that the cities we’ve only read about in the Bible are actual, proper modern cities. I’ve been seeing a lot of things around like “Nazareth Fashions” or “Cana Car Repair”.

      Yuval says that any shop selling “Cana Wedding Wine” is going to be a pretty ghastly, potent home brew.

  4. astraya says:

    I’m not sure if I remember this story 100% correctly, but it’s something like this. An Australian priest I knew had been at theological college with the deacon at Nazareth parish church. He (the Australian) was visiting him (the Nazareth-ian) around Christmas, and he (the Nazareth-ian) asked him (the Australian) to celebrate the eucharist. (For some reason, there wasn’t a priest in the parish.)

  5. astraya says:

    Today’s gospel reading was Jesus in the synagogue at Nazareth. I told the priest that my niece had been to Nazareth a few days ago.

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