More construction. The road was being widened.
This is the Netafah valley.
Nazareth is a primarily Arab city. This is the purplest, sparkliest muslimah I’ve ever seen.
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.
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.
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”.
The big bronze door tells the Gospel story.
The church is built on the ruins of the original village.
And has a massive 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.
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.
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.
We went to Mount Precipice, which is where the people of Nazareth tried to throw Jesus off.
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.
Then we drove through 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.