Day 2 (3) Cana

We were welcomed at the border by Fr. Sleeba. It will be unjust if I do not mention a word about his dedication in organising the pilgrimages to the Holy Land. In his own words, he has taken this as the mission of his life and his vocation. He would like to see every Christian visit the Holy Land. Services of Alley as a guide and more correctly as a fellow travellor deserves special mention. We were also accompanied by two smart guides for the next four days.
As we travelled by road in two Mercedes buses, we were reminded of the bible constantly by familiar road signs like Jerrico, Nazareth, Jerusalem and so on. We stopped over at a small eat out for lunch. Interestingly the salesmen at the eat out did not understand when we asked for vegetarian food. Later we were told to ask for salad to mean vegetarian food. We had vegetable burger and finger potato chips for lunch. Since lunch was not part of package, we had to pay for the same. This lunch which looked so modest compared to our lunch back in Kerala, cost around Rs. 290 in Indian currency. But as days progressed we had to forget conversion equivalent of Indian rupees as food was much expensive as compared to our prices. If you remain too bothered of conversion, you will not have anything else than the food provided in the package, for one cup of tea or coffee could well cost Rs. 250.
As we travelled through the desert like terrains, we were pointed to Mount Tabor at a distance. Since our bus could not go up the small mountain road, we did not visit the church built over the site (Church of the Transfiguration or Church of the Savior managed by Franciscan fathers - link1, link 2) where the Bible says Jesus got transformed.
Our last destination of the day was Cana, where Jesus performed his first miracle. (Link)The Shrine of our lady's First Miracle(Wedding church) in the village of Cana preserves earthen jars of believed to be of Christ's period. The house where Jesus is believed to have performed the miracle of turning water into wine is preserved in the basement of the church.
The church provides a rare opportunity for couples to renew their wedding vows. Being a lone traveller, I could do it only in my mind. Instead I performed the role of the photographer for Thampy maash and Rosy, thus catching up their wedding which I missed. Fr. Sleeba lead the ceremony. After the renewing of the wow, you can have certificate for the same at the payment of a fee. After the visit to the church we stopped at a shop opposite to the church to shop for some bottles of the famous Cana wine.
A word should be mentioned here of the courtesy with which drivers here welcomed the tourists. throughout the journey, except in Egypt, the drivers were so patient not to bang their horn to allow the last pedestrian crossed the road, even when we crossed in group of 50.

Our day two in the Holy land ended with our stay in Rimonim Inn, Nazareth. We can not forget the buffet dinner in the basement restaurant of the hotel where a fabulous dinner was served with people from different nations sharing the same food.

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