Day 2, Part 2:

From Cana we drove to the Orthodox Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth, where we saw the well where the Angel Gabriel appeared to the Virgin Mary.  We had to move through quickly, since a funeral was about to be performed in the church, but we will return tomorrow for more reflection and possibly a meeting with their Bishop.  Nazareth is a mostly Arab town, with about 30-40% of it Christian, and the majority of the Christians being Orthodox.  The church, though under the Patriarchate and a Greek Orthodox Church, had almost everything written and spoken in Arabic, to reflect its very active congregation.  

From this church we walked to the nearby Roman Catholic Basilica of the Annunciation, where the Virgin Mary lived.  It was quite moving to see the humble space carved from the rocks, below the street level, surrounded by the foundation of a Byzantine church, and with the Basilica and an attached monastery built over the top of it.  In the courtyard of the church were icons of the Panagia in styles from all over the world.

We walked through the streets of Nazareth to our hotel, stopping to browse at the few shops that were still open by the late afternoon.  It was a busy day, with so many experiences in just a few hours.  We are all ready to get a good night’s sleep to help get over our jet lag and start another day tomorrow.