Monday, October 27, 2008

A day of contrasts

“This is so delicious!” S gleefuly declared.

Not from where I stood, thank you very much.

There were many places I’d rather have been than on top of a very exposed archaeological mound dotted with the occasional wind-blown palm tree, with dark clouds gathering overhead and the menacing sound of thunder rolling ever closer.


It didn’t help, either, that the place was called Har Megiddo – the biblical Armageddon – and overlooked the plain where, according to John in Revelation, the final battle at the end of the world would take place between God’s mighty army and the forces of evil.IMG_5836 Delicious?

I’d rather reserve that description for our lunch, at a cafe in a Druze village – tabbouleh, hommus, fresh bread, salads, a sweet dish of chicken and rice spiced with cinnamon, and cardamom-fragrant coffee in tiny glasses.IMG_5824 Our morning had begun in sunshine, exploring the ruins of the vast pleasure palace Herod built on prime real estate on the beach in Caesarea Maritima.  IMG_5808 Stables, a hippodrome, an amphitheatre, public toilets, even a swimming pool supplied with fresh water from an aqueduct – all were pointers to the decadent lifestyle of a hated ruler.  IMG_5803 In coming here, too, we were able to complete the story of Peter and the centurion (Acts 10:23-48) begun in Joppa two days ago.IMG_5807 IMG_5806Then we drove up to Mount Carmel where Elijah had his face-off with the prophets of Baal.

The gloom over Har Megiddo gradually cleared after only a smattering of rain, and as the sun emerged I imagined God smiling to himself and whispering, “Ha!  Just kidding!”

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