Sunday, May 20, 2012

A Tale of Two Parks

We have a membership this year that gets us into many, many National Parks "for free". It has been such a worthwhile purchase, because a family the size of ours gets their money's worth within 4 park visits. And we've been to many more than four!

Our last two park visits were to the National Park at Cesearia, and to the National Park at Bet She'an. While both house ruins of ancient Roman cities, the two parks are so completely different.

Cesearia was spectacular because of the sea. The ruins - eh. But the sea. That was gorgeous, blue, the Mediterranean... there is something so calming and wonderful about the sea. It's different from the ocean. When we lived in Florida, we used to go to the beach and bask in the glory of the Atlantic Ocean, which is stormier, rougher, larger, more overwhelming than the Mediterranean Sea...

Bet She'an is in a very, very, low valley. Quite far from the sea. It is hot and muggy and a place I had planned to go to in winter, not once summer had unofficially arrived. But today wasn't supposed to be quite as hot, and we decided to go to Bet She'an when it would still be bearable...

Bet She'an's ruins were spectacular. The earthquake that destroyed the city so many centuries ago also managed to bury enough of the ruins that so much was still intact. The ampitheater. That was amazing. The columned streets. Incredible. Looking down below at the main columned road after climbing the Tel, you could really see that this city was something special. And we got to discuss that with the kids. That despite Rome's power, might, architectural feats, etc, all that marble and basalt stone couldn't withstand Hashem's earthquake. And Rome eventually crumbled, and yet... here we are today. Still here. In Israel. In the Land of the Jews. In our Land... It was truly spectacular.

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