Today we woke up in a wonderful hotel near Petra, Jordan. After breakfast we boarded the bus and made our way to the ancient site. […]
After an early wake up call and breakfast, we left the hotel at 7:00 a.m. to head to the border with Jordan. We crossed the Allenby bridge, named in honor of British General Edmund Allenby, and began our time in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
Today we headed into the Old City of Jerusalem. We began at a place just past St. Stephens Gate – St. Anne’s Church. The church is located beside the excavation of the pools of Bethesda which is featured in an important story of the New Testament:
We were all very excited to head to the Western Wall this morning! The bus dropped us off near the city gates and we walked to the Western Wall.
We had another beautiful day of weather in the Holy Land! We started the day in the Garden of Gethsemane. It is a quiet place of prayer now as it was in the time of Christ.
We left our hotel by the Sea of Galilee and drove to Jerusalem. There was a noticeable change in scenery from the green, fertile fields of the northern part of Israel to the dry, rocky hills of the southern part. We went to a scenic overlook by Hebrew University to get a first look at the city and get a good look at it.
We began our day with a delicious breakfast buffet at our hotel in Tiberias. We left for Caesarea Phillipi, a historical site in northernmost Israel. The weather couldn’t have been better. Caesarea Phillipi is situated at the base of Mount Hermon. There is a large cave and a major spring that feeds into the Jordan River. The cave looks like a large mouth on the mountain and in ancient time was given the name “The Gates of Hell”. At the time of Jesus it was a place of pagan worship – specifically the Greek god Pan. On the side of the mountain we could see the niches carved into the rock where statues of various gods would be placed. It was to this very place that Jesus brought His disciples and asked them who they thought He was. Peter proclaimed, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God.”
Our first full day in Israel started off strong. We went to the ancient port city of Caesarea. The city is located on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea. It was developed by King Herod the Great who used a technique from Rome that allowed concrete to be created underwater.