Archive for the ‘Israel’ Category

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Day Two Hundred and Eighty Eight: Many Churches

November 5, 2012

Weather: 27oC
Money: $15 lunch
Current city: Jerusalem
Days left: 26

Last day in Israel today, which is weird. So fast it’s gone! Tomorrow we are in Jordan and the next day we are back in London – my favourite!

We had a very full day today, finishing off all our jobs in Jerusalem. Our first and most wonderful stop for the day was in the Garden Tomb. This is the area that Jesus was crucified in and where his tomb was. They aren’t sure obviously, but this is a very educated guess. This was nice because almost all of the other places we’ve been have been SO crowded and full of touristy rubbish and this was peaceful with other nice people. We had communion in the garden which was also beautiful.

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We walked all day today, so our next walk took us to the Via Dolorosa again. We did a different section today, and passed some of the stations of the cross. This part was annoyingly crowded. Ahh well.

Our next destination was the Church of the Holy Sepulca. This is the church that is completely over the top, but is the traditional site for the tomb of Jesus. It’s not nice. I don’t like what they do to their churches. They feel gross. I much prefer the normal, peaceful places! Inside this church was the Ethiopian church, dedicated to the Queen of Sheba who came over to visit King Solomon. I was happy to leave this church, and I reckon there were a thousand people in there when we were. Meh.

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We also visited the place of the last supper, now a church (of course)!

One church that we visited was Christ Church which is an Anglican Church. It was nice. We listened to a presentation from a lady about their role in Jerusalem and then sat down in the garden for a while and enjoyed the sun. Very nice!

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We walked from there to the Tower of David, which is a museum on the history of Jerusalem, inside David’s citadel. It was very interesting, and we watched a good movie that told the history very well, in a refreshingly delicious air conditioned room. The views from the top of the tower were also really nice.

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We had lunch in the Armenian quarter. It was a nice change from the buffets and felafel we’ve been having! It was fresh vegetables and meat and pita. Yum.

The last stop for the day was Ciaphas the high priests house. It is where Jesus was flogged and held before he was crucified. It is also the place where Peter denied Jesus three times.

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I think we probably walked 4352 steps today. Therefore, I am tired. Ah.

Goodnight y’all!

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Day Two Hundred and Eighty Seven: Holocaust Museum

November 4, 2012

Weather: 27oC
Money: $12 lunch + $6 thing

Our time in Israel is very quickly coming to an end! Just one more day and then a day in Jordan, and that’s it. That means I’m home in less than a month. Pardon? That’s crazy.

So, today we went to the Holocaust Museum. It was really good. In a weird way. It’s kind of like a culmination of a long journey around Europe, following the trials of the Jewish nation. Today, to see the museum in the Jewish homeland was good. Hard, you know, like museums about the holocaust are, but good.

After lunch at the museum, we headed into the old city again, through the Armenian quarter and into the Jewish quarter to do some shopping. We checked out a few art shops and then wandered into the Arab quarter markets. I bought a bowl thing from a creepy guy who wanted to take me to the beach and give me a massage. Gross. He was gross. He got cranky when I wouldn’t give him a hug when I left. No thanks.

This afternoon we’ve just had a relax and I finally found some free wifi, although I did have to walk a block and then stand in an odd place. We had dinner and then had a nice time, all together sharing about our learnings from Israel. It was nice.

The end.

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Day Two Hundred and Eighty Six: Dome of the Rock

November 3, 2012

Weather: 33oC
Money: $10 lunch + $4 ice cream

It’s 12:10am and we’ve just arrived back at the hotel after a pretty intense day in Jerusalem. Our day started in a line in front of the Dung Gate, where we stayed for almost two hours. We were lining up to get into the temple complex where the Dome of the Rock lives. The Muslims now control the area and have done since 700ish AD. The dome is built over the place where they believe that Mohammed ascended into heaven. We couldn’t go in there, but it’s a very pretty building from the outside. The main building for the Muslims in Jerusalem is next to the dome and its called ??. It’s their third main site in the world after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Araba. They ended up kicking us out because they were closing for prayers or something but before they did, I got a photo of the Beautiful Gate which I told you about yesterday, where Jesus will return through. Cool.

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We walked out of the complex and we were in the Arab quarter of the old city of Jerusalem. The windy streets are filled with Arab people and little stores. It’s a pretty cool environment, but not the safest feeling place. We went into a St Anne’s church which is where Mary was apparently born. While that event doesn’t excite me much, the church had incredible acoustics and different tourist groups were singing hymns and other songs. It sounded beautiful. We didn’t sing. We should have, but we are only small. Just outside this church are the pools of Bethesda. These are mentioned in the bible as being a place of healing. In the gospels, Jesus tells a man to get up and walk after his 30 years worth of paralysis meant he could never get himself into the waters of the pool.

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We walked along the Via Dolorosa, the same path that Jesus walked on his way to crucifixion. We also stopped at the site (now a church) where Jesus was given his cross to hpcarry and crown of thorns. We also saw the place where it is thought that Pontius Pilate passed the judgement on Jesus.

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Jacob knew of a place where we could get good views out over the Arab quarter, So we entered the Austrian hospice and climbed lots of stairs. When we arrived at the top, the Muslim call to prayer was sounding. That is an unbelievable noise. From up there, we could clearly hear three different prayer calls, all loud and chant like. It was pretty cool. Sometimes in places, you might as well be at home because it feels the same. This certainly does not!

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We made our way out of the Arab quarter and into the Jewish quarter. It’s a totally different feel, it’s a lot cleaner and calmer and nicer. Weird. Today they were doing Barmitzfa. I think it might happen on the first day of each month, but that’s a guess. There were parades of people everywhere though, marching, singing and clapping to drums, trumpets, saxophones and the shofurs (rams horns). I got one on video. I feel sorry for the 12 year old boy, it must be very embarrassing! But the celebration was really cool and sitting in a square and people watching today was probably my favourite thing.

After eating lunch and doing some shopping in the Jewish quarter, we exited back through the Dung Gate and walked down the mountain (Moriah) to the City of David, which is the very first kart if Jerusalem. Basically this is a lot of ruins, and some caves. We got to walk through Hezekiah’s tunnel, which was a water supply back in the day. It’s a narrow tunnel (my hips touched the sides for a fair bit of it) that is not as tall as me for lots of parts, filled knee deep with water. The tunnel went for about a kilometre (my guess) and it was very dark, but certainly an amazing experience. Half the group opted to walk a different way which didn’t include getting wet, but I’m glad I did it!

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We returned to the hotel for a few hours for a rest and dinner and then went out again at 9. We had a booking to see the tunnels of the Western Wall and I think that was the only time we could get in. The Western Wall is off the show. Jewish people, praying at the wall. It was a very surreal experience, one of those ‘crap, I’m in Israel’ moments. It’s really hard to express the way it made me feel seeing the Jews at the wall. Thankful, I guess, for freedom in Jesus. I’ll go with that for simplicity sake.

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This photo was earlier in the day. The evening was the same, just darker!

The tunnel we saw runs along the length of the wall, but under the level that they pray at. It’s actually under the Muslim quarter and used to be roads and many other things in the last 3000 or more years. They are carefully excavating and finding more cool things all the time.

I’m tired now. So much walking and stairs today! Whoa!

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Day Two Hundred and Eighty Five: Bethlehem

November 3, 2012

Weather: 25oC
Money: $10 lunch
Current city: Jerusalem

Well, I am writing again, and therefore, I am alive. Actually, we had no hassles at all in Bethlehem, despite the warnings. Which is lucky!

Our first stop of the day today was a museum here in Jerusalem. The museum is home to the Dead Sea Scrolls. Well, supposedly it is, although we only saw one small section of it. The actual museum was very nice though, with good information on the discovery of the scrolls in the caves at Qumran (where we went the other day). It turns out that all of the Old Testament, with the exception of Esther and Nehemiah was found in the caves, although with other writings from the time. That’s incredible. The museum also has a large model of Jerusalem, as it would have looked 2000 years ago. Jacob later took us the place which looked out over the city in the same way we looked over the model. Pretty decent!

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Our next stop was at two churches that were next door to each other. The first was a weird little round building that was enclosed by walls all around. Apparently it’s run by Muslims but is a Christian church. It’s a bit confusing, but they say it’s the site from which Jesus ascended into heaven. While we were there, there were people crouching down into a hole to kiss the ground where Jesus apparently stood. It’s very strange and feels pretty crazy. So religious, and we know how I hate religion. It’s like they don’t understand that Jesus was all about freedom and they are caught up in ritual. But, that’s a message for another day.

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The second of the churches is also supposedly the site from where Jesus ascended into heaven. Jacob told us that this is the real site and it was ‘moved’ to the other church to separate it from the other thing that happened in that church. I think it was just to make more money. The other thing that happened in this church was that it is apparently the site where Jesus taught his disciples to pray. The ‘Our Father’ prayer is written around the courtyard of the church in 144 different languages. Jacob did a reading of the prayer in Hebrew and Aramaic for us, which was lovely. This church was built by Constantine and his mother Helena in 326AD.

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Our next stop was beautiful views of the city of Jerusalem. Lovely! Want to know something? Well, in this first photo here, there is a gate you can see, it’s closed off. This is the gate where Jesus will come through when he returns for his bride in the last days. Those sneaky Muslims have built a cemetery in front of the gate (it’s massive) because according to some tradition, you cannot enter through a cemetery. They think that will stop him. Bahaha no. That’s probably not at all theologically sound. So, sorry, if you know different to this.

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We walked down the Mount of Olives to toward a Franciscan burial site of the earliest Christians. It’s the site where Jesus wept too. There’s a church there that’s shaped like a tear. How lovely.

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Our next stop, and probably my favourite of the day was the Garden of Gethsemane. There are these crazy old olive trees, maybe 2000 year old, and maybe the exact ones. If only those trees could talk! The Garden of Gethsemane was where Jesus prayed that Gods will would be done, even when he knew it would end in his death (for a few days, anyway!).

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We got of the bus and headed to Bethlehem next. As I said yesterday, it was added in at the last minute. I though it would be a while away, but it’s actually next door to Jerusalem, basically just separated by the wall. It probably took only about half an hour to get there. We went to two different places in Bethlehem. One was the Shepherd’s Field, where we also had lunch. I was a bit confused with the explanation here. Either, this is the location where the shepherds were hanging out the night Jesus was born, or it’s where Jesus was actually born. It was a nice garden area, with caves in it that where used as homes and stables.

Our last stop in Bethlehem was at the Church of the Nativity. I actually found this to be pretty average. The church looked like an antique stop, so much junky stuff hanging around. The place where Jesus was supposedly born was down some stairs in a cave under the church. It was very decorated and shrine like, I didn’t really enjoy it at all. To be fair, I don’t really care where he was born. Sorry. Actually, something I found fascinating about this church was that all the churches were destroyed by the Muslims in the early years. This one wasn’t destroyed because of the mosaics on the walls. They apparently recognised something in the pictures of the Wise Men that resembled their culture that was worth preserving. Interesting yes!

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That’s all the tourism for today – we had an early minute! I had a nice hot chocolate and chat with Carmel that was very lovely. Then dinner, buffet! And obviously I am in a writing mood, judging by the size of this today. Maybe I’ll go start my book.

Much love y’all!

Oh, PS, just found another photo for you. This is the wall around the walled section of the West Bank. I wonder when it will go the way of the Berlin Wall? And, some fun labelling.

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Day Two Hundred and Eighty Four: Carmel for Carmel

November 2, 2012

Weather: 32oC
Money: $10 lunch
I’m sick of buffets.

I am sick of buffets, it’s true. But, it’s probably the healthiest we’ve eaten all year, so I guess it’s ok! So much felafel and hummus! Shivers. I’m not gunna lie though, I do love it! I’m not so sure about massive salads for breakfast though.

Today was Carmel’s birthday and we celebrated by going to Mount Carmel. We left our hotel in Tiberius headed west to the city of Haifa. Basically we drove through Haifa on our way up Mount Carmel. More info on Haifa coming soon!

We stopped at a view point half way up Mount Carmel and we also visited a church that is home to the cave that Elijah hid in when he was running away from Jezabel after killing the prophets of Baal. More is coming on that too! I still think its weird that they put temples over their sites. It’s almost like people were worshiping the cave. That’s not cool. So religious! Yuck. Here are some view and church photos!

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So Haifa is home to the mausoleum holding the founder of the Baha’i religion. There are also a lot of Baha’i people there in the city. Anyway, the mausoleum is pretty elaborate and the gardens are just beautiful. They are incredibly well maintained and no one is allowed to walk in them! The view from there over the Mediterranean was lovely, such a pretty day.

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Our next stop was on the summit of Mount Carmel. I found this one really cool. It’s the place that is spoken of in 1 Kings 18 (also mentioned above) where Elijah defeated the prophets of Baal (killing over 400 people). In the story, both the Elijah and the prophets try to prove that their God is the real deal by sacrificing a bull and having the gods burn it up. The Baal prophets have no luck (of course) and Elijah’s offering is burned up by the true God. Then Elijah kills them all. But later he runs from Jezabel (the wife of Ahab – we saw their palace yesterday of the day before – it’s all fitting together!) and he hides in the cave shown above! Woo! So, the photos here are of the alter that was built fairly recently as a replica of Elijah’s alter. There’s also a fighter plane (they are a regular site) and a photo of the plains of Megiddo where the battle of Armageddon will play out!
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Speaking of Megiddo, that was our next stop. It’s a city of ruins that has been conquered, destroyed and rebuilt at least 25 times in the years prior to the 4th century BC. They built on top of the ruins each time, and they are starting to uncover ruin upon ruins the further down they dig. It’s cool. There is no water supply in the actual city, however, so in times of war, their water supply could be cut off. So, we got to go through the tunnel system that used to lead to the spring outside the city from within the city walls. It was nice and cool 183 steps under the ground!

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Next we went to Caesarea which is right on the beach and is apparently a very expensive place to live these days. We visited the ruins there. I think these were mostly build by Herod the Great. There is a huge amphitheatre, and also a hippodrome. The gardens here were lovely too. These Israelis do gardens well!

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Our last stop before arriving in Jerusalem for our night stop was an aqueduct. It was cool, but we got to paddle in the water, which was wonderful. So refreshing.

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We’re in Jerusalem for five nights. Tomorrow we head into the walled part of the West Bank (the dangerous bit) where we get to go to Bethlehem. This wasn’t originally on the itinerary, so it’s really cool that we get to go there. I did just get a warning about going there by smarttraveler.gov, but I’m sure we’ll be ok. If I die, love you and bye.

Xxx

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Day Two Hundred and Eighty Three: Beatitudes and Sea of Galilee

October 30, 2012

Weather: 35oC
Money: tour + $18 lunch
Current city: Tiberius

We started the morning today with a boat cruise on the Sea of Galilee. It’s just a small sea (more like a lake) of roughly 15km by 20km. The boat we went on was a replica of the fishing boats that were used by the fishermen that Jesus called to be his disciples. The cruise was lovely, and we even had a “beautiful pray in the sea” (quote tour leader Jacob). The Sea of Galilee was where Jesus and Peter walked on water, where Jesus calmed the storm and where he called the first disciples. It was really beautiful and the sun was shining. So good. Yes.

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There is a museum at the point where we exited the boat which we visited next. In the museum, there is a boat displayed that was discovered in the mud around the sea. It is from around 2000 years ago and shows the boats they would have used. Maybe it was even a boat that Jesus has been on! That was all that was in the museum, except we did “make shopping” in the souvenir store there!

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Our next destination was the Mount of Beatitudes where Jesus delivered his famous message. The area apparently used to be quite rugged and rocky, but now it’s beautifully landscaped and very nice.

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Just a short way down the road was the church of the feeding the multitudes miracle. I don’t think that’s what it’s called. But it’s the site where the five fishes and two loaves were used to feed the 5000 people. In the photo, the rock under the table is apparently the place where the multiplication miracle took place and needless to say, a church has been built around the site.

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Also nearby was Peter’s church. It is where his hometown was, and it is one of the places that Jesus appeared to his disciples after he had risen. It was at this place on the Sea of Galilee that the disciples were fishing and hadn’t caught anything and Jesus told them to throw the net into the other side. Their massive catch was then used for a good old breakfast cook up. Finally, it’s where Jesus asked Peter three times if he loved him and commanded him to feed his sheep.

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Capernaum was the last destination of the day. This is the city that Jesus was based in. He set up here because it was on the route from the east, across the sea into Mesopotamia. It is where the fist ever church was built! Woo! Of course, it’s all in ruins now, because that’s what happens these days!

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Sometime during the day, we stopped for a traditional lunch of fish from the Sea of Galilee. It was very delicious. Hum, I want that now!

Also, the Jordan River where Jesus was baptised.

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Tonight after getting back to the hotel, we went swimming at the spa complex. There were three pools in varying degrees of heat and two different saunas. It was pretty nice and relaxing!

We move on tomorrow, back to Jerusalem. Pretty keen!

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Day Two Hundred and Eighty Two: Tank

October 29, 2012

Weather: 34oC
Money: tour + $11 lunch

Hey hey! Hope the delayed blog posting is ok for my you, my avid fans. Sorry! I have many things to tell you about today. I’ve started talking notes as we go to various locations because I can’t remember all the crazy names. How grown up of me!

Our first stop for the day was at Tel Hazor. This is more ruins, and was built and used by various people. The village was burned down by Joshua and friends, then used by King Solomon, and finally it was improved and used by Ahab and Jezabel. The area we specifically visited today was the palace and water cistern. I like ruins a lot. But, sometimes they are hard to picture as the real thing!

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Tel Dan was our next destination. It’s is a nature reserve with more ruins. The Dan River is located in the reserve and it supplies a lot of the water in the Jordan River. We did a nice walk through the reserve, admiring all the trees. After the deserts in the South, the North is amazingly green and lovely. It was cool, even in the heat of the day. One of the coolest things about this reserve was that we could see into Lebanon. One city we could see is on Lebanese land, governed by Israel and inhabited by Syrians. Imagine that! It’s crazy.

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After a lunch stop in a weird little community, we headed to Banias, which used to be known as Caesarea. This is the place where Peter stated that Jesus was the Messiah, and where Jesus answered him that Peter would be the rock on which the church would be built (Matt 16: 17-18). This place has also been identified as the place where Jesus healed the woman with the blood issue.

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Our last stop was at a tank regiment. I think it’s the memorial site where the Lebanese invaded Israel at the same time as the Egyptians invaded from the South in the 1970s. There was actually a memorial service taking place when we were there. Basically all we did was take some photos with the tanks!

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Here’s a sea view from the room for ya!

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Day Two Hundred and Eighty One: Nazareth

October 28, 2012

Weather: 30oC
Money: tour + $14 lunch
Churches visited today: 6

Today has been a day of many churches, many many. It’s been a full on day with lots of walking, but that’s ok!

We started out by driving to Mt Tabor. We were shuttled to the top by taxis, and then admired the crazy view. Mt Tabor is believed to be the site of the transfiguration where Jesus talked with Elijah and Moses. It’s the tallest hill in the area and overlooks a massive area. There is a church on the top with three triangle peaks to represent Jesus, Elijah and Moses. There were also nice gardens and about a billion tourists.

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Next we went to the site where Jesus did his first miracle which was to turn water into wine at the wedding. Something good or maybe bad, is that all the sites where anything happened now have a church, synagogue or mosque on top of them. It means they are preserved, but it’s really hard to imagine them in the context they would have been in. On the way to this site, we passed Jesus’ disciple, Nathaniel’s house, which is actually a church, on top of where his house was. It’s pretty cool to imagine that these people, which we know so much stuff about had homes and regular lives.

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Speaking of homes, this here is a small Palestinian village where Jonah was from. Remember Jonah and the whale?!

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Next we ventured into the city of Nazareth, which is a a pretty small city really, and in the day of Jesus it had a pretty average reputation! The first site we went to was a church(!) which is believed to be where the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary to tell her she was having a baby. There was also a well in that church, but I didn’t know the significance of that, but many people were there taking photos and drinking the water from it.

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Another home we visited today was in one of the most epic churches ever. It was very elaborate and very beautiful. The outside was deigned to look like a pyramid and they had a lot of mosaics, donated from many different countries. Australia’s was one of the better ones! The home belonged to Mary and her family. After Jesus was born and they returned from hiding out in Egypt, Mary, Joseph and Jesus lived in that house.

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Just down the road from that church was another church which had inside it the place that is believed to have been Joseph’s carpentry shop. Crazy times!

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Our last stop for the day, and probably my favourite from today was called Nazareth Village. It’s a replica of how things would have looked back in the day of Jesus. It was even equipped with little Arab people who were spinning wool, feeding sheep, picking olives and making garden tools! The houses were stone and basically built into the hills and there was an actual wine press from the time. There was also a donkey grinding olives and an olive press. The girl who gave the presentation was really good!

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Ahh man. Tonight we went for a little walk and had dinner in the hotel. Now it’s 9pm and I’m probably going to go to sleep!

Xx

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Day Two Hundred and Eighty: Qumran, Zachaeus and a Camel

October 28, 2012

Weather: 40oC
Money: tour + $15 lunch
Hours on a bus: 10

After an earlyish start, we headed to Qumran National Park. It wasn’t far from where we were (maybe an hour or so) and I was pleased we got to go there. Aside from it being an ancient Essene community (now ruins), it was where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in 1947-1956. The scrolls were discovered in caves above the city by archeologists when they were excavating the site. They were preserved in jars and could last more than 2000 years because of the climate and dryness. The scrolls contained parts of the Old Testament and writings from the Essene people. I think that’s pretty incredible.

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We continued through the Jordan Valley and stopped in Jericho. The first place we visited was the tree that Jesus found Zachaeus the tax collecter in. I’m not sure it was the actual tree, but it was a nice sycamore tree anyway!

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While still in Jericho, we went up to see the mount of temptation, where Jesus was tempted by the devil the first and second time. The third time was in Jerusalem. There was a camel there, and he was smiling. The guy was offering rides but we declined. I liked him and have been laughing about it most of the day. Look at his smile!

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On the way out of Jericho, we pulled over to the side of the road to take photos at the old city. It’s is where Joshua marched seven times around the walls and they fell down.

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Our next stop was in the region of Galilee at Jacob’s Well. I also think this was pretty incredible. This is the well where Jesus met the Samaritan woman and offered her his living water, water that meant she would never be thirsty again (life in him). They have built a church over the top of it (the first Christian church we’ve seen) and we weren’t allowed to take photos. But it’s in the dark passageway shown in these photos.

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The last stop for the day was at Sebastia which was some more ruins. These were built in the time of Herod and then more was added on during Septimus Sevelius’ reign. This is also known as the place where Silome danced for the head of John the Baptist.

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We had an interesting event happen on the way to our night stop. We we’ve been in the West Bank for the last few days and all day today. There are strict controls coming back into Israeli territory after being in the West Bank but the check point we came to was closed. We couldn’t get through and I thought for a minute we’d have to sleep in the bus! In the end, we had to detour about two hours to go through another check point which was open. Phew!

For the next four nights we are staying in Tiberius on the Sea of Galilee. Our room is cute, but we didn’t get a fruit platter and chocolates like Carmel and Amy did. Bit unfair, I think!

That’s all!

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Day Two Hundred and Seventy Nine: Dead Sea

October 26, 2012

Weather: 43oC
Money: tour + $8
Current location: 400m below sea level, Dead Sea

So, it was pretty hot today and we celebrated by walking a lot. It didn’t feel too hot though, which is lucky. Our first stop for the day was Masada. It’s a plateau on top of a mountain on the shore of the Dead Sea, in the Judean Desert. On Masada is a palace and fortress that was built by King Herod. The history is a lot more complicated that that with sieges and conquests and stuff, but it’s confusing.

The site is a whole bunch of ruins, which is not that unique, but it’s location on the top of a mountain was awesome. There are thick walls around the edge of the plateau to stop intruders entering and lots of sections including a synagogue, bath houses, store houses and of course, the palace itself. The actual palace is carved out of the side of the mountain in three tiers and would’ve taken an incredible amount of work and time. There was an epic aqueduct system to get water up the mountain. Herod used the palace as an an escape from enemies and also as a winter palace. From the top, the views over the Dead Sea and the Jordan mountains is amazing. Especially today, it was so clear and blue. Beautiful!

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We left Masada and headed to Araba. It’s is like a rift between some mountains which has waterfalls. We climbed for quite a while (15 of 17 of us in thongs – very obvious Australianism) up steep steps to reach the top waterfall which is named after King David. It’s believed to be the site where he hid in the cave from King Saul (before David became king) because Saul wanted to kill him.

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It’s pretty incredible seeing this stuff, I might add. I’ve read about it and ‘know’ the information, but to see these places in person is a pretty intense experience. Very good.

We had the afternoon off today and took the opportunity to go swimming in the Dead Sea. This is something that is certainly a unique experience! They recommend that you walk in until you can squat in the water and then lean back. We certainly looked like tourists today as we all leant back into the water. It’s so buoyant! The salt content is around 33% and it feels thick, kind of like jelly. And even when in the water, you feel all slimy. And, it stung. All over. Eczema, cracked feet, old burn, rashy patches, and shaved legs… Ouch. I only stayed in about 15 minutes, but it was fun – just floating around. Ahh. We finished off our swimming experience in the hotel pool which was a lot more refreshing!

We’ve got another long driving day tomorrow, ending up at the Sea of Galilee!