Israel 2012 – Day 5

Today was travel day, I even became a little grumpy after being in the bus for a while.   After spending 3 days in Tiberias, it was time to head home to Jerusalem.   Our final picture before heading out together.

One interesting thing we saw was some people hitch hiking.   Here is a good description of seeing Israel “By Thumb” http://wikitravel.org/en/Israel  (Search for Thumb). It’s rather interesting, I was discouraged to not try this while in Israel. J

More beautiful scenery.

Our first stop was Mt Carmel.  It was where Elijah and Baal prophets met.  1 Kings 18:20-39 has the complete story. J

Elijah statue

As always, looking for interesting pics

Jesus hand carved into a cross.

I learned what the Druze was.   Not that you can trust Wikipedia, but here is more information.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Druze

This is thorns, just image these were similar potentially to the crown of thorns Jesus had put on his head. Ouch!  They are about 2 inches long.

The next place we headed was Caesarea, along the Mediterranean.   The city was built as a gift to Rome.  There was an Aqua Duct from the mountains that brought water to the city, which was very large.  It was impressive they built a 30,000 person amphitheater.   The Aqua Duct was made from what looked like petrified sand.

 

Yup, that is oil.

Actual figurines

Herod…

After we left, we had a 2+ our drive on a divided highway, which was a toll road.   What you see is an electric fence.  You hear about “settlements” being built, it’s them. 

Hmm, wonder if they are doing some top secret here, no idea.

This is us coming into Jerusalem.  It was quite different than being in the country side of Tiberias, Megiddo and others in the north east.

These are sound ducts.

Soccer stadium being built

More scenery

Going through the checkpoint headed into Bethlehem.  It’s controlled by the Palastini Authority.  As the sign indicates, they don’t like the locals.  One thing I did learn no matter where you went, what type of religion, the one language that is universal is, “Money”.     

We had lunch here.

After 4 days of resisting buying any souvenirs, we stopped by the Bethlehem Souvenir shop.  http://www.bethlehemsouvenir.com/home.php  Their stuff was very cool and VERY expensive! J    I purchased a nativity scene from Bethlehem, how often does a person from Michigan make it to Bethlehem!  It’s made out of olive wood. 

 

They had many extraordinary pieces, if you are looking for good stuff, I’d recommend checking out their website, if you make it there, definitely go and see their merchandise.   Here are some of my favorite pieces.  The pieces are hand carved.  It’s probably the neatest piece we saw.  They quoted me 25k, someone else I heard 20k, either way, it’s a bit pricey. It is darn cool though!  I’ll leave the negotiation up to you. J

Have a few spare thousand?!

I bought a Jerusalem cross, a cross for my desk and a couple of coffee mugs for my parents.    Here is their sign.

I liked this, they have more pics on their website. 

The Inn that didn’t have more room for Jesus! J  Just kidding….

Bethlehem

Church of the Nativity.   We knew after visiting this place, people were more common and lines to see stuff became more obvious.

You had to bend down to enter the church.

These things hanging became common, I learned they were common among orthodox ( I think, I would ask an expert to confirm)  There was a long line to go see the place where Jesus could have been born, we passed on it. 

Sanctuary

This room was a place a ‘famous person Jerome?!’ who translated the bible to Latin, or it’s believed to. 

The next place we headed was Shepherds field, it was where it’s believed the shepherds were at when the angel of the Lord told them about the birth.  Read Luke 2:8

Here is a cave, Jesus would have taught in (or so I recall)

As we were leaving, we saw a little boy and his mom “thumbing it”

Pretty clouds

The last place we visited was special to Dr Williams and was pretty cool to.   He mentioned while visiting Israel his first time (I think), he received a call from God to have tours to Israel.  This was in 1958 and received it at this very location.    Here is also a great picture Kim Sutton took, which I missed, thanks Kim!

Doesn’t this look like Times Square in New York?

Notice there is no one lined up to visit these places. 

And we made it to Jerusalem.  I was a bit grumpy, Stacy Hall, Clinton and Bart Hall got to listen to me whine a bit, I was just ready to be in Jerusalem (Are we there yet!)  Then another person in the group mentioned they were on a tour in Europe visiting things with Dr. Williams in the spring, a ride between places was 6 hours, so I figured 2+ hours wasn’t bad.  What I didn’t realize the next 3 days, we’d be walking a tad more.

 

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