Although several of our Canadian friends arrived late in the evening, most of us gathered after dinner for some introductory remarks from host Gideon Levytam. We began the meeting with a song... ---------- ----- We began our first full day of touring with the Dead Sea area. First stop-Qumran. ----- DSC 0007 ----- DSC 0014 ----- DSC 0020 ----- DSC 0029 ----- DSC 0040 ----- DSC 0048 ----- Next stop-Ein Gedi. ----- DSC 0071 ----- DSC 0074 ----- DSC 0082 ----- DSC 0088 ----- Our next stop of the day was Masada. ----- DSC 0093 ----- DSC 0095 ----- DSC 0097 ----- DSC 0104 ----- DSC 0117 ----- DSC 0119 ----- DSC 0128 ----- DSC 0144 ----- DSC 0159 ----- DSC 0166 ----- DSC 0169 ----- DSC 0172 ----- DSC 0177 ----- DSC 0185 ----- DSC 0190 ----- Our last stop before Eilat was the salt formation named "Lot's Wife". ----- DSC 0195 ----- DSC 0197 ----- DSC 0203 ----- Tomorrow we will have Sababa in Eilat. Stay tuned...

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Today was our last full day of touring.----- We began with the Holocaust Memorial at Yad Vashem. ----- DSC 0002 ----- DSC 0009 ----- DSC 0010 ----- DSC 0016 ----- DSC 0020 ----- DSC 0031 ----- DSC 0033 ----- DSC 0038 ----- DSC 0039 ----- DSC 0041 ----- DSC 0050 ----- DSC 0052 ----- DSC 0066 ----- DSC 0073 ----- DSC 0079 ----- DSC 0088 ----- Our next stop was the Ela Valley where David slew Goliath. ----- DSC 0095 ----- DSC 0101 ----- DSC 0103 ----- DSC 0107 ----- DSC 0118 ----- DSC 0119 ----- DSC 0125 ----- DSC 0130 ----- After lunch in the Ela Valley, we stopped for aq quick visit to the bell caves at Bet Govrin. ----- DSC 0134 ----- DSC 0136 ----- DSC 0138 ----- DSC 0141 ----- DSC 0149 ----- We did some singing in the caves and had an audience of young people on a school trip. They joined us for a shores of Halelujah. ----- DSC 0151 ----- DSC 0155 ----- DSC 0167 ----- DSC 0178 ----- Last stop of the day was at Gideons sister and brother-in-laws home for refreshment and a time of fellowship. ----- DSC 0205 ----- DSC 0209 ----- DSC 0213 ----- DSC 0214 ----- DSC 0225 ----- DSC 0232 ----- Tomorrow we have the morning and early afternoon off, then our final tour- The Garden Tomb. After that, farewell dinner and the airport for our return home. We have had a fantastic time in Israel and Jordan. Check back in a few days for some final photos. Thanks for following along and for all the really nice comments on the trip and the photos. It has been my pleasure to post them for you all. Shalom, shalom...

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Today we toured the area in and around the Old CIty.----- First stop-the Garden of Gethsemane. ----- DSC 0348 ----- DSC 0355 ----- DSC 0358 ----- DSC 0362 ----- DSC 0371 ----- DSC 0376 ----- DSC 0387 ----- DSC 0390 ----- DSC 0394 ----- DSC 0432 ----- DSC 0438 ----- After a short bus ride to the top if the hill, we viewed Jerusalem from the Mt. of Olives and then walked back down the Palm Sunday trail to the Garden of Gethsemane. ----- DSC 0449 ----- DSC 0456 ----- DSC 0466 ----- DSC 0486 ----- We stopped along the way for a quick view of the Tomb of the Prophets. ----- DSC 0493 ----- DSC 0498 ----- DSC 0502 ----- DSC 0512 ----- DSC 0518 ----- DSC 0539 ----- DSC 0549 ----- In to the Old City for a visit to the Davidson Center and the Southern Steps. ----- DSC 0556 ----- DSC 0561 ----- DSC 0564 ----- DSC 0566 ----- DSC 0579 ----- DSC 0585 ----- DSC 0591 ----- DSC 0601 ----- DSC 0606 ----- DSC 0610 ----- DSC 0617 ----- DSC 0624 ----- DSC 0637 ----- DSC 0651 ----- DSC 0656 ----- DSC 0663 ----- We stopped on the way to lunch to view the Temple Menorah that the Temple Institute has on display. ----- DSC 0664 ----- DSC 0666 ----- DSC 0673 ----- Next up- a walk through the Muslim Quarter to the Pools of Bethesda. ----- DSC 0687 ----- DSC 0689 ----- DSC 0691 ----- DSC 0692 ----- DSC 0696 ----- DSC 0700 ----- DSC 0707 ----- DSC 0710 ----- DSC 0714 ----- We did some singing in the church. ----- DSC 0722 ----- DSC 0724 ----- DSC 0728 ----- DSC 0734 ----- We returned to the Western Wall for a time of prayer before our tour of the Western Wall Tunnel. ----- DSC 0741 ----- DSC 0746 ----- DSC 0752 ----- DSC 0755 ----- DSC 0766 ----- DSC 0770 ----- DSC 0772 ----- DSC 0778 ----- DSC 0787 ----- DSC 0796 ----- DSC 0799 ----- DSC 0804 ----- DSC 0818 ----- DSC 0825 ----- Tomorrow we tour the Holocaust Memorial at Yad Vashem and other sites around Jerusalem. Stay tuned.

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Today we left the Galilee area and headed south to Jerusalim.----- First stop was Mt. Tabor. ----- DSC 0011 ----- DSC 0014 ----- DSC 0018 ----- DSC 0021 ----- DSC 0034 ----- DSC 0048 ----- DSC 0052 ----- DSC 0069 ----- DSC 0061 ----- DSC 0058 ----- DSC 0085 ----- DSC 0092 ----- DSC 0099 ----- DSC 0107 ----- After a great time high atop Mt. Tabor, we continued through the Jezreel Valley to Har Megiddo. ----- DSC 0113 ----- DSC 0119 ----- DSC 0125 ----- DSC 0133 ----- DSC 0139 ----- DSC 0144 ----- DSC 0152 ----- DSC 0157 ----- DSC 0159 ----- DSC 0166 ----- DSC 0188 ----- DSC 0192 ----- DSC 0197 ----- DSC 0210 ----- DSC 0216 ----- DSC 0224 ----- DSC 0225 ----- DSC 0226 ----- DSC 0231 ----- After lunch we continued west for a stop at Mt. Carmel. ----- DSC 0241 ----- DSC 0250 ----- DSC 0247 ----- DSC 0258 ----- DSC 0264 ----- DSC 0270 ----- DSC 0276 ----- DSC 0295 ----- Our next stop was on the coast at Cesarea by-the-sea. ----- DSC 0304 ----- DSC 0307 ----- DSC 0310 ----- DSC 0322 ----- Our final stop before Jerusalem was at the aqueduct. Built by Herod, it supplied fresh water to Cesarea. ----- DSC 0325 ----- DSC 0330 ----- Tomorrow we tour the holy sites in and around the Old City. Stay tuned...

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Today we toured the Galilee area.----- First stop- Mt. of the Beatitudes. ----- DSC 0008 ----- DSC 0014 ----- DSC 0016 ----- DSC 0029 ----- DSC 0035 ----- DSC 0045 ----- DSC 0055 ----- Our next stop was Tabgha. The traditional spot of the loaves and fishes. ----- DSC 0062 ----- DSC 0064 ----- DSC 0071 ----- DSC 0081 ----- DSC 0094 ----- DSC 0098 ----- We made a quick trip to the Yigal Allon museum to catch our boat for a ride on the Sea of Galilee. ----- DSC 0110 ----- DSC 0117 ----- DSC 0122 ----- DSC 0130 ----- DSC 0133 ----- DSC 0148 ----- DSC 0154 ----- DSC 0166 ----- After a time of teaching and a great batch of worship songs by our boatman Daniel Carmel, we returned to shore. As we passed through the museum we stopped and visited the 2000 year old boat and did some shopping. ----- DSC 0190 ----- DSC 0193 ----- DSC 0195 ----- DSC 0199 ----- DSC 0208 ----- DSC 0213 ----- DSC 0216 ----- DSC 0220 ----- DSC 0224 ----- After a nice lunch of St. Peters fish, we headed to Capharnaum. ----- DSC 0227 ----- DSC 0228 ----- DSC 0229 ----- DSC 0234 ----- DSC 0247 ----- DSC 0248 ----- DSC 0252 ----- DSC 0265 ----- DSC 0271 ----- DSC 0277 ----- We headed north to visit a kibbutz on the Israel/Lebanon border to plant a couple trees and meet some IDF soldiers patrolling the border. ----- DSC 0281 ----- DSC 0300 ----- DSC 0312 ----- DSC 0323 ----- Our guide and host, Eitan. (Above) ----- DSC 0327 ----- DSC 0345 ----- DSC 0349 ----- DSC 0350 ----- DSC 0356 ----- On the border, we observed the UN peacekeeping forces and a (presumed) Hezbolla "farmer" watching us. This seems to be the standard procedure everyday on this part of the border. (Above) ----- DSC 0369 ----- DSC 0378 ----- We planted two kiwi trees in the grove. ----- DSC 0384 ----- DSC 0393 ----- DSC 0399 ----- DSC 0402 ----- DSC 0411 ----- After a great visit to the kibbutz, we returned to Tiberius and after dinner met some of our workers in Israel at a special meeting in the hotel. ----- DSC 0435 ----- DSC 0439 ----- DSC 0442 ----- Today was a great day and tomorrow we say goddby to the Galilee and head for Jerusalem. Stay tuned...

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Today we concluded our journey through Jordan.We didn't leave our hotel until noon to give everyone a chance to float in the Dead Sea. Here are some shots of the hotel and the swimming area. ----- DSC 0001 ----- DSC 0006 ----- First stop of the day- Bethany Beyond the Jordan. The baptism site on the Jordan river. ----- DSC 0030 ----- DSC 0033 ----- DSC 0034 ----- DSC 0041 ----- DSC 0048 ----- DSC 0055 ----- DSC 0059 ----- DSC 0067 ----- DSC 0072 ----- DSC 0093 ----- DSC 0136 ----- DSC 0142 ----- As you can see from the above photos, we had a very special baptism ceremony. There was quite a crowd-on both sides of the river. I'll let Pastor Draper and the good folks from Maranatha share that when we return. After lunch on the bus we continued our journey north along the east bank of the Jordan RIver and made a quick stop at the ancient city of Pella before crossing the border back in to Israel and the first of two nights in Tiberius. ----- DSC 0168 ----- DSC 0171 ----- DSC 0186 ----- DSC 0191 ----- DSC 0193 ----- DSC 0202 ----- DSC 0211 ----- DSC 0213 ----- Tomorrow we'll tour the Sea of Galilee area. Stay tuned...

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Today we visited Petra and Mt. Nebo. -----Here are a few shots of the hotel we stayed in last night. ----- DSC 0001 ----- DSC 0002 ----- DSC 0004 ----- DSC 0007 ----- On our way to Petra from our hotel, we were treated with a clear view of Aarons Tomb atop Mt. Hor. DSC 0009 ----- Petra. ----- DSC 0013 ----- DSC 0018 ----- DSC 0030 ----- DSC 0035 ----- DSC 0037 ----- DSC 0040 ----- DSC 0042 ----- DSC 0043 ----- DSC 0045 ----- DSC 0049 ----- DSC 0051 ----- DSC 0057 ----- DSC 0070 ----- DSC 0073 ----- After leaving Petra, we had a nice lunch at a local "fast food place" and while there met some very nice "sisters". ----- DSC 0104 ----- Next stop- Mt. Nebo. Though the rain, wind and sandstorms had other ideas! ----- DSC 0113 ----- After the rain, the view from Mt. Nebo was spectacular. We could see all the way to Jerusalem. ----- DSC 0122 ----- DSC 0126 ----- DSC 0134 ----- DSC 0149 ----- DSC 0156 ----- DSC 0166 ----- DSC 0169 ----- Tonight we're staying at the Kempinski Hotel at the Dead Sea. Tomorrow we head north along the East Bank to return to Israel. Stay tuned….. ----- DSC 0172

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Today we left Eilat for the Jordan portion of the tour.----- After crossing the border between Israel and Jordan… ----- DSC 0003 ----- DSC 0005 ----- DSC 0006 ----- we had a quick tour of the seaside town of Aqaba. ----- DSC 0014 ----- DSC 0019 ----- Our Jordanian guide, Sami, explains some aspects of the harbor to Gideon. ----- DSC 0025 ----- DSC 0026 ----- From Aqaba we traveled north towards our ultimate destination of Petra. But first we stopped at Wadi Rum, one of the major attractions in Jordan. After a nice lunch, we had a jeep excursion through the park. ----- DSC 0035 ----- DSC 0038 ----- DSC 0042 ----- DSC 0049 ----- DSC 0056 ----- DSC 0062 ----- DSC 0066 ----- DSC 0070 ----- DSC 0073 ----- DSC 0077 ----- DSC 0083 ----- DSC 0086 ----- DSC 0087 ----- DSC 0091 ----- DSC 0095 ----- DSC 0099 ----- DSC 0107 ----- DSC 0112 ----- DSC 0115 ----- DSC 0121 ----- DSC 0150 ----- We stayed at a very unusual hotel near Petra called Taybet Zaman. Had a great dinner together and headed to our rooms for a good notes sleep in anticipation of our day in Petra. We're up early in the morning. Stay tuned...

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Today was Sababa in Eilat. We started the day with a quick stop at the Egyptian-Israeli border before we visited the Underwater Observatory.----- DSC 0009 ----- DSC 0012 ----- DSC 0014 ----- DSC 0019 ----- DSC 0025 ----- DSC 0029 ----- DSC 0034 ----- DSC 0039 ----- DSC 0040 ----- DSC 0042 ----- DSC 0047 ----- DSC 0055 ----- DSC 0057 ----- DSC 0067 ----- DSC 0069 ----- DSC 0076 ----- DSC 0077 ----- Our next stop was the Eilat Stone jewelry factory. ----- DSC 0083 ----- DSC 0086 ----- DSC 0087 ----- DSC 0091 ----- DSC 0100 ----- DSC 0108 ----- DSC 0110 ----- Then we were off to Eilat harbor for "Sababa". A boat ride, swimming, praise & worship and BBQ. All on the Red Sea. ----- DSC 0113 ----- DSC 0123 ----- DSC 0129 ----- DSC 0148 ----- DSC 0170 ----- DSC 0179 ----- DSC 0184 ----- DSC 0187 ----- DSC 0199 ----- DSC 0204 ----- Last stop for the day- The Tabernacle at TImna Park. ----- DSC 0208 ----- DSC 0210 ----- DSC 0219 ----- DSC 0222 ----- DSC 0227 ----- DSC 0247 ----- Tomorrow we'll cross in to Jordan and visit the sites at Wadi Rum. Stay tuned...

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Today we visited the Dead Sea area and began with a tour of Qumran, where the Dead Sea scrolls were found. But first we had to get from Tel Aviv to the Dead Sea. -----DSC 0119 ----- DSC 0122 ----- DSC 0127 ----- DSC 0132 ----- DSC 0140 ----- DSC 0148 ----- DSC 0152 ----- DSC 0160 ----- DSC 0165 ----- DSC 0179 ----- DSC 0188 ----- Next stop the springs at Ein Gedi. ----- DSC 0202 ----- DSC 0217 ----- DSC 0224 ----- DSC 0229 ----- DSC 0237 ----- We managed to spot a few conies and an ibex on our way out. ----- DSC 0248 ----- After a short drive we arrived at Masada. ----- DSC 0255 ----- DSC 0256 ----- DSC 0262 ----- DSC 0266 ----- DSC 0269 ----- DSC 0273 ----- DSC 0281 ----- DSC 0288 ----- DSC 0294 ----- DSC 0299 ----- DSC 0314 ----- DSC 0317 ----- DSC 0332 ----- DSC 0336 ----- DSC 0339 ----- DSC 0342 ----- DSC 0343 ----- DSC 0345 ----- As we travelled south on Hwy. 1, to Eilat, we stopped at a geological site called Lots Wife. ----- DSC 0350 ----- DSC 0352 ----- Tomorrow is Sababa in Eilat. You'll have to check the blog tomorrow to see exactly what sababa is. Stay tuned...

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