Trip to Israel

October 17th, 2014 to November 1, 2014

This was a truly fascinating trip.  Israel was at the confluence of most major ancient empires as well as world religions.  We got to see sights from the pre-Christian Israelites, like the City of David, the Temple Mount and the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, Masada and the caves at Qumrun where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found.  We saw sights from the Roman Empire, with the port of Caesaria and the Herodian (Herod's Tomb and mausoleum) built by Herod the Great.  Then we visited Christian sights, like Bethlehem, Capernaum, Nazareth, Calvary, the Mount of Olives and the Via Dolorosa.  Then we visited Moslem sights, such the Dome of the Rock.  We saw Crusader sights, such as the Medieval caste at Acre.  We also visited modern Israeli sights, such as Tel Aviv and newer parts of Jerulsalem, including the Holocaust Museum, "the wall" that separates the Arab and Jewish quarters, a trip to the Golan Heights, two nights at a kibbutz and a visit to the Dead Sea.  It was a truly marvelous two weeks. 


On the left is a view of the Temple Mount at sunset on the sabbath, built and improved a number of times, but finished by Herod the Great. On the Temple Mount stands the Dome of the Rock and the Wailing Wall, the two holiest sites of the Jewish and Moslem religions.  On the right is me at the Wailing Wall.


On the left is our tour group at the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount.  On the right is the Church of the Holy Sepulcre, which houses Calvary Hill, and Jesus' burial tomb.

Here I am
at sunset at a kibbutz we stayed at for two nights overlooking the Sea of Galilee


On the left, I am on the top of Masada and the right at Qumrun, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in caves just over the sign.  The scrolls date from 250 BC and were written by a group of ascetics, called Essenes.


Signs of the modern conflict are everywhere.  On the left is a UN observation post at the border with Syria on the Golan Heights.  On the right is one of many signs which mark a road leading to an Arab settlement.  Note that Israelis are forbidden to enter this town.  
All in all it was a great trip with many historical and religious sites. It is well worth the risk.