Thursday, March 31, 2011

To Tiberias!!

After Caesarea, we drove to Tiberias, which is a city on the sea of Galilee.  In the Bible the Sea of Galilee is sometimes referred to as the Sea of Tiberias.  We stayed at the Gai Beach Hotel.
Here is the room.  Some of the channels on the TV were in English, but there were lots of other languages, too.  I think one channel was even in Russian!  So neat!

Here's another view.

Each evening we had dinner at the hotel.  There was always a great salad bar with a variety of vegetable delights.  Of course, I wanted to try as many of the options as possible. :)  I just love hummus, so I was quite pleased to see it on the buffet at every meal!  They also had roasted red pepper, beets, carrots, a cabbage salad and a plethora of other tasty treats.

Dessert was also delicious!  The dessert at the top of my plate had a delicate flaky crust and this was the only night they served it.  It was so thoughtful of the hotel to keep the dessert portions small, so we could try several!

Here are some friends on the journey:
Beverly and Petra

Ebony and Jackie

Blake, Leeann, Steve, Matt, Travis, and Shelby

Rosa, Brandy, and Kelli

It was such a joy to get to know so many friends on the trip.  I miss them so much!  Hope we can have a reunion get together soon!!! :)

Each night after dinner we would gather for a group meeting.  It was a great time to debrief from the day and share concerns for prayer with each other.  We would also discuss what the next day's agenda held for us.

Yes, this is the morning sunrise on the Sea of Galilee from the hotel window.  I was pinching myself to make sure this was real when I first saw it.

Here is another view of the Sea of Galilee from the window.

Here's the hotel pool with the Sea of Galilee just beyond.

The Galilee region is definitely beautiful!

Each morning, we would start of with breakfast at the hotel and then climb on the bus for another adventure.  The bread in Israel is so delicious and I loved having a little tomato and goat cheese, too, for breakfast.  My Grandaddy always liked sliced tomatoes for breakfast, so I couldn't help but think of him each morning.  Another thing about where we stayed was that all the meals were kosher.  It was neat to learn more about this specific way of eating.  In the mornings we would have butter with our bread because there was no meat being served, but in the evenings meat would be part of our meal, so there would be no butter.  A main truth for kosher eating is that dairy and meat are not mixed.  I learned so much!

Hope you have a wonderful Friday!!  We're headed to the Mount of the Beatitudes next! :)

Link Party

Hi Friends!
I thought I would join in Fabulous K's link party.  She has a wonderful blog full of all things fabulous!  She also does incredible blog designs.  Hop on over to her blog and join the party!! :)

ps. New Israel posts coming soon!! I think we are headed to Tiberias next! Have a super day!! :)

Hold the Phone

Hello friends!  Well, I may or may not have taken a little study break to browse Target's online shoe department.  First of all, they have adorable shoes and rain boots!!!  Second of all, these little shoes at the end of the post are so cute!  I have nothing in my closet like them and am thinking a Target trip this weekend might need to be arranged. :)

My other reason for this late breaking post (besides foot fashion, of course) is to give you some additional details about Caesarea and other day one adventures.  It seems I didn't read my journal as well as I would have liked, so when I was rereading it, I noticed several imprtant important items I missed.  You see, not only is Joppa where Jonah departed for Tarshish, but it is also where the following occurred:

"Now in Joppa there was a disciple whose name was Tabitha, which in Greek is Dorcas.  She was devoted to good works and acts of charity.  At that time she became ill and died.  When they had washed her, they laid her in a room upstairs.  Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, who heard that Peter was there, sent two men to him with the request, "Please come to us without delay."  So Peter got up and went with them; and when he arrived, they took him to the room upstairs.  All the widows stood beside him, weeping and showing tunics and other clothes that Dorcas had made while she was with them.  Peter put all of them outside, and then he knelt down and prayed.  He turned to the body and said, "Tabitha, get up."  Then she opened her eyes and, seeing Peter, she sat up.  He gave her his hand and helped her up.  Then, calling the saints and widows, he showed her to be alive.  This became known throughout Joppa, and many believed in the Lord."  Acts 9:36-42 NRSV

Isn't that wonderful?! I just love that story!!  Oh, and our guide told us that the current Tel Aviv airpot is located where Lydda was.  So Peter was in Lydda (where he healed a paralyzed man named Aeneas [Acts 9:32-35]), went to Joppa and then went to Caesarea where he met Cornelius. 

One other tidbit about Caesarea is that Philip and his four unmarried daughters with the gift of prophecy were from there.  In fact after Philip helps the Ethiopian Eunuch, he continues telling the good news until he reaches Caesarea.  (Acts 8:26-40)

Also, the account of Paul before the governor, which occcurs in Caesarea, is found in Acts 24-26.
I think that is all my late-breaking news!!  Hope you have a fabulous Thursday! 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


After we drove for awhile, we stopped by a little row of roadside restaurants to grab a quick sandwich for lunch. 
The sign above the restaurant.
I had the most yummy tomato, pesto, and goat cheese sandwich.  The goat cheese was the most fabulous I've ever eaten!
So awesome to see Diet Coke in Hebrew!

My friend Petra ordered this yummy looking salad. :)

Outside the stores were some beautiful flowers!

After our quick bite, we hopped onto the bus and headed toward Caesarea.  As we got back on the road, I saw this...

My first glimpse of the Mediterranean!!!

It was a beautiful day -- look at the kites flying!

Another glimmer of the Mediterranean from the road.

We arrived at Caearea and I thought it was interesting that it was a National Park.  I would learn throughout my time here that many Biblical sites are now National Parks.  We have Yosemite.  Israel has Caesarea!  Amazing...

Now for some details about Caesarea:
1.  It was founded by Herod the Great.  This guy was a major architect.  He is behind several of the places we visited on our journey.
2.  This area had been under the rule of many others prior to Herod, but after the Romans took over in 6 AD, Caesarea became the capital of Palestine.
3.  It was a major port city and Paul actually left from Caesarea on his missionary journeys.
4.  Pontius Pilate resided here as an official.
5.  An earthquake affected the port, but the city flourished as a center of scholarship, producing several prominent rabbis and Church Fathers, Origen and Eusebius.
6.  Also, in Acts 10, Peter's visit to Cornelius and Cornelius' conversion occurs here.  It is incredible to reread this chapter and to imagine how this incredible story took place here.

(Most of the info I know about Caesarea and many other sites we visited is from Jerome Murphy-O'Connor's book: The Holy Land: An Oxford Archaeological Guide)

Now I'll tell you a little about the pictures I took while I was there...

Outside the Roman theater, where remnants of discovered statues stand guard.

Here are the ruins of Caesarea with the Mediterranean just beyond.

Another view

Inside the Roman theater.

Another view

Dan is explaining to us about the Roman theater and how pantomime was a popular type of theatrical production.  He also told us how a chorus would stand behind the characters, doing the narration.

In the center is the box where the ruler sat for the productions.

An entrance.

More artifacts from the area.

A little side note:  If you see pictures of informational signs and they look a little bit bigger than the other pictures on the page, you may want to click them, so you can see the whole thing.  I've tried to make the signs a bit bigger, so you can read what they say, but I've noticed that in so doing information is lost without looking at the picture in a new window.

Kelli at the ampitheater

More ruins in the area
Possibly the place where Paul made is appeal to Caesar? I am very unsure of the spot, but it happened around here somewhere...  You can also see Herod's lighthouse in the background.  This lighthouse was a critical component to this area because of the craggy rocks surrounding the shoreline.  The light provided warning to the ships in the area.
Exploring the ruins -- such a beautiful day!

This is a replica of the inscription with information about Pilate being here.

Dan is telling us about the inscription.

An image of what the courtyard might have looked like.

I was really there!!
Column ruins

The Mediterranean -- so Beautiful!
Amy by the water

A Roman Well
After exploring this area for a bit, we watched a movie about Caesarea and Herod's architecture and the different people groups who ruled over the area at different times.

Then, it was time to explore another piece of Caesarea, the fortress.

The fortress wall from afar


Here is where the moat was surrounding the fortress.

Here is more description about Caesarea.

Inside the fortress wall

Stunning architecture

I believe the fortress was built during the time of the Crusades.  This sign gives more detail.

Beautiful architectural detail of flowers.  It is amazing to me all the delicate facets included in this mighty structure to have survived all these years.

The second entrance to the fortress.  Dan said there were two entrances to provide further protection from invaders.

This image is standing within the fortress looking at the second entrance.

More beautiful architecture

Modern buildings built on the sea

So beautiful
Information about the church ruins discovered here

Some of the church ruins

Other ruins within the fortress

Foundations of a city wall

This half-circle was above the first entrance to the fortress, I believe.
Then, we journeyed to the aqueducts!

Aren't these an architectural feat?!
They continue on for a good while.

Looking through to the sea

It was windy!! :)

A shelf inside the aqueduct

Looking back from the Mediterranean
The beautiful sea

After we hopped back on the bus, we were off to Tiberius.  On our way we passed Mt. Carmel.

Here is a closer image.

I was amazed how green the pastures were.

If you look closely, you might see a cow or two. :)

Sunset on the road to Tiberias.  What a glorious day it was!

Hope you all had a marvelous Monday!