Sunday, March 9, 2014

Israel - Day 1

Wow.  Has it really been over 2 months since I’ve blogged?  That’s gotta be a record!  I apologize.  See, I didn’t have a computer to blog on.  When I left my job to be a stay-at-home mom, I had to turn in my computer.  Since I told Justin that I really didn’t want to buy a new one, that meant that I had to wait until he got a new computer at work and then I would just inherit his old one.  That process took much longer than expected.

But I do finally have a computer now and can resume my blogging.  What a better way to come back to the blogging world than to discuss my recent trip to the Holy Land.  Side note-this trip was 10 days, however 2 of those days were travel days and I obviously don’t have pictures of that so I only have 8 days worth of pictures.  Like I did with my Africa trip, I will do one blogpost for each day.  There’s just too much information and too many pictures to try to cram it all in one post.

I left on February 25th at 5:30 am.  We went from Birmingham to Atlanta to Newark to Tel-Aviv.  The long flight was around 10 hours and it wasn’t too horrible.  I didn’t sleep at all.  Maybe it was the excitement that kept me from sleeping.  The plane was barely half-way full.  Originally, me and my in-laws were seating next to each other in 3 seats, but the row in front of us was completely unoccupied, so I went up there and had an entire row to myself.  You’d think that being able to lay down would have helped me sleep, but no such luck.

We got into Tel-Aviv around 10am the following day (Israel is 8 hours ahead of Birmingham’s central time zone).  Our hotel was in Galilee, a measly two hours away from Tel-Aviv, but we wouldn’t be able to check in until later that afternoon, so our guide decided to take us on a little scenic tour on the route to the hotel, stopping off at some pretty awesome cities.  Our first stop was the town of Jaffa (referred to in the Bible as ‘Joppa’).  This town was important for many things, but two stand out the most.  I’ll give you a hint for the first one….



You probably figured it out.  Don’t know of any biblical events involving a whale except for one.  JONAH!  So Jaffa is on the western coast of Israel right next to the Mediterranean Sea.  When God asked Jonah to spread his word to the Assyrians, Jonah decided to try to run from God because he hated the Assyrians.  He hopped into a boat and sailed out in the sea where he was met by a whale that swallowed him for 3 days and then spit him back out on the Land God told him to go preach to.    The whale picture above just memorializes the event.


Pretty Jaffa/Joppa!!


This is Acts chapter 10 where it talks about an angel telling Cornelius to go find Peter (Jesus’ disciple) at Simon the tanner’s house which is by the sea.


Here’s the traditional location for the house where Peter stayed and it was right by the Sea!


The Mediterranean.  So pretty!!!  I was shocked at how blue the water was!


About 30 seconds after this picture was taken, a wave crashed against the wall and water came through the hole behind where I’m standing.  Got my pants and feet wet!

After leaving the gorgeous views of the Sea we went into a church that was dedicated to Peter and all the wonderful things he did as a disciple.  After touring the church, we got back on the bus and headed to Caesarea. 

Caesarea was a city occupied by the Romans.  Herod the Great had a hand in building it and renamed the city Caesarea to honor Caesar Augustus. 



After leaving Caesarea, we headed toward Megiddo.  Megiddo is referred to in the book of Revelation as the location for the last battle, the apocolypse.  It involved lots of hiking to get there, but the views were spectacular!


Hiking up to Megiddo


Yes, there are palm trees in the middle east.  I thought it was strange too.


That mountain in the background is the Mountain of Transfiguration.  It’s where Jesus took his inner circle of disciples (Peter, James and John) and was transfigured before them.  Moses and Elijah also appeared and the experience put the disciples on their knees acknowledging Jesus as being from God.

We went to our hotel after Megiddo.  It was the best night of sleep I’d gotten in a long time….like 11 hours!  I can’t begin to explain how utterly exhausted I was this entire day from being awake close to 40 hours with no sleep. 

Before I begin any other days of my Israel trip, I wanted to share this.  You may wonder, as I start posting my blogs, how people know for sure where Jesus walked or performed miracles or whatever.  Know that there is LOTS of archeological evidence that proves where most of these locations are and that they are genuine.  Some locations don’t have as much evidence and for those places, our guide had a great saying.  He said “if it’s not here, it’s near”.  Meaning that evidence has been able to narrow down each of the locations pretty specifically, but in the cases where they couldn’t, it was enough evidence to indicate that the miracle or event took place very very “near” where they thought it occurred.  I hope that makes sense!


Chelley N said...

Glad to see you're back! I LOVE to travel, so I'm very interested to read about your trip!

Allison said...

I'm so glad you are posting about each day! I can't wait to read about everything you did!

Amy Faulkner said...

Marcie, I've read your blog for a while, and my son is only five days older than your little one. I have read lots of blogs about people visiting the Holy Land and I can't wait to read about your trip. It is truly a blessing to be able to walk where our Lord walked!

Fiona said...

This looks like one amazing trip!! What great photos!