Joined September 2017
  • Day53

    Home!

    November 22, 2019 in Palestine ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    Photos from the market! Got a bit of sleep, then up at 12:30am, flight at 5:15am from Tel Aviv. Really, really, really long day; Don picked us up at the airport at 6pm; 9 hours time change. We’re headed to bed! It’s nice to be away but it’s also nice to get home! We’re thankful to live in Canada and to have a nice home, bed, friends and family to come back to at the end of each adventure.Read more

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  • Day52

    Jerusalem by Ourselves

    November 21, 2019 in Palestine ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    I am including the photos from the light show last night; there were a whole series of images of the history of the castle projected onto the interior of the castle walls. It was absolutely spectacular! We spent a couple of hours this afternoon at the Jewish Market, about a half hour walk from our hotel. We think that the vendors were all Jewish, selling food, fresh produce, clothing and household supplies. Most of the people buying were Jews, wearing a range of clothing from regular western clothing, to men wearing a kipper, to full Orthodox Jews, and everything in between, including some tourists like ourselves. They closed at 3pm, in order to be home by sunset. Grant sat and had a couple of beer while people watching, Sharon wandered around. We relaxed in our hotel room the rest of the afternoon and evening , and will catch an 12:45am shuttle to the airport to fly home tomorrow.Read more

  • Day52

    Inside Old City of Jerusalem

    November 21, 2019 in Palestine ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

    Our group left the hotel at 8am and walked around inside the walled city. We spent 4 hours visiting the Muslim Temple (outside only), and the 14 stops along the path of Jesus journey, death and resurrection. There were so many people! Then the guided part of our day finished, so we went back to the Western, or Wailing Wall which our tour had rushed by before. There were many Bar Mitzvahs and we stood with a group of women who were watching their 13 year old son and grandson; only males are allowed on the left 2/3 of the wall. It was very interesting; the women spoke some English, and shared some of the sweets that the grandma had baked. After our “farewell dinner” with out G-adventures group, we walked up to the Light Show at King David’s Temple which was amazing and far, far exceeded our expectations.Read more

  • Day51

    Gethsemane, Refugees, & Jesus birthplace

    November 20, 2019 in Palestine ⋅ ☀️ 14 °C

    We stopped at the Garden of Gethsemane, viewing the 2000+ years olive trees and church beside it. Then into Zone C to a refugee camp that was created 2 generations ago when some Palestinians were removed from Israel. They are very entrenched in their anger, bitterness and resentment, and see no other way forward except for being given their land back and financially compensated for the wrongs incurred. It was sad. Then we drove further into Bethlehem and waited in line for nearly two hours to see the cave or stable where Jesus was born, which was not spectacular. The bus dropped some people off at the museum but we got dropped off and walked 25 minutes to a local Jewish market which had a big variety of foods and clothing etc. that was a lot of fun.Read more

  • Day50

    Masada, Dead Sea & Jerusalem

    November 19, 2019 in Palestine ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C

    Masada is a big fortress built by the Romans but occupied by about 1000 rebel Jews nearly 2000 years ago. The Romans surrounded the fortresses for a year and then attacked, and with the luck of a strong wind changing direction that burned the massive gate, the fort would fall the next day. Rather than surrendering, the men killed their wives and children, and drew lots for the last ten men to finish the final suicide, leaving an anticlimax for the Romans. They had huge store rooms of food, weapons and a very elaborate city up on the top plateau of the mountain. Instead of taking the tram up, Grant and I joined half of our group who climbed up the “snake path” which took 45 minutes, a very hard and steep hike. After that we went to the Dead Sea, but since we swam in the Dead Sea in Jordan, we just hung around where the few people new to our group, swam. We drove to the Mount of Olives where we had our first view of old Jerusalem, with the setting sun.Read more

  • Day49

    Kibbutz & Christian Sites

    November 18, 2019 in Israel ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    We spent an hour at a Jewish Kibbutz where we learned about their communal way of life, based on agriculture: farming avocados, mangoes, bananas and cows. It seems relaxed and affluent. When we visited the location where Jesus apparently delivered the Sermon on the Mount with what we now know as the Beatitudes, there were crowds of big buses and people. We then spent half an hour at a Greek Orthodox Church which was very ornate. Driving to a kibbutz by the Golan Heights, we took a ride on an old wooden ship on the Sea of Galilee. We saw Temptation Mountain, and the Sycamore Tree where Zacheus climbed up to see Jesus. The Kibbutz was interesting, but the rest of the day seemed quite touristy. Our hotel tonight is deluxe, a former casino, where we had a sauna, steam bath, hot tub, and played ping pong.Read more

  • Day48

    Akka & Recovered Crusader Castle, etc.

    November 17, 2019 in Israel ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

    We drove to Akka, where the Muslims covered over a Crusader castle before building a Mosque etc on top of the same spot. Prisoners found some remains of the Castle when making an unsuccessful attempt to tunnel out of the prison. The Crusaders built the castle around 1100AD, and the recovery is still underway, but they have made tremendous discoveries in the past hundred years. It was a fantastic view of old castle life, and they still have much more excavation to do. We then drove to a Mosque, which we entered, the women with their head and shoulders covered, for a quick look. Then on to the location where the Virgin Mary was told that she was pregnant, and its the location of a present day Catholic Church. We saw lots of mosaic work. The walk back to the bus involved buying a few Israel sweets, which were good but extremely expensive. At 6pm, the bus took us down to Tiberius, where our hotel was way up the mountain, so that we could have a walk, look around, and bite to eat.Read more

  • Day47

    Jaffa to Haifa

    November 16, 2019 in Israel ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

    Our tour guide gave us a 15 minute summary of the history of Israel which is extremely complex to say the least. We visited Rabin Square and the ancient city of Jaffa, part of present-day Tel Aviv. After an hour drive, we found ourselves at the remains of a Roman aquaduct where Sharon walked along the top and also waded in Mediterranean Sea. We drove up Mt. Carmel and had lunch at a Druze family home. The meal was good and family friendly. Stopping at Haifa, we had an excellent viewpoint of the large waterfront and harbour with a rainbow produced by the temporary light drizzle. We looked down on the immaculate gardens and golden roofed Baha’i temple. A short stop at the Stella Marra Monastery, a centuries old Catholic Franciscan Church and monastery was interesting. We stayed in the Bay Club, a very new, spacious and beautiful hotel.Read more

  • Day46

    Transfer to Israel

    November 15, 2019 in Israel ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    Today we were up early and driven to the border between Jordan and Israel, a very wide strip. Coming into Israel, the workers wanted money to get us through more quickly. When in Tel Aviv, we went for a walk along the Mediterranean Sea. The sand is fine and white, with many people on the beach: walking, jogging; playing frisbee, a Brazilian game with two people hitting a small ball back and forth with wooden paddles, beach volleyball, and a similar game to beach volleyball where you can hit the ball with your head, chest or feet only, which was very entertaining. There were many people swimming, surfing, SUP-ing and kayaking. There was a pedestrian wide sidewalk beside the beach, plus a wide and highly used lane beside the road for bicycles and the many electric scooters. Tel Aviv seems to be a very healthy city for people to live. At 6pm we met the 3 new people in our group and Zo, our new CEO.Read more

  • Day45

    Busride back to Amman & farewell dinner

    November 14, 2019 in Jordan ⋅ ☀️ 30 °C

    We had a low key day, with a long bus ride back to Amman. After checking into the hotel, we walked downtown and bought some souvenirs from Jordan. We had a farewell dinner, and at the end when we were leaving the restaurant, there were a long table of Jordanian men and women, singing Happy Birthday to a woman. We sang along, and so they invited us to join them. They were very friendly and the man who Sharon sat beside was American, a project manager with the water treatment plant that they were all working on. It was a lot of fun and an honour to be included in their celebration.Read more

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