During Spring Break in 2011, Travis and I went on an amazing adventure to Israel with students and faculty from Truett Seminary. It’s one of those trips we said we go on no matter what and we did. One week in the Holy Land.
The flights were crazy and because of bad weather in New York we almost missed our connect to Tel Aviv. While we made it our luggage did not. Although it did arrive the next day. It was the first trip away from Asher, so I received a lot of photos and videos from my mom and sister of my polka dotted baby. It was my 1st time to travel abroad without parents of some sort. The summer before we traveled to Ecuador with Travis’ family, so it wasn’t like this was my 1st trip out of the country but it was my first trip where I was responsible for myself and no mom or dad would be there if I needed them. Travis had traveled aboard multiple times and was completely at ease. Which did make me feel better.
Upon arriving in Tel Aviv, after approx 14 hours on airplanes our tour guide (Dan, who is actually from the tribe of Dan) wouldn’t let us rest. He immediately began to show us the aqueducts and ruins left by the Romans when they invaded Israel. AKA Caesarea by the Sea, it was pretty cool to get a glimpse of the Mediterranean Sea and a Crusader church from the Middle Ages. In case you haven’t realized or don’t know me, I really love architectural history. So yeah get ready for that folks.
We began the next day at the Mount of the Beatitudes, today maintained by Italian Franciscan Nuns. The mount was more of a rolling mount coming up out of the sea of galilee, with banana farms at the base. Then we took a daring drive near the Syrian Border to Caesarea-Philipi. There were the leftovers of war, bunkers and graffiti. We also drove through 3 Druzes Villages, they should should familiar. These are the mountain village sect of Islam currently being brutally persecuted by ISIS. Caesarea-Philipi was interesting, several roman temples pay homage to sacred and dancing goats. Seriously goats were etched on EVERYTHING. Today it is called Banyas and it is one of the 3 sources of the Jordan River. (matthew 16:13 and mark 8:27) And that folks was the MORNING of our 2nd day is Israel. MORNING.
For lunch we rode back and saw the City of Dan and the Lebanese boarder. Then took a boat across the Sea of Galilee, to a restaurant that served fresh whole fish. Of course Travis got it. I on the other hand had Israeli pizza. After we ate, we visited the the old city of Capernaum, there is an archeological excavation there and it was kind of amazing. The synagogue was awe inspiring. To see things that were present when Jesus walked the Earth, and when He would have visited the city took my breath away. After Capernum we left and visited Tabgha Monastery where there were centuries old mosaic floors of the Roman Style. This is where multiple scholars believe the miracle of the fish and loaves took place. (mark 6:30 and john 6:11) Our final stop for the day was the Primacy of Peter, just on the beach of Galilee at sunset. It was a perfect ending to an amazing 1st full day in Israel.
During the 1st day, through the rush of spending an entire day in Israel and visiting places that Jesus visited, I didn’t feel the way I thought I would. I half expected to have this deep emotional connection with the land, the people, the places and it wasn’t happening. I was a little disappointed, in myself mostly.
I didn’t include a ton of photos because I took so many while we were there and it’s so hard to narrow it down. I wanted to share my favorites, from my favorite places.