Thursday, October 28, 2010

JERICHO: The Oldest City in the World

We have visited Jericho in Israel many times since 1977 - our last visit was over 20 years ago.  Since it lies in the West Bank Occupied Territories today, it is not so easy to visit.  We teamed up with our Brit friends, the Haywood's, last Sunday - hired a Taxi and visited Jericho!  We were a bit disappointed.  Not as much fun as we remembered.  Maybe it is because not many tourists go there anymore.

There is a new cable car that takes you up over the ancient walled city of Jericho to the Mount of Temptation.  From the Cable Car, we looked down on the ruins of ancient Jericho.  We skipped going in to the ruins and visited the ruins of Hisham's Palace (a Muslim Palace built around 750 AD).  Nothing Biblicaly important about this site, just very interesting.  We stopped by a 2,000 year old Sycamore tree, thought of Zacchaeus and returned to Jerusalem.  Anytime we do anything with the Haywood's we have FUN, Sunday in Jericho was no exception - we had FUN and got some great pictures!

 Looking down onto the ancient ruins of Jericho
 On the Mount of Temptation looking toward Jordan
 Mt. of Temptation
 Great Conversation:
Roy: "I am NOT afraid!"
Mavis: "Yes you are, you ARE afraid!"
Roy: "I am not afraid!"
Judy: "Al, don't say anything!"
 Mount of Temptation
 Monastery on the Mountain
 Palm Tree in Jericho
 Ruins of Hisham's Palace built around 750 AD by the Muslims.

 Small private bath
 Huge Public Bath
 Incredible Tile Floors

 Fountain Pool
2,000 year old Sycamore Tree.  Zacchaeus, where are you?

We leave Jerusalem one week from tomorrow on November 5, arriving in Tampa in the late afternoon November 6.  We will spend Thanksgiving with our oldest daughter and family in New Hampshire and Christmas in Tampa with the rest of our family.  We are looking forward to spending time with family and friends in the USA.  We are scheduled to return to Jerusalem mid February for three months and will spend Easter in the Garden next year.  Blessings from Jerusalem!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Galilee September 2010

We have been busy in the Garden the past few weeks but have managed to squeeze in a little "away time" from Jerusalem.  Just over two weeks ago we went North to Tiberius, around the North side of the Sea of Galilee and on up onto the Golan Heights to the Syrian Border.  From the top of a small mountain there we were able to look over into Syria.  The weather could not have been better as we took in the sights and thought often of the coming of our Lord and how that piece of real estate would play into His plan for the future.

This mountaintop was fortified as a first line of defense to repel armies from Syria advancing on Israel during the war.  The fertile plains in the last picture are between the mountain and the Syrian border.

We drove further West to one of Al's favorite places in Israel; the Fortress Nimrod.  This fortress was built by the Muslims out of cut stone in the 13th century to protect the road to Damascus.  The Crusaders tried to take this fortress but were unsuccessful.  The Fortress was captured and destroyed by the Marmalukes shortly after-wards.  The fortress lies in ruins today, is from 500 feet to 165 feet in width and 1,380 feet in length.  Al played Crusader Knight for an hour and climbed over most of the ruins!

The Psalmist cried out over and over again his faith that God would always be our Fortress!

Our travels took us South to the West of the Sea of Galilee to Tel Dan, the headwaters of the Jordan River and to an early Canaanite town captured by the tribe of Dan.

Archaeologists are in the process of excavating ancient Canaanite Gates to an earlier village just up the path!

We spent the night in a wonderful Guest House in Migdal overlooking the Sea of Galilee. 

 The High Rise buildings in the distance are in Tiberius just East of Migdal.
The Horns of Hitin from the balcony of our Guest House.  I know I know... YES we are suffering for Jesus in Israel. 

Our day away ended watching the sun sit across the Sea of Galilee...  the perfect ending to a perfect day!

The next day we headed South back to Jerusalem.  On the way we stopped off at Mt. Tabor just outside Nazareth.  Mt. Tabor is the traditional site of the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ.  The road up was curvy!  The church at the top was beautiful.

We went on to Tel Megido, an active archaeological dig spanning multiple lairs of civilization covering centuries and overlooks the valley of Armageddon, before returning to Jerusalem and the Garden Tomb.