Pictures from Israel

A Pilgrimage to the Holy Land

St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Casper, Wyoming

Led by:

The Rev. John Smylie

September 10 - 19, 2007

Trip map

DAY 1, Monday, September 10, 2007 - Depart the United States on a wide-body jet for a trans-Atlantic flight with superior en route service. D

DAY 2, Tuesday, September 11, 2007 - Our Pilgrimage in this Holy Land begins:  After meeting our guide for the Holy Land, transfer by deluxe motor coach to our hotel by the Mediterranean Sea.  Time, perhaps, for an evening stroll along the beach before dinner and overnight in our beachfront hotel in Tel Aviv. BLD

DAY 3, Wednesday, September 12, 2007 - We have come to see for ourselves (John 1:45-46): Herod’s City-Caesarea; The Majesty of Carmel; Armageddon; Nazareth ... to the Sea of Galilee.  After breakfast, we head north toward Caesarea, once capital of the Roman province, where we visit the Roman and Crusader remains and the harbor from which St. Paul was taken prisoner to Rome.  We continue toward Mt. Carmel (Is. 35:2) a symbol of strength, beauty and fertility for OT prophets.  Traditionally, Elijah’s contest with the prophets of Baal is located at Muhraqa (‘the sacrifice’), a peak offering a spectacular view of the Jezreel Valley.  This fertile valley, also known as the plain of Megiddo, has been the scene of horrible carnage and almost constant strife.  Legend portrays this area as the stage for the final battle of history: Armageddon (Rev. 16:16).  The excavations at Megiddo have uncovered a fortified city built by Solomon (1 Kings. 9:15).  We travel on to Akko, the walled port city that still shows the imprint of the crusader occupants.  We will visit Cana, site of the first miracle where Jesus turned the water into wine.  We continue to Nazareth, home of the Basilica of the Annunciation and our hotel, the Golden Crown which overlooks the Jezreel Valley and is at the gates of the city of Nazareth, where Jesus lived. BD

DAY 4, Thursday, September 13, 2007 - “He is going ahead of us to Galilee” (Mt. 28): The Sea; On the Boat; Capernaum; Tabgha; Mount of Beatitudes; Golan Heights; Caesarea Philippi; Mt. Hermon; Korazin.  We shall take a boat on the Sea of Galilee to Capernaum.  There we shall walk in the ancient synagogue and see St. Peter’s house.  We shall visit Tabgha to view the mosaic of the Loaves and Fishes.  From there we move to the Mt. of Beatitudes where we rehear the Sermon on the Mount.  We continue to Korazin (Mt. 11:21), then to the springs of Banias (Mt. 16:13) where Peter said: “Thou art Christ.”  There will be a walk along the mouth of the Jordan River where we may renew our Baptismal vows.  We shall reach the foot of Mt. Hermon before returning to the Nazareth for dinner and overnight. BLD

DAY 5, Friday, September 14, 2007 – From Galilee “up to Jerusalem”:  We will start the day with a walk along the Jordan River where we may renew our Baptismal vows.  We then follow our way from Galilee to Jerusalem.  The road passes through Jericho, the oldest human settlement in the world.  From the vantage point of the site in Jericho, we have a spectacular view of the “Mount of Temptation.”  Driving up to Jerusalem, we view the setting for the parable of Good Samaritan and St. George’s Orthodox Monastery, literally carved out of a cliff.  Once in Jerusalem, we find a place high above on Mt. Zion or the Mt. of Olives to orient ourselves.  Then, it is on to the hotel for dinner and overnight in Jerusalem. BD

DAY 6, Saturday, September 15, 2007 - The Passion: Palm Sunday Walk; Dominus Flevit; Church of the Agony; Garden of Gethsemane; Cave of the Olive Press; Kidron Valley to the House of Caiaphas.  From here we shall move on to walk the Via Dolorosa, winding through the busy markets of the Old City and praying at the Stations of the Cross.  We shall end our walk at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, scene of the Crucifixion and site of the Tomb.  The rest of the day is free for further exploration in the Old City.  This evening we will go to St. George’s for Evensong.  Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem. BD

DAY 7, Sunday September 16, 2007 - The Judean Wilderness:  We drive along the Dead Sea to Masada and ride the cable car to the top.  Following lunch, we drive to Ein Gedi for a walk to a spectacular oasis/waterfall where David hid from Saul; then on to the Essene Center at Qumran, overlooking the Dead Sea.  We return to Jerusalem for dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 8, Monday, September 17, 2007 - Life’s Bread, Jerusalem and Bethlehem: Through St. Stephen’s Gate to the Holy City, we walk to St. Anne’s Church, standing on a property facing the Temple Mount just as it was built by the crusaders.  Once inside we find ourselves singing (the acoustics are glorious).  Nearby, we visit excavations which speak to us of Jesus’ healing at the “pool with the five porticos.”  We walk together to the Temple Mount Dig, to the Dome of the Rock, to the Western Wailing Wall and the Jewish Quarter.  From there we go to St. Mark’s Syrian Orthodox Church, possible site of the Upper Room.  After lunch at Two Mustaches (a wonderful Arab restaurant in Bethlehem), we visit the Church of the Nativity and Shepherd’s Field.  Following dinner at our hotel, we will visit St. Andrew’s and Craftaid.  Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem. BLD

DAY 9, Tuesday, September 18, 2007 - New Jerusalem: Today we shall visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial and the Knesset, the Israel Museum which houses the Shrine of the Book, along with other important sites.  Afternoon is free for exploring your favorite sites in the Old City on your own.  We will enjoy a gala farewell dinner together before returning to our hotel for a short rest.  Overnight in Jerusalem. BD

DAY 10, Wednesday, September 19, 2007 - Homeward Bound!  We will board our motor coach and depart for Ben Gurion Airport where we bid goodbye to our driver and guide, board our trans-Atlantic flight, and journey home with our souls nourished from walking in the footsteps of Jesus and the saints. BL on board the aircraft.

Price: $2,599.00.  Price is based on double occupancy without airline taxes and fuel surcharges.  Air from Denver, CO.  Air transportation available from other cities.  Single suppliment costs available upon request.

An application for travel insurance will be included with the receipt for your deposit.  We strongly recommend that you seriously consider this coverage.

Meals: B Breakfast, L Lunch, D Dinner

The itinerary is subject to change due to local conditions or at the discretion and direction of the leader or guide.