Pictures from Egypt, Jordan and Israel

Following the Footsteps of Moses and Jesus

A Pilgrimage to Holy Sites in Egypt, Jordan and The Holy Land

Led by:

The Rev. Jurgen Liias
Christ Church
South Hamilton, MA.

February 4 - 20, 2008

Trip map

DAY 1, Monday, February 4, 2008 - Depart the U.S from Boston.  Dinner on board the aircraft. D

DAY 2: Tuesday, February 5, 2008 - We arrive in Cairo this afternoon and meet our driver and guide and board our motor coach for the transfer to our hotel for dinner and overnight.  Overnight Cairo. BLD

DAY 3: Wednesday, February 6, 2008 - Today we will visit the amazing Egyptian Museum with its Tutankhamen Collection.  We continue on to Old Cairo to see the Church of Abu Sraga, built to commemorate the Flight of the Christ Child to Egypt.  We will see the Ben Ezra Synagogue and the Mar Mosque.  We will visit the Church of St. George, a modern building sitting over a Roman tower, where priests wrap heavy chains around the heads and waists of believers while they chant prayers in the memory of St. George by the Romans.  Passing the Citadel and the Sultan Ahassan Mosque, we will end the day with a visit to the Khan el Khalili Bazaar.  Dinner and overnight Cairo. BLD

DAY 4: Thursday, February 7, 2008 - This morning we will see the famous Pyramids of Giza and enter the Cheops Pyramid.  We continue on to the famous Sphinx, carved out of a single block of rock.  From there we will drive to the ancient capital of the Pharaohs, Memphis, and see the exotic decorations with which it is adorned.  We will continue on to Sakkara, probably one of the earliest Pharonic sites and see the Step Pyramid.  Dinner and overnight Cairo. BLD

DAY 5: Friday, February 8, 2008 - We will have a very early wake up call and depart at 6 AM to begin our journey into the desert from Cairo to St. Catherine’s.  Upon arrival, we will explore the 5th century St. Catherine’s Monastery, commissioned by the Byzantine emperor Justinian in AD 530 to protect those of Greek Orthodox faith.  It is considered to be the oldest continuously inhabited monastery in the world.  Inside the monastery, we will see the Church of the Transfiguration (now called the Church of St.Catherine) where some of the rarest icons in the world are displayed along with the relics of St. Catherine.  Just outside the church is Moses’ Well where Moses is said to have met his wife Zipporah. We have dinner and overnight at the Sino Plaza Hotel at St. Catherine’s. BLD

DAY 6: Saturday, February 9, 2008 - Early morning climb to the top of Mt. Sinai (for those who wish, there will be camels available to ride) which commemorates the spot where Moses received the Ten Commandments.  Once we reach the summit, we will celebrate Holy Eucharist. We will descend the mountain after sunrise and have some time to relax by the pool or simply take a break.  Dinner and overnight at St. Catherine’s. BLD

DAY 7: Sunday, February 10, 2008 - We will drive to the port city of Nuweba where we will board the fast ferry to Aqaba and then continue on to Petra for dinner and overnight.  We will be traveling through Wadi Rum, known for its spectacular desert landscape as we approach the area of Petra. BD

DAY 8: Monday, February 11, 2008 - A full day to explore the Red Rose City of Petra.  We will have the choice to walk to the site or to take a horse ride through the dramatic “ciq” or canyon.  We will see the Treasury, carved in the pink stone, and continue past the Roman Theatre, the Corinthian Tomb and Palace Tomb to the Roman Road.  For those who wish to take the 60 minute walk to the Monastery, they will be rewarded with one of the best sites in Petra.  Dinner and overnight Petra. BD

DAY 9: Tuesday, February 12, 2008 - We depart Petra and drive north along the Kings Highway to Kerak where we will visit the impressive Crusader Castle.  We will enjoy lunch in Kerak.  Now on to Mt. Nebo where Moses viewed the Promised Land and see the Jordan Valley, Jericho and the Judean Hills beyond.  We continue on to Madaba to see the remains of the mosaic map of the Middle East and Jerusalem.  The Madaba Mosaic Map is a unique piece of art realised in 6th century A.D. as a decoration for the pavement of a church in the town of Madaba.  At that time Madaba was part of the so called Provincia Arabia, and was inhabited by Aramaic speaking Christians descendant from the ancient biblical people of the Moabites.  The mosaic was discovered accidentally about one hundred years ago (in 1897) while constructing a new church for the Greek-Orthodox Arab community, which was then settling on the very ruins of the ancient town of Madaba.  We will continue to Amman where we will have dinner and overnight.  Overnight Amman. BLD

DAY 10: Wednesday, February 13, 2008 - We will have a morning drive to see Ajlun Castle, perched on a high peak some 20 minutes drive west of Jerash.  Visible from all directions, the castle was originally built in 1184 by a cousin of the great Arab leader Salahdin and was used as a base in his successful campaign to drive the Crusaders from Jordan.  We will visit Jerash which is a close second to Petra on the list of favorite destinations in Jordan.  The ancient city of Jerash boasts an unbroken chain of human occupation dating back more than 6,500 years.  We will visit Pella, magnificently set in a fold of the hills that rise from the Jordan Valley 78 km north of Amman, Pella, known in Arabic as Tabaqat Fahl, is one of the most ancient sites in Jordan and a favorite of archaeologists being exceptionally rich in antiquities.  It is perfectly situated, for there is a spring here which issues into a small river and never runs dry.  The tell seems to have been continuously occupied since Neolithic times for some flints from this period have been found there; and some recent finds 2 km north of the tell even date to Paleolithic times, around 100,000 years ago.  We return to Amman for our overnight. BD

Day 11: Thursday, February 14, 2008 - This morning we will visit the site where archaeological evidence is mounting that John baptized Jesus on the eastern side of the Jordan River at Bethany Beyond the Jordan.  We will renew our Baptismal vows here before continuing to the Allenby Bridge where we will cross from Jordan into Israel.  We will visit Jericho, considered to be the world’s oldest city after our crossing and then continue to Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found.  Finally, we make our way to our kibbutz on the shores of the Sea of Galilee for dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 12: Friday, February 15, 2008 - “He is going ahead of us to Galilee” (Mt. 28): The Sea; Capernaum; Tabgha; Korazin; Mount of Beatitudes.  We begin at Capernaum where we shall walk in the ancient synagogue and see St. Peter’s house.  We continue to Korazin (Mt. 11:21) before traveling to Tabgha where we will see the mosaics of the Loaves and Fishes and celebrate Holy Eucharist.  From Tabgha we will take a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee all the way back to Tiberius.  Afterwards, we will journey to the Mount of Beatitudes to rehear the Sermon on the Mount and then we will hike down to the shore of the Sea of Galilee as Jesus and his disciples would have done.  We will return to our kibbutz and visit the museum that holds the 1st century boat discovered in the mud around the sea.  Dinner and overnight at our kibbutz. BD

DAY 13: Saturday, February 16, 2008 - We begin heading south today stopping at Nazareth where Jesus spent his childhood and where we will visit the Basilica of the Annunciation.  We will see Nazareth Village, a replication of Nazareth in the time of Jesus and the Nazareth Jesus would have known.  We will have lunch here enjoying the foods that would have been served and eaten during the time of Jesus.  We will continue to Jerusalem where we will find a site high above the city where we can orient ourselves to Jerusalem.  Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem. BLD

DAY 14: Sunday, February 17, 2008 - Through St. Stephen’s Gate, 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.  We travel now to Bethlehem where we will have lunch at Abu Shanab (2 Moustaches).  Bring a big appetite for lunch!  Then we will visit the Church of the Nativity and Shepherd’s Field before we return to Jerusalem for our overnight. BLD

DAY 15: Monday, February 18, 2008 - 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.  We will celebrate Holy Eucharist in the area of the Garden of Gethsemane and 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 will end our walk at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, scene of the Crucifixion of Jesus and site of the tomb where his body was laid to rest.  Overnight Jerusalem. BD

DAY 16: Tuesday, February 19, 2008- 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 or doing some last minute shopping.  We will enjoy a gala farewell dinner together before returning to our hotel for a short rest. Overnight Jerusalem. BD

DAY 17:Wednesday, February 20, 2008 - Early morning departure from Tel Aviv to the United States arriving back in Boston this afternoon. BL

Price: $2,999.00  Price is based on double occupancy without airline taxes and fuel surcharges.  Roundtrip air from Boston, MA on Air France.  Air transportation available from other cities.  Single supplement $699.00

Final Payment due December 4, 2007

Cancellation Penalties
◊ Between July 1 – November 1: $200 per person.
◊ November 2 – December 14: $400 per person plus any unrecoverable fees.
◊ After December 15: NO REFUND

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.