Pictures from the Holy Land

The Holy Land

Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus

Led by:

The Rev. Orion Davis
St. Mary's Episcopal Church
Sparta, NJ

March 14 - 26, 2011

Trip map

DAY 1, Monday, March 14, 2011 - Depart USA for a trans-Atlantic flight.  Meals on board the aircraft. D

DAY 2: Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - We will arrive in Tel Aviv, Israel where we will meet our guide and transfer to our waiting motor-coach.  We will travel to Jacob’s Well near Nablus where Jesus asked the Samaritan woman for a drink and then promised her “living waters” (John 4:5-47).  We will see ancient Sebaste where John the Baptist was beheaded before we continue to Herod’s City-Caesarea, once capital of the Roman province.  Here we visit the Roman and Crusader remains and the harbor from which St. Paul was taken prisoner to Rome before we continue to our kibbutz on the shores of the Sea of Galilee for dinner and overnight.  Meals on aircraft plus lunch and dinner. BLD

DAY 3: Wednesday, March 16, 2011 - We will visit the fertile valley known as the plain of Megiddo which 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 Kgs. 9:15).  We continue to the Roman city of Sepphoris where Jesus would have spent much of his early life and then to Nazareth, home of the Basilica of the Annunciation.  We will return to our kibbutz where you can stroll around the tranquil grounds.  Dinner and overnight Sea of Galilee. BD

DAY 4: Thursday, March 17, 2011 - “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.  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 5: Friday, March 18, 2011 - The upper Galilee:  Golan Heights; Caesarea Philippi; Mt. Hermon: We travel to Caesarea Phillippi, once the largest city in northern Israel.  It is here that Jesus said to Simon, “and upon this rock I will build my church” (Mt. 16: 13-20).  Near the foot of Mt. Hermon, we will walk along the Jordan River to the Springs of Banias and renew our baptismal vows.  We will share a St. Peter’s Fish lunch and drive to Tiberias where we will board a boat reminiscent of those used during Jesus’ time and sail to Capernaum and then back to our kibbutz where we visit the museum that holds the 1st century boat discovered in the mud around the sea.  Dinner and overnight at the kibbutz. BLD

DAY 6: Saturday, March 19, 2011 - This morning we travel to Mt. Tabor, the traditional spot of the Transfiguration.  The Church of the Transfiguration incorporates two chapels; one of Moses and one of Elijah.  We continue to Beth Shean to see the best preserved Roman-Byzantine town in Israel.  Beth Shean was located on the old trade routes between Mesopotamia and the Mediterranean.  We will continue to our kibbutz on the shores of the Dead Sea for dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 7: Sunday, March 20, 2011 - The Judean Wilderness: We drive along the Dead Sea to Masada, the isolated mountain-top fortress about 440m above the banks of the Sea.  Masada was first fortified as early as the 1st or 2nd century BC and then enlarged by Herod the Great.  For those who wish, there will be the opportunity to either climb Masada to the top or to hike down the mountain.  Afterwards, there will be time for a dip in the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth.  Then we are off to Ein Gedi for a walk to a spectacular oasis/waterfall where David hid from Saul before returning to our kibbutz on the Dead Sea for dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 8: Monday, March 21, 2011 - “Up to Jerusalem”:  We begin with a visit to Qumran where the famous Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered.  We then travel to Jericho, where we find the remains of the oldest city in the world.  We will travel by cable car to the Mount of Temptation to visit the Monastery of the Temptation where Jesus was tempted by Satan during his 40 day fast (Mt. 4: 1-11).  We will continue traveling up to Jerusalem and stop for a hike to St. George’s Monastery, an ancient retreat literally built into the side of the mountain.  As we travel into Jerusalem, we will find a site on Mt. Zion or the Mount of Olives in order to see the city and orient ourselves.  Then it is on to our hotel for dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 9: Tuesday, March 22, 2011 - Life’s Bread, Jerusalem and Bethlehem:  Through St. Stephen’s Gate to the Holy City, we study the model of ancient Jerusalem to orient ourselves to the city.  We walk to St. Anne’s Church, standing on a property facing the Temple Mount.  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.  We will visit the ancient excavated cisterns that were found under the Old City and explore the excavations of the Temple Mount Dig.  We will then depart for Bethlehem for lunch at a wonderful Arab restaurant called Two Moustaches.  After lunch, we will visit the Church of the Nativity and Shepherd’s Field and have some time for shopping before returning to Jerusalem for a visit to The House of Caiaphas, site of the imprisonment of Jesus prior to his crucifixion.  We will have dinner and overnight in Jerusalem. BLD

DAY 10: Wednesday, March 23, 2011 -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 walk along the Palm Sunday Path stopping to celebrate Eucharist in a private garden that is a part of Gethsemane.  From here we shall move on to walk the Via Dolorosa, winding through the busy markets of the Old City.  We shall end our walk at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, scene of the Crucifixion and site of the Tomb.  The rest of the day is free for further exploration in the Old City.  After dinner at our hotel in Jerusalem, we visit the Scottish Hospice where a consortium of Arab women sell their handmade wares. BD

DAY 11: Thursday, March 24, 2011 - Ein Kerem and New Jerusalem:  Today we visit Ein Kerem, just west of Jerusalem.  It is here that, according to Christian tradition, John the Baptist was born and lived.  We will visit the Church of St. John the Baptist which dates from the 17th century but is built over older Byzantine and Crusader structures.  We will also visit the Church of the Visitation which commemorates the Virgin Mary’s visit to Elizabeth, mother of John.  We finish our day with a visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial, the Knesset, and the Israel Museum which houses the Shrine of the Book.  Dinner and overnight Jerusalem. B

DAY 12: Friday, March 25, 2011 - A full day free to explore the Old City on your own, shop, rest and pack.  We will join together for a “farewell to the Holy Land” dinner this evening and overnight in Jerusalem. BD

DAY 13: Saturday, March 26, 2011 - We will return to the US today spiritually fulfilled having walked in the footsteps of Jesus.  Breakfast and meals on the aircraft. B

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

Pricing does not include airline taxes and fuel charges estimated to be $400+.  These will be added to your final invoice.

$300.00 per person deposit due with reservation.

Final payment due December 1, 2010

Cancellation Penalties
◊ Until November 30, 2010: $300 per person plus any unrecoverable fees.
◊ After December 1, 2010: 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, S Snack

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

Note that Israel is a physically demanding destination.  Good shoes and some preparing for the trip on the stair master are invaluable aids to a healthy and happy pilgrimage.