Pictures from the Holy Land

A Pilgrimage to the Holy Land

Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus

Led by:

The Rev. Linda Spiers
Trinity Episcopal Church
Collinsville, CT

August 8 – 19, 2011

Trip map

DAY 1, Monday, August 8, 2011 - Depart USA from Newark, NJ for a trans-Atlantic flight.  Meals on board the aircraft. D

DAY 2: Tuesday, August 9, 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 water” (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 LD. BLD

DAY 3: Wednesday, August 10, 2011 - We 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 return to our kibbutz where you can stroll around the tranquil grounds.  Dinner and overnight Sea of Galilee. BD

DAY 4: Thursday, August 11, 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.  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.  Dinner and overnight at Sea of Galilee. BD

DAY 5: Friday, August 12, 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 then visit Safed, formerly one of the main centers of Jewish Mysticism.  We 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 Sea of Galilee. BLD

DAY 6: Saturday, August 13, 2011 - The Jordan River Valley to Jericho and “Up to Jerusalem”:  Bet Shean, Jericho, Gilgal, Jerusalem.  Our day begins on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.  After breakfast we make our way down the Jordan Valley to visit Bet Shean, the best preserved Roman/Byzantine city in this country.  Here, the biblical Scythopolis, we visit the Roman theater and excavations.  We continue to Jericho, the oldest city in the world.  From this city’s walls we have a spectacular view of the “Mt. of Temptation”.  Near Jericho we shall visit Gilgal where the Ark of the Covenant was taken.  After driving “Up to Jerusalem”, we will visit the 2nd Temple Model to orient ourselves to Biblical Jerusalem.  We shall continue to our hotel for dinner and overnight in Jerusalem. BD

DAY 7: Sunday, August 14, 2011 - 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, then to see the Dome of the Rock, then 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.  Today, there will be an opportunity to learn of St. George’s Anglican Cathedral and College and join in evening prayer. BD

DAY 8: Monday, August 15, 2011 - The Passion:  Palm Sunday Walk; Dominus Flevit; Garden of Gethsemane; The Church of the Agony; The Cave of the Olive Press, through the 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 Sepulchre, scene of the Crucifixion and site of the Tomb.  Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem. BD

DAY 9: Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - The Judean Wilderness:  We drive along the Dead Sea to Masada and ride the cable cars to the top.  Following lunch we drive to En 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.  There will be time for those who wish to take a quick dip in the Dead Sea before returning to Jerusalem for dinner and overnight. BLD

DAY 10: Wednesday, August 17, 2011 -New Jerusalem:  We will drive by the Knesset which is the Israeli Parliament and then stop for a quick visit to the Israel Museum.  Here we find the Shrine of the Book where, beneath its onion shaped dome, the Dead Sea Scrolls are displayed.  We will visit Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum, before having some free time for exploration or shopping.  Overnight Jerusalem. BD

DAY 11: Thursday, August 18, 2011 - We will have some free time this morning and then 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.  Now we travel to Emmaus, mentioned in scriptures as the place where Jesus appeared to travelers after the Resurrection.  We will celebrate Holy Eucharist here before having a “Farewell to the Holy Land” dinner and then drive to the airport at Tel Aviv where we will board our overnight flight back to the United States. B

DAY 12: Friday, August 19, 2011 - We arrive back to Newark Airport this morning.  Meals on the aircraft. BD

Price: Pricing $2,899.00.  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:  $699.00

Pricing does not include airline taxes and fuel charges estimated to be $500+.  These will be added to your final invoice.

$200.00 per person deposit due with reservation.

Final payment due May 1, 2011

Cancellation Penalties
◊ Until April 30, 2011: $100 per person plus any unrecoverable fees.
◊ After May 1, 2011: 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.