Pictures from the Holy Land

The Holy Land

Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus

Led by:

The Rev. Ed Townley
Unity of Greater Hartford
Hartford, CT

November 1 – 13, 2012

Trip map

DAY 1:  Thursday, November 1, 2012 - Depart USA for a trans-Atlantic flight to Frankfurt, Germany where we connect to our final destination, Tel Aviv. M

DAY 2:  Friday, November 2, 2012 - We will arrive in Tel Aviv, Israel where we will meet our guide and transfer to our waiting motor-coach.  We travel to Herod’s City, Caesarea, once capital of the Roman province, for dinner and overnight. MD

DAY 3:  Saturday, November 3, 2012 - We have come to see for ourselves (John 1:45-46):  Herod’s City-Caesarea; Haifa; The Majesty of Carmel; Armageddon; Nazareth. . . . to the Sea of Galilee. We begin with a visit to Caesarea Maritima where we visit the Roman and Crusader remains and the harbor from which St. Paul was taken prisoner to Rome.  We continue along the coast to Haifa and then move 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.  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 Nazareth, home of the Basilica of the Annunciation.  We see Cana, site of the first miracle where Jesus turned the water into wine, before we depart for Tiberias for dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 4:  Sunday, November 4, 2012 - The upper Galilee:  Dan; Golan Heights; Caesarea Philippi; Mt. Hermon: We travel to Dan, a beautiful nature park, which has as its literal high point the remains of the City of Dan.  Here we can take a walk along the tributary of the Jordan River before we travel to Caesarea Phillipi, 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 where Rev. Ed will lead a baptism ritual.  We drive to the Sea of Galilee where we will board a boat reminiscent of those used during Jesus’ time.  Dinner and overnight at Tiberias. BD

DAY 5:  Monday, November 5, 2012 - “He went round the whole of Galilee.” (Mt. 4):  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 Communion.  We will share a St. Peter’s Fish lunch and then journey to the Mount of Beatitudes to rehear the Sermon on the Mount.  Then, we will hike down to the shore of the Sea of Galilee as Jesus and his disciples would have done.  Dinner and overnight Tiberias. BLD

DAY 6:  Tuesday, November 6, 2012 - 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 accommodations on the shores of the Dead Sea for dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 7:  Wednesday, November 7, 2012 - 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 hike down the mountain.  Then we are off to Ein Gedi for a walk to a spectacular oasis/waterfall where David hid from Saul.  Afterwards there will be time for a dip in the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth.  Dinner and overnight at the Dead Sea. BD

DAY 8:  Thursday, November 8, 2012 - “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:  Friday, November 9, 2012 - 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 visit The House of Caiaphas, site of the imprisonment of Jesus prior to his crucifixion.  Now we 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.  We will have dinner and overnight in Jerusalem. BLD

DAY 10:  Saturday, November 10, 2012 - The Passion:  Pater Noster; Palm Sunday Walk; Dominus Flevit; Church of the Agony; Garden of Gethsemane; Cave of the Olive Press.  We will walk along the Palm Sunday Path stopping for meditation and communion in a private garden that is 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:  Sunday, November 11, 2012 - 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. BD

DAY 12:  Monday, November 12, 2012 - 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:  Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - We will return to the US today spiritually fulfilled having walked in the footsteps of Jesus. BM

Price: Pricing $3,299.00.  Price is based on double occupancy without airline taxes and fuel surcharges.  Roundtrip air from Boston, MA on Lufthansa German Airlines.  Air transportation available from other cities.  Single supplement:  $1,099.00

Pricing does not include airline taxes and fuel charges estimated to be $683.60 and may change.  These will be added to your final invoice.

$300.00 per person deposit due with application.

Final payment due August 1, 2012

Cancellation Penalties
◊ Until September 30, 2012:  $100 per person plus any unrecoverable fees.
◊ October 1, 2012 or later:  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.