Pictures from the Holy Land

The Holy Land

Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus

Led by:

The Rev. Ann Markle
St. Raphael’s Episcopal Church
Crossville, TN

December 3 – 12, 2012

Trip map

DAY 1:  Monday, December 3, 2012 - Depart Nashville, TN for our flight to Newark where we connect to our flight to Tel Aviv. M

DAY 2:  Tuesday, December 4, 2012 - Our Pilgrimage in this Holy Land begins:  Herod’s City-Caesarea; The Majesty of Carmel; Armageddon; Nazareth. . . . to the Sea of Galilee.  After meeting our guide for the Holy Land, we begin our exploration of the Holy Land.  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 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 on to Nazareth, home of the Basilica of the Annunciation.  We travel through Cana, site of the first miracle where Jesus turned the water into wine before we arrive at Tiberias and our hotel on the shores of the Sea of Galilee for dinner and overnight. MD

DAY 3:  Wednesday, December 5, 2012 - “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 Galilee. BD

DAY 4:  Thursday, December 6, 2012 - The upper Galilee:  Dan; Golan Heights; Caesarea Philippi; Mt. Hermon:  We travel to Dan, an 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 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.  Dinner and overnight at the Sea of Galilee. BLD

DAY 5:  Friday, December 7, 2012 - From Galilee “up to Jerusalem:  This day will find us following the footsteps that Jesus and his family would have taken as they made their way from Galilee to Jerusalem.  We begin at the Mount of Transfiguration where we will visit the magnificent church and gardens.  We now proceed to Jericho, the oldest human settlement in the world.  From the vantage point of the site in Jericho we have a spectacular view of the “Mt. of Temptation.”  We continue toward Jerusalem and stop and visit Beth Shean, the best preserved Roman-Byzantine town in Israel.  Driving up to Jerusalem, we view the setting for the parable of the Good Samaritan, and St. George’s Greek Orthodox Monastery, literally carved out of a cliff.  Once in Jerusalem we find a site high above on Mt. Zion or the Mt. of Olives in order to orient ourselves.  Then it’s on to the hotel for dinner and overnight in Jerusalem. BD

DAY 6:  Saturday, December 8, 2012 - The Passion:  Palm Sunday Walk; Dominus Flevit; Church of the Agony; Garden of Gethsemane; Cave of the Olive Press; Kidron Valley; Via Dolorosa and Church of the Holy Sepulchre.  We begin walking as Jesus would have done on Palm Sunday, visit the Garden of Gethsemane and the Church of the Agony.  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.  This evening we will go to St. George’s Episcopal Cathedral for Evensong.  Dinner and overnight Jerusalem. BD

DAY 7:  Sunday, December 9, 2012 - 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 the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantru also known as the House of Caiphas.  Tradition holds this is where Christ said to Peter, “Before the cock crows twice, thou shalt deny me thrice” (Mark 14:72).  Below this modern church are ancient caves where, it is said, Christ spent the night before being taken to Pontius Pilate.  Now we are off to Bethlehem for lunch at Two Mustaches (a wonderful Arab restaurant in Bethlehem).  Then, we visit the Church of the Nativity and Shepherd’s Field.  We return to Jerusalem for dinner at our hotel and then a chance to visit St. Andrew’s and Craftaid. BLD

DAY 8:  Monday, December 10, 2012 - The Judean Wilderness:  We drive along the Dead Sea to Masada and ride the cable car to the top.  We will explore this vast mountain top fortress that was built as early as the 1st century AD and then expanded by Herod the Great who built two enormous palaces here.  During the first Jewish Zealot revolt in 66 AD, the fortress was held by less than 1000 Jews for 2 years before the Romans finally breached the walls.  You will have the opportunity to walk down a winding path or ride the cable car back down the mountain.  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.  It is here that the famous Dead Scrolls were discovered.  We return to Jerusalem for dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 9:  Tuesday, December 11, 2012 - New Jerusalem:  Today we shall visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial and see the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament.  We will visit the Israel Museum which houses the Shrine of the Book.  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 in Jerusalem for a short rest. BD

DAY 10:  Wednesday, December 12, 2012 - Homeward Bound!  We board our motorcoach and depart for Ben Gurion Airport where we bid goodbye to our driver and guide, board our trans-Atlantic flight, and journey home with a new appreciation of the Holy Land. M

Price: Pricing $2,699.00.  Price is based on minimum of 15 pilgrims traveling together, double occupancy without airline taxes and fuel surcharges.  Roundtrip air from Nashville, TN.  Air transportation available from other cities.  Single supplement:  $599.00

Pricing does not include airline taxes and fuel charges estimated to be $629.50 and may change.  These will be added to your final invoice.

$300.00 per person deposit due with reservation.

Final payment due October 1, 2012

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