Pictures from the Holy Land

A Pilgrimage to the Holy Land

Led by:

The Rev. Dr. Paul E. Hamilton
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
College Point, NY


The Very Rev. James Wesley Harris, Jr.
Trinity Episcopal Cathedral
Davenport, IA

February 15 - 24, 2008

Trip map

DAY 1, Friday, February 15, 2008 - Depart Newark, NJ on a wide-body jet for a trans-Atlantic flight with superior en route service.  Dinner on board the aircraft. D

DAY 2: Saturday, February 16, 2008 - Our Pilgrimage in this Holy Land begins: After meeting our guide for the Holy Land, we begin our pilgrimage.  We have come to see for ourselves (John 1:45-46):  HEROD’S CITY-CAESAREA; THE MAJESTY OF CARMEL.  We head north toward Caesarea, once capital of the Roman province, where we visit the Roman and Crusader ruins 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.  Now on to Nazareth for dinner and overnight. D

DAY 3: Sunday, February 17, 2008 - After breakfast, we head to Muhraqa.  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, also known as the plain of Megiddo, 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 Kings. 9:15).  We travel on to Akko, the walled port city that still shows the imprint of the crusader occupants.  We continue to Nazareth, home of the Basilica of the Annunciation.  We will visit Cana, site of the first miracle where Jesus turned the water into wine before returning to Nazareth for dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 4: Monday, February 18, 2008 - “He is going ahead of us to Galilee” (Mt. 28):  THE SEA; ON THE BOAT; CAPERNAUM; TABGHA; MOUNT OF BEATITUDES; GOLAN HEIGHTS; CAESAREA PHILIPPI; MT. HERMON; KORAZIN.  We depart for Tiberias on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.  We will visit the museum at the kibbutz which houses the 1st century boat discovered in the mud around the sea.  We shall take a boat on the Sea of Galilee to Capernaum.  There we shall walk in the ancient synagogue and see St. Peter’s house.  We shall visit Tabgha to view the mosaic of the “Loaves and Fishes”.  From there we move to the Mt. of Beatitudes where we rehear the “Sermon on the Mount”.  We continue to Korazin (Mt. 11:21), then to the springs of Banias (Mt. 16:13) where Peter said:  “Thou art Christ.”  There will be a walk along the mouth of the Jordan River where we may renew our baptismal vows.  We shall reach the foot of Mt. Hermon before returning to Nazareth for dinner and overnight.  BLD

DAY 5: Tuesday, February 19, 2008 - From Galilee “up to Jerusalem”:  We follow the Jordan Valley as we make our way from Galilee to Jerusalem.  The road passes through 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.”  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: Wednesday, February 20, 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.  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 Sepulcher, scene of the crucifixion and site of the tomb.  The rest of the day is free for further exploration in the Old City.  This evening we will go to St. George’s for Evensong. Dinner and overnight Jerusalem. BD

DAY 7: Thursday, February 21, 2008 - 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 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.  Following dinner at our Jerusalem hotel, we will visit St. Andrew’s and Craftaid.  Overnight Jerusalem. BLD

DAY 8: Friday, February 22, 2008 - The Judean Wilderness: We drive along the Dead Sea to Masada and ride the cable car to the top.  We then 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.  We return to Jerusalem for dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 9: Saturday, February 23, 2008 - New Jerusalem and Ein Kerem:  Today we will visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial, the Knesset, and the Israel Museum which houses the “Shrine of the Book”.  We will also 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 ruins.  We also visit the Church of the Visitation which commemorates the Virgin Mary’s visit to Elizabeth, mother of John.  There will be some free time this afternoon for exploring your favorite sites in the Old City on your own.  We will enjoy an early farewell dinner together before continuing on to the airport for our flight home. BD

DAY 10: Sunday, February 24, 2008 - We arrive back in the United States after our Trans-Atlantic flight with our souls nourished from “Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus and the Saints”. B

Price: $2,589.00  Price is based on double occupancy without airline taxes and fuel surcharges.  Roundtrip air from Newark, NJ on Continental.  Air add on from Chicago O'Hare Airport $275.00.  Air transportation available from other cities.  Single supplement $329.00.

Final Payment due by November 15, 2007

Cancellation Penalties
◊ September 24, 2007 - November 16, 2007 - $100.00 plus any unrecoverable fees.
◊ November 17, 2007 - January 2, 2008 - $200.00 plus any unrecoverable fees.
◊ After January 3, 2008: 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.

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.