Pictures from the Holy Land

A Pilgrimage to the Holy Land

Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus

Led by:

The Rev. Ron Abrams & The Rev. Jay Sidebotham
St. James Parish
Wilmington, NC

April 17 - 26, 2015

Trip map

DAY 1, Friday, April 17, 2015 - Depart the Wilmington Airport for our flight to Philadelphia, PA where we change planes and connect to our trans-Atlantic flight into Tel Aviv. M

DAY 2: Saturday, April 18, 2015 - Our Pilgrimage in this Holy Land begins:  After meeting our guide for the Holy Land, we transfer by motor coach to our hotel by the Mediterranean Sea.  Time, perhaps, for an afternoon stroll along the beach before dinner and overnight in our beachfront hotel in Netanya. D

DAY 3: Sunday, April 19, 2015 - We have come to see for ourselves (John 1:45-46):  Herod’s City-Caesarea; The Majesty of Carmel; Armageddon; Nazareth . . . . to the Sea of Galilee. After breakfast, 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, 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 Kgs. 9:15).  We travel on to Akko, the walled port city that still shows the imprint of the crusader occupants.  We will visit Cana, site of the first miracle where Jesus turned the water into wine.  We continue to Nazareth, home of the Basilica of the Annunciation and our hotel, the Golden Crown, which overlooks the Jezreel Valley and is at the gates of the city of Nazareth where Jesus lived.  Dinner and overnight Nazareth. BD

DAY 4: Monday, April 20, 2015 - “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 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 will have a St. Peter’s Fish lunch at a local restaurant and then 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, April 21, 2015 - From Galilee “up to Jerusalem”:  We follow the path of Jesus from Nazareth 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 “Mount of Temptation.”  Driving up to Jerusalem, we view the setting for the parable of the Good Samaritan and St. George’s Orthodox Monastery, literally carved out of a cliff. Once in Jerusalem, we find a place high above on Mt. Zion or the Mt. of Olives to orient ourselves.  Then, it is on to the hotel for dinner and overnight in Jerusalem. BD

DAY 6: Wednesday, April 22, 2015 - 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 Sepulchre, 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 Epicsopal Cathedral for Evening Prayer.  Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem. BD

DAY 7: Thursday, April 23, 2015 - The Judean Wilderness:  We drive along the Dead Sea to Masada and ride the cable car to the top.  Following lunch, 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.  We return to Jerusalem for dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 8: Friday, April 24, 2015 - 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 hotel, we will visit St. Andrew’s and Craftaid.  Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem. BLD

DAY 9: Saturday, April 25, 2015 - Morning visit to Emmaus.  Afternoon is free for exploring your favorite sites in the Old City on your own.  We will enjoy a gala farewell dinner together before we board our motor coach and depart for Ben Gurion Airport where we bid goodbye to our driver and guide, board our trans-Atlantic flight, and journey home with our souls nourished from walking in the footsteps of Jesus and the saints. BD

DAY 10: Sunday, April 26, 2015 - Early morning arrival in Philadelphia, PA, where we clear customs then connect to our flight to Wilmington, NC. M

Price: $3,999.00.  Price is based on double occupancy with airline taxes and fuel surcharges of $706.32 included.  These may change.  Pricing based on minimum of 17 - 20 pilgrims.  Roundtrip air from Wilmington, NC Airport.  Air transportation available from other cities.  Single supplement:  $729.00

Deposit $300.00 due with application and copy of passport.

Final payment due January 12, 2015

Cancellation Penalties
◊ Until January 11, 2015:  $100 per person plus any unrecoverable fees.
◊ January 12 – February 27, 2015:  $200 per person plus any unrecoverable fees.
◊ February 28, 2015 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, M Meals on Aircraft

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.