I was privileged to travel to Israel and Jordan with Ben, Josée and a group of friends. We were about 30 in total and the whole trip was organized by more friends, Ron and Judy Hamm, in conjunction with Immanuel Tours of Jerusalem. Our trip began on Oct. 06 and we came home Oct. 26. We were actually on the tour from Oct. 12 to 25. Our trip would take us north from Tel Aviv through Caesarea on the coast north to the Golan heights. From there we turned south and traveled through the West Bank to Jerusalem. After Jerusalem we journeyed as far south as we could go to Eilat on the Gulf of Aqaba and crossed the border into Jordan. We then went north through Wadi Rum to Petra and on to the Dead Sea. After the Dead Sea the trip took us as far north as Jerash in Jordan. We then came back south to Amman and departed for home from Amman via London.
Starting the trip we flew to London and had little time before going on so we visited Windsor and saw the castle.
We flew from London to Tel Aviv via Zurich, Switzerland and the company, Immanuel Tours, picked us up at the airport to take us to our hotel. We arrived a few days before most of the group so we looked around on our own.
We visited the markets in Tel Aviv and Ben and Josée even walked down the coast to Joppa and back.
On Oct. 12th the tour began and took us to the site of Caesarea Maritima farther north on the coast from Tel Aviv. There we saw the site of Pontius Pilate’s coastal villa and many other Roman ruins including the amphitheatre.
We visited northern Israel, the towns of Capernaum and Caesarea Philippi and saw outposts on the Golan Heights. We stayed at a kibbutz on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. We took a ride on a Gospel Boat out on the Sea of Galilee and saw so much more. We walked in the places where Jesus walked over 2000 years ago. At one point four other members of the tour and I were able to renew our baptismal vows in the River Jordan. Pastor Ted and friend Dan did the honours.
En route to Jerusalem we stopped at Abraham’s place where camel rides were available. We walked down through the Garden of Gethsemane, saw sights in Jerusalem, visited the old city and saw a light and sound spectacular at the citadel of David.
After a few days in Jerusalem we motored south to Eilat, the southernmost town in Israel, on the Gulf of Aqaba. We had one night there before crossing the Jordanian border and heading to Petra, Masada, Qumran to see the Dead Sea Scrolls and on to the Dead Sea itself.
After Petra we traveled to the site of Masada which was one of the other main attractions of the tour for me. The story of Masada is amazing. I won’t share it all here as it would take too long, but it is a story worth reading. The siege of Masada was one of the final events in the First Jewish–Roman War, occurring from 73 to 74 CE on and around a large hilltop in current-day Israel. The siege was chronicled by Flavius Josephus, a Jewish rebel leader captured by the Romans, in whose service he became a historian. You can read more here
Josée (right) and Debbie enjoy a mud bath at the Dead Sea.
There is so much more I could tell you about this trip. Suffice to say it was so well organized by Ron and Judy working with the company. Immanuel tours treated us marvellously for the accommodation, food and transport were all great.
If you’d like to see many more pictures of the wonderful places we visited, click here. Each slide you see is titled at the lower left corner. Enjoy and God bless!