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The day has arrived and we depart Atlanta (ATL) on an overnight journey to Israel.
Today we arrive in Israel at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport. Time permitting, we visit the ancient town of Jaffa where Peter had his vision on the roof top of the house of Simon the Tanner. Overnight Netanya. David Tower Hotel or similar. D.
Today we travel towards Caesarea Maritima* (entrance included), where we will have a brief visit to the magnificent city with Roman, Byzantine, and Crusader ruins. Here we will elaborate on the story of the baptism of Cornelius, the first gentile convert to Christianity, and on the travels of Paul — those events that led Caesarea Maritima to become the springboard of Christianity to the West. We continue to Mount Carmel (entrance included) and consider the contest between the Prophet Elijah and the false prophets of Baal, discussing the reasons why the Prophet chose that place for the contest, and the lessons we learn from the story. We visit Tel Megiddo (entrance included) before moving on to Nazareth Village (entrance included), a re-creation of life in Nazareth during the time of Jesus. We depart for the Sea of Galilee passing Cana of Galilee where Jesus performed his first miracle. Overnight Sea of Galilee area. Nof Ginosar or similar. B, L, D.
After a buffet breakfast, we will drive to Magdala (entrance included) the hometown of Mary Magdalene. We visit Capernaum (entrance included), Jesus’ Galilean ministry base. Then we drive to Tabgha and see the Primacy of Peter where Jesus appeared to the disciples for the third time after the resurrection.* We visit the Jordan River where you will get a chance to be baptized**. Then, we will visit the ancient boat museum containing a recently-discovered 2000-year-old fishing boat (entrance included) and sail on the Sea of Galilee on a replica of that boat (included) before we return to our hotel. Overnight Sea of Galilee area. Nof Ginosar or similar. B, L, D.
We begin our day with traveling to Caesarea Philippi (included), where we will visit the ruins of the pagan altars and consider the confession of Peter in Matthew 16. We continue to visit Tel Dan (entrance included), the northern extremity of biblical Israel. After lunch we will make our way to the Dead Sea to check in into our hotel. If time permits, free time will be given at the hotel’s beach to enjoy its healing properties. Overnight Dead Sea area. Enjoy Hotel* or similar. B, L, D.
This morning before breakfast there will be an optional hike up Masada. Those who participate will be brought back to the hotel for breakfast. Those who do not participate will visit Masada after breakfast by cable car. Masada is a fortress built by King Herod the Great and made famous by the Zealots in 73/74 AD with their standoff against the Romans. We visit the fortress and see the ruins that are considered a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. We continue to Ein Gedi, the oasis in the desert where the meeting between David and King Saul took place and where many of the psalms were written by David. Overnight Jerusalem. Olive Tree Hotel or similar. B, L, D.
We begin our day with an orientation over the holy city from the Mount of Olives*, pointing out important locations within the Old City, connecting them with biblical stories and prophecies about the return of Jesus. We walk down the Palm Sunday Procession Road to the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus agonized on the night before his crucifixion. On to visit St. Anne’s Church (entrance included) and the nearby Pools of Bethesda where the healing at the pool took place. We walk the Via Dolorosa, the traditional path that Jesus walked from the Antonia Fortress (entrance included) to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. This afternoon we travel to the Israel Museum (entrance included), where we will visit the Second Temple Period Model of Jerusalem, a 1:50 scaled model of the city from the 1st century AD, followed by a visit the Shrine of the Book where the Dead Sea Scrolls are on exhibit, in addition to the archeological section where many artifacts are displayed. We will pay special attention to those items that relate to Bible history. Overnight Jerusalem. Olive Tree Hotel or similar. B, L, D.
We begin our day visiting the City of David (included), the original location of the city of Jerusalem. We explore the origins of the city. You will have the option to walk in water through Hezekiah’s Tunnel on to the Pool of Siloam (flashlights and water shoes needed). We will then enter Jerusalem through the Dung Gate, and walk to the Western Wall, a section of the Western retaining wall of the Temple Mount, and Judaism’s holiest site. We will ascend the Temple Mount, discussing its connection to both the Old and New Testaments. We visit the Southern Wall excavations (entrance included) where ruins of the retaining walls of the Temple Mount are still visible. We will then gather at the teaching steps, the main entrance to the Temple where Rabbis met and taught their disciples. We will also visit the Temple Institute (included) and learn about the Temple’s past and future. Overnight Jerusalem. Olive Tree Hotel or similar. B, L, D.
We begin our day with a visit to the Garden Tomb (entrance included), where we will worship together and celebrate communion. We will then visit the Tower of David Museum, once the fortress defending the city; we will ascend to the observation point on top of Phasael Tower, which provides a 360-degree view over Jerusalem, and experience the courtyard of the Citadel. We visit the Upper Room, the traditional place of the Last Supper, followed by a visit to nearby location of the home of the High Priest, Caiaphas (entrance included). The balance of the day will be spent at leisure in Jerusalem. You may choose to visit Israel’s Holocaust Museum and Memorial Yad Vashem, its famous Machane Yehuda Market, or to do some shopping at Mamilla Mall. Alternatively, you could walk the Old City Walls or take in views of Jerusalem from Mount Scopus. For those not taking the extension to Jordan, you flight may depart either tonight or the following day. If the following day and an overnight is required, overnight Jerusalem. Olive Tree Hotel or similar. B, L, D.
For those not taking the extension, your flight may depart either the previous night or today. If today and time allows, breakfast is included today. Either way, today we will arrive back at ATL.
This morning driving toward Allenby border crossing to Jordan. We visit Mount Nebo (entrance included) where Moses stood and viewed the Promised Land. We make our way to Wadi Rum, where we enjoy a 4×4 tour. Overnight Wadi Rum. Sun City Camp or similar. B, L, D.
This morning we have an optional camel ride, and then drive to the red rose city of Petra, one of the wonders of the ancient world built by the Nabateans around the 2nd century BC. Venture into the city by the way of the gorge called the Siq reaching the amazing Treasury building, then see the Roman lower city to include the Roman Theater, Nabatean burial caves and the Byzantine Basilica. Overnight Petra. Petra Moon or similar. B, L, D.
Today we drive to Medaba (entrance included), famous for it’s 6th century AD Byzantine Mosaic showing a map of the Holy Land. We make our way back to Amman, where we spend the remainder of the day at leisure. Your flight home may depart either tonight or the following day. If the following day and an overnight is required, overnight Amman. Amman International or similar. B, L, D.
Your flight home may depart either the previous night or today. If today and time allows, breakfast is included today. Either way, today we arrive back in ATL.