Saturday, May 26, 2012

To Israel via Jordan

We are back from a pilgrimacation (is that a word?)  Well, it is now and it means pilgrimage and vacation!  We went to Israel (Holy Land Trip) and Jordan and had an amazing time with a few friends.  The Holy Land trip was arranged by "Supper Link" a travel planner from Sri Lanka.  Because of the number of trips to Holy Land organized by Supper Link we we able to surpass red tape, easier border crossing, long lines etc.

To top if all off, we had an amazing guide in Israel.  His name is Moshe.  Moshe is a public speaker, owner cum guide.  His knowledge of Israel and world politics along with his sense of humour is bar none.   
Here are some pics of the trip which was taken by so many different friends and passed around.  So I won't take credit for taking all the beautiful pictures...but some.  So here is two weeks of photos!

Israel.  Two millenia have passed since the start of the Christian era.  For the people of Israel it is not only a land, but a body of their soul.

Bethlehem is a town in the West Bank in the Palestinian territory.  You need to go through the Israeli military check points to get to Bethlehem.  Bethlehem has the largest Arab Christian community in the Middle East.  The top attraction in Bethlehem is the Church of the Nativity where Jesus was born.  The Star of Bethlehem is where Jesus Christ was born and now a church is built over the birth place.

Place of Baptism.  Thousands of pilgrims gather at this place where the River Jordan leaves the Sea of Galilee, to immerse them selves in the holy waters of the River Jordan.  Scriptures say that Jesus was baptized at this location.

Mount Tabor the church of Transfiguration.  According to tradition Jesus ascended with the apostles and Jesus was transfigured before them.

The Sea of Galilee it was on these beautiful shores that Jesus delivered sermons and performed miracles.

Church of Annunciation this is a Byzantine era church.  It was built over the place where it is believed that the angel announced the birth of Jesus to the virgin Mary.

The Western Wall is the most holy place accessible to the Jewish people.  It was known in recent centuries as the "Wailing Wall.  However, in 70 AD, the Romans destroyed the temple, leaving solely the western wall. This wall became an area of weeping and a memorial for the Jewish folks and continues to be thought of the holiest shrine of Judaism.

The last path that Jesus took is called Via Dolorsa, which means "way of grief" in Latin.  The travel planners arranged for all of us to walk the path through the old city of Jerusalem. 

Petra (Jordan) is located in a valley surrounded by sandstone mountains.  There are many ways to get into Petra, but none of them are easy as you have to walk through canyons with sides as as high as 650 ft.  The temple at the end of it was popularized in American culture in the movie "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade".  Knowledge of Petra was lost to the western world until recently.  Here is feast for your eyes....

1 comment:

RicardoNSilva said...

Thanks for the post, details and photos :)
(Btw, if you can, please correct a little typo: it's "Via Dolorosa", not "Via Dolorsa")

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