Saturday, November 1, 2014

Our Tentative Schedule

Thursday, Feb 12th:            En route
Today we leave the U.S. on our overnight flight to  Israel

Friday, Feb 13th:            Tel Aviv
                                                Welcome to Israel! Upon our early afternoon arrival, we will head toward our hotel, with a stop to see the ancient seaport of Jaffa (or Joppa).  We will overnight at The Island Hotel in Netanya.

Saturday, Feb 14th: Coastal Route
After enjoying a delicious Israeli breakfast, we’ll drive northwards up the Mediterranean coast. First we’ll visit ancient Caesarea, site of Paul and Peter’s experiences on the Mediterranean Coast. From there we’ll visit Mount Carmel and Muhraka to witness the location of Elijah’s contest with Jezebel’s false prophets of Ba’al. Here we’ll be able to view the Jezreel Valley. We’ll then travel past Meggido, the site of 21 battles from the Old Testament and where it says in the Book of Revelation the final battle between good and evil will take place. We’ll continue on to visit Nazareth, Jesus’ childhood home. We’ll see the ancient synagogue and a special surprise.  We will pass Cana on our way to the Sea of Galilee and the Scots Hotel, our home for three nights.

Sunday, Feb 15th:            Sea of Galilee/The Foot-Steps of Jesus
                                    After breakfast we’ll depart for Tiberias where we’ll take a morning Boat Tour of the north shore of the Sea of Galilee. We’ll visit Migdal, the home of Mary Magdalene and see the “Jesus Boat” at Kibbutz Nof Ginosar. We’ll then drive the plain of Ginosar to Tabgha where Jesus “multiplied the loaves and fish.” Next on our stop is the Mount of Beatitudes for Sunday Worship. We’ll proceed to the basalt synagogue at Chorazin to see where Jesus taught and see the “Seat of Moses.” We’ll also view the Natural Amphitheater where Jesus also taught, we’ll visit Capernaum, home of the synagogue of Jesus’ ministry and miracles. Next we’ll cross the Jordan River and visit Bethsaida, home of Peter, Andrea, James and John. We’ll also see the Decapolis and Kursi where Jesus cast the demons out of a man into a heard of swine.
We will probably do our baptismal service at Yardenit before returning to The Scots for the night.

Monday, Feb 16th:            Northern Galilee
                                                After breakfast we’ll have a full day to tour the lovely North of Israel. First we’ll visit the tomb of Honi the Circle Maker, mentioned in Mark Batterson’s book by that name. Next will visit the archeological site of Tel Dan before moving onto the famous city of Caesarea Philippi located about 25 miles north-east of the Sea of Galilee. Here, Jesus could be alone with His disciples and pass along His teachings. Next we’ll take a drive through the Golan Heights. Afterwards we’ll return to The Scots for dinner and overnight.  This is our last night here before heading south.

Tuesday, Feb 17st:            Jordan Valley/Dead Sea
After breakfast we’ll drive down the Jordan Valley to Beit Shean, an amazing New Testament Roman city with temples, baths, and a black basalt theater..Drive along the Jordan Valley, with Jordan on our east and the Mountains of Samaria on our west, past the oasis of Old Testament Jericho where Joshua led Israel in the siege of the city, and down to the Dead Sea. This is the lowest place on Earth and the site where John was baptized in Jordan at the mouth of the Sea. We will view and discuss the location of ancient Gilgal, Israel’s largest all Jewish city in history; on our right will be the awesome Wilderness of Judea. Skirting the west side of the Dead Sea, we’ll note the cave where archeologist Vendyl Jones is excavating in search of the Ashes of the Red Heifer and Temple Treasures. We will then visit Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered by a Bedouin boy. Our guide will share discoveries relating to Essene Qumran and our Jewish/Christian heritage. We’ll overlook the ancient oasis of Ein Gedi (the Goat’s Rocks), where David hid from King Saul in the caves.. Drive south along the Dead Sea to the Royal Rimonim Hotel.

Wednesday, Feb 18nd:             Wilderness of Judea/Massada
This morning we depart and head to Masada to take the cable car and ride to top. Masada is the most important mountain in Israel’s history. Learn the incredible story of the Jewish Freedom Fighters who held out against the Romans in 73A.D.  The story of the struggle, the excavations, and the view from the top is one unforgettable highlight of our tour. We will drive through Gat, Valley of Ellah, up onto the Golden City, Jerusalem.  We will get our initial view of the Old City from the Mt. Of Olives.  We then head to the King Solomon Hotel.

Thursday, Feb 19rd:            Jerusalem Old City
                                    Today we’ll discover more of the Old City of Jerusalem. First we’ll explore the Rabbinical Tunnels behind the Western Wall. We’ll then see the Temple Mount and (if politically possible), the El Aqsa Mosque, the Dome of the Rock, and the Dome of the Spirits.
                                                    Visit the Lions’ Gate and the Pools of Bethesda We’ll then visit the Tower of Antonia, the Praetorium, and Pilate’s Judgement Hall. Here our Lord was tried by Pilate, beaten by the Roman Cohort, and took up His Cross for Calvary. The Ecce Homo begins the traditional Via Dolorosa leading to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (Catholic site of Jesus Crucifixion and Resurrection). Here we’ll have time to shop in the Old City. We’ll then reconvene to visit the Jewish Quarter including the Cardo, th the Herodian Quarter, and Nehemiah’s Wall. Afterwards we’ll explore the Southern Wall Excavations and depart the old city by the Dung Gate.
                                                Back to the King Solomon.

Friday, Feb 20th:            Jerusalem-New City- PM Bethlehem
This morning we’ll be exploring the New City of Jerusalem. First we’ll see Yad Vashem the Shoa Museum. Visit the Israel Museum; See the Shrine of the Book, home to the Dead Sea Scrolls We’ll also see the Model of First Century Jerusalem. After Lunch drive to Shepherds Fields and cross over to Bethlehem to visit the Church of Nativity.
Back to King Solomon.

Saturday, Feb 21th:         The Holy City of Jerusalem
Mount of Olives our guide will share the geography and history of Jerusalem. This vivid lecture overlooks where it happened, the Kidron Valley, the Temple Area, and The Holy City. Descending the Mount of Olives by the path of Jesus’ Triumphant Entry into the Kidron Valley, we worship in the lovely Garden of Gethsemane discussing Jesus’ suffering and his “Passion Week.” Before us is the Golden Gate of the Temple Area, as when Jesus gave the Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24. We’ll then visit the House of Caiphas, the place of Jesus’ early trials when Peter denied him and Jesus was “caned.” We’ll then view the Valley of the Cheesemaker, the Valley of Hinnon, the
                                                Field of Blood, where Judas took his life, Gehennah, and the
Ophel, King David’s capital city. We’ll then visit Mount Zion, to the Upper Room, the traditional site of Jesus’ last Passover meal, or the Lord’s Supper. We will end the tour with a visit to the Garden Tomb.

Sunday, Feb 22th:            A Day of Leisure In Jerusalem
Those returning home today will have the morning and early afternoon to walk back to the Old City or enjoy the park across from the hotel or take a taxi to revisit one of the sites. You will be taken for your final meal (not included) and then to the airport for your journey home.  You will arrive back in the US early Monday morning. 

Those staying for the extension will leave mid-morning and travel by bus down through the desert to Eilat, the resort town on the Red Sea, the southern most point of Israel.  Along the way we will stop by Timna Park to visit Solomon’s Colonnade and the Tabernacle.  The area where the Tabernacle is set up is in one of the deserts the Israelites traveled during their forty years of  wandering.  The area was also mined by the Egyptians millennia ago  We will then arrive at our hotel, the Prima Music.

Monday, Feb 23th:            Trip to Petra
This day will begin early as the bus will pick us up at the hotel at 7:00 a.m.  We will cross the border into Jordan, driving through Aqaba and the desert on the 2 ½ hour ride to Petra.  This stronghold was the center of the Nabatean kingdom.  Some people continued to live in caves here until the last decade.  Considered to be a possible place where Israel will flee to during the later part of the Tribulation. 
We will stop for lunch, tour Petra, and enjoy a dinner on the way home.  This long day will return us back to the Prima Music early evening.  We will need to know ahead of time the number of people going on this trip.  For those who don’t, you will have a day of leisure in Eilat.

Tuesday, Feb. 24th:              A Day of Fun in the Sun
Take a ride on a camel into the desert with the Bedouins; walk along the shores of the Red Sea; visit the underwater Aquarium; snorkel; snuba; scuba dive.  These are the options for our day of fun.  It will be nice to soak up some more warmth and sun before returning to winter.  We will work out our schedule that day.  We will need to know the number of camel riders and divers ahead of time to make a reservation.

Wednesday, Feb. 25th:            Heading Home

After breakfast and a little leisure time, we will pack up and begin our journey to Tel Aviv and home. Along the way we will stop at some interesting parts of the Negev.   We will enjoy a final meal in Israel and take our overnight flight back to the US, arriving early morning on Thursday, February 26th.