DAY 8, SUNDAY, NOV 17
We left the Galilee today. Following breakfast as well as packing the bus, we started the day by driving to the precipice of Nazareth. Although this would turn out to be another sunny and pleasant day, the haze made it difficult for good visibility. Nonetheless, from this overlook, we could see Mt. Tabor (Judges 4 & 5), the Hill of Moreh (Judges 6 & 7), Mt. Gilboa (1 Samuel 31), and Mt. Carmel (1 Kings 18). We enjoyed a brief time of “Sunday worship.” We also read from Luke 4 about Jesus’ reading of the Isaiah scroll in the synagogue in Nazareth.
From here we crossed the Jezreel Valley and visited Megiddo on the western side of the valley. This is a huge archaeological site, complete with gates (from Canaanite and Israelite periods), storehouses, stables, a grain bin, and an impressive water system. We descended 180 steps down into the water shaft, walked through the water tunnel, and then ascended 60 steps to the outside of the city.
Driving into the Carmel Range, a mountain range extending about 8 miles from the NW to SE, we climbed to one of the tops called Muhraha (“burnt offering” in Arabic). Here we read from 1 Kings 18 about the story of Elijah vs. the prophets of Baal. We also got a great view of the Jezreel Valley from this vantage point.
Our last stop was Caesarea, located in the Sharon Plain on the coastline of the Med Sea. We visited the Herodian theater, palace, hippodrome, and the Crusader part of the city. We also saw mosaics as well as the area of the great harbor that Herod built. Before leaving Caesarea, we visited the aqueduct that brought water into the city from the Mt. Carmel area.
The drive to Jerusalem as slow, with Tel Aviv traffic slowing us down a bit. But finally arriving at the hotel that we’ll be using for the next 4 nights, we enjoyed dinner together. This was followed by our first optional walk to the Western Wall. We are looking forward to our first full day in the capital of Israel!
DAY 9, MONDAY, NOV 18
We plan to visit the Mt. of Olives, Old City, Via Dolorosa, Herodium, and Bethlehem.