DAYS 1 & 2 – SUNDAY/MONDAY, APRIL 27-28
The day of arrival finally came. 17 of us met in Philadelphia for our non-stop flight direct to Tel Aviv (5 others made their own flight arrangements and met us the hotel). Upon landing after a 10:45 hour flight at the Ben Gurion Airport at around 4 p.m. (Israel time), we proceeded through passport control and baggage. We were greeted by Shlomo our guide as we left the baggage area. We boarded our bus and drove towards the Mediterranean Sea and the city of Joppa. We leisurely walked around this quiet harbor city. We referred to Jonah 1 and Acts 9 and 10, the stories of Jonah and Peter. The view of the Tel Aviv skyline was beautiful.
We re-boarded the bus and headed just a few miles south to Bat Yam, our first night’s hotel. Here we met the rest of the group. We ate dinner together, followed by an “orientation” meeting. A dozen of us or so then enjoyed an optional walk on the warm and soft sandy shoreline of the Med Sea.
We are tired, but we are looking forward to our first full day tomorrow as we head south through the Shephelah (“lowlands”) of Judah and the Biblical Negev before arriving at the Dead Sea.
DAY 3 – TUESDAY, APRIL 29
First full day in Israel. We plan to visit Bethshemesh, Azekah/Elah Valley, Lachish, Beersheba and the Dead Sea.