125 Photos - Jan 2, 2014
Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: This stone wheel is used to crush olives before placing them into the olive press.Photo: Photo: A large Canaanite altar found in Megiddo.Photo: Photo: Baby Abigail in a feeding trough at Megiddo. It is believed that these are the very troughs used to feed the king's horses at the time of Solomon.Photo: Photo: The Sea of GalileePhoto: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Proverbs speaks of the wisdom of the conies. They are not strong, yet they make their homes in the rocks.Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Limited space leads to creative parking sometimes... (No, this wasn't one of our cars.)  :-)Photo: Orthodox Jews at the Western Wall.Photo: The Western Wall, regarded by the Jews as one of the holiest places to pray.Photo: The wall that currently stands around the old city of Jerusalem was built by the Ottoman Turks.Photo: Golgotha means "the place of the skull". Although we don't know for certain that this is the exact place that Jesus was crucified, it does seem to fit the description.Photo: Inside the "Garden Tomb". Rediscovered in 1867, this is regarded by some Christians as very possibly the place where Jesus was laid after His death on the cross.Photo: Photo: A very fitting message from Romans 1:4Photo: The garden area of the "Garden Tomb".Photo: Photo: Cousins Abigail and Paul enjoyed getting to know each other on this trip.Photo: Photo: The Eastern Gate of the Old City, Jerusalem. Knowing the Biblical prophesy that Jesus will return through the Eastern Gate, the Muslims filled the gate with rocks, and built a graveyard in front of it, hoping to prevent this from happening. Somehow I don't think this will be a problem.  :-)Photo: Photo: A view from inside one of the "Bell Caves" in Biet Guvrin.Photo: Photo: Ruins of an amphitheater built by the Romans.Photo: An underground maze of tunnels, chambers and stairs at Beit Guvrin.Photo: The underground town even had an olive press for making olive oil.Photo: Lydia enjoys climbing in one of the planes on display at the Israeli Air Force Museum.Photo: Photo: My Dad used to work for Hughes Aircraft, so we thought it fitting that he should have his picture in a Hughes helicopter.Photo: This fighter jet was designed and developed by Israel, but the project ran out of funding after the completion of three prototypes.Photo: We had the special opportunity to meet the founder of the Museum, Brigadier General Turner. A pilot in the Israel Air Force since his teens, he fought in almost every recent war, then served as Mayor of Beersheba for ten years.
When asked what was the most difficult job between Air Force, Chief of Police and Mayor, he responded that the job of mayor was most difficult. In his words, it is a challenge to be mayor over 200,000 mayors. (In other words, everyone in the city knows how he should be running the city.)Photo: Downtown Bethlehem a few days after Christmas. Yes, we actually did take a car through this winding single lane street.Photo: A Christmas tree in Manger Square. (Thanks to Google for the photo effect.)Photo: Masada, a Jewish stronghold, was nearly impervious to attack. The only way up was a narrow trail (still used today) to climb over 1,000 feet to the top.Photo: The view was impressive!Photo: The cliffs on the east edge are estimated to be 1,300 feet high.Photo: A digitally enhanced photo showing a closeup of the topography in the plains below.Photo: On the west side you can still see the assault ramp used by the Romans to ultimately conquer the stronghold. Before this ramp, the only way up was by three narrow winding foot paths that led to the fortified gates.Photo: The shore of the Dead Sea is heavily encrusted with salt deposits.Photo: I was surprised to find these little "salt pebbles" rolling on the beach like little stones.Photo: Here you can see the mix of sand and salt deposits. (The shoes are for a size reference.)Photo: The salt deposits extend for some distance between the shore and the mountains that surround the Dead Sea.Photo: Some feel that the mud near the Dead Sea is good for your skin because of the high concentrations of salt and minerals.Photo: Some of my siblings were more adventurous than others... (I would have to say that I enjoyed taking pictures much more than I would have enjoyed the mud...)Photo: Sunset by the Dead Sea.Photo: The Israeli Defense Force (IDF) is always on the alert, and it is quite common to hear fighter jets or helicopters pass overhead.Photo: Floating in the Dead Sea is an interesting experience! The water (if you can imagine this) is about one-third salt! Because salt is heavier than water, this gives you an increased level of buoyancy, and you can easily float without treading water.Photo: A mountain range near the Dead Sea.Photo: Ahh... Time for some treats after the swim in the Dead Sea.Photo: Clay jars like what was used to store the scrolls within the caves of Qumran.Photo: Rugged mountains just above the Qumran ruins. Scrolls were found in a number of caves in these mountains.Photo: The Qumran National Park, as seen from a nearby mountain. The arrow points to the location of cave # 4, where the majority of the Dead Sea Scrolls were found.Photo: The hike was not for the faint of heart, although it wasn't quite as scary as this photo might imply...Photo: ...but the view was incredible.Photo: Derrick inspects a wadi near Qumran.Photo: Maybe one of you birding experts can help identify this little fella...  :-)Photo: The cave to the right of the center of this photo is where the original and largest collection of "Dead Sea Scrolls" was found.Photo: The mountains of Ein Gedi, where David and his men hid from Saul.Photo: Did someone say candy?...Photo: Ruins on Palladius Street in Bet She'anPhoto: This 7,000 seat theater was built in the first century, and is one of the largest and best and preserved in Israel.Photo: These interesting columns supported a raised floor in a Byzantine bath house. Steam was piped through the open areas to heat the floor above.Photo: David, Priscilla, and Paul at one of the pillars.Photo: Photo: This is part of a bridge built by the Romans.Photo: David and Paul enjoying a walk.Photo: Renovations are underway to reconstruct the multi-floor stage portion of the theater.Photo: Ruins at Gamla, another Jewish holdout that joined the revolt against the Romans in AD 66.Photo: I will leave it to the botanists to identify these beautiful flowers growing along the path to Gamla.Photo: A view from the top of the hill.Photo: This is one place where the Romans breached the wall to attack the fortified city.Photo: A replica of a Roman catapult designed to fire rock "missiles" at the walls and tower that protected Gamla.Photo: This tower, (originally much higher) was not built on a foundation and collapsed during the attack when three Roman soldiers reached it undetected and undermined the base of it.Photo: Rebecca celebrates her 17th birthday in Israel.Photo: Fishermen on the Sea of Galilee. These guys did catch a number of fish in their net as Valerie and I watched from the shore.