Our trip was amazing. I am starting backwards and beginning with the last day first. besides the order, you will notice that I am putting
first, then I will add
my comments. some
may be long, and some shorter than others, if at all. I will begin with a link to the pictures for that day for each day we were on the trip. there are usually hundreds of pictures in each day's album. please be patient as it may take a LONG time to
load if you are accessing
via a MoDem
Also, you will notice in the link that there are Google maps showing WHERE and when each picture was taken. some of the pictures may not have GPS information for various reasons, but about 90% do.
Another note about pictures, I took over 7000 pictures. I (ab)use the multi-burst capabilities of my camera, so I can be sure to get a "good" shot of the subject matter
. It also allows me to take pictures in less than optimal lighting situations, with relative surity
that one will catch the "still" image. Since I am not a professional photographer, my technique is to way-overshoot any given subject, so that I can get a got picture.
When I got home and downloaded them, I removed about 5000 as "trash" and kept a bit over 2000, and as expected, I got some great shots of each subject I was shooting (in my humble opinion). then I synchronized
the GPS info with the images left for EXIF
updating. This took me a couple days to figure out since DST changed the first day of our trip, and I had forgotten to change the time on my camera for that.
one other note about the journaling
. Mary's notes became outlines towards the end, as our time-crunch began to increase and there was less time available to actually do any detailed journaling
Wednesday, November 14
Mt. Zion, Upper Room, King David’s Tomb, St. Anne’s Church, Pool of Bethesda, Via Dolorosa
, Garden Tomb, Communion and Farewell
6:30 wake up 7:00 breakfast, 8:00 start
Mt Zion – the Last Supper (paschal feast – Easter
/Passover – sour vegetables, flaky bread)
8:35 – upper room – bronze olive tree with grape vine – represented Jesus’ life and blood
9:05 – King David’s tomb
9:40 – Lion’s Gate / Stephen’s Gate (one of 8 gates to the city)
9:55 – St. Anne’s Church – Only woman present at Jesus’ presentation (circumcision)
Pool of Bethesda – John 5:1 – healing of the man by the pool (religion v. faith)
10:30 – Via Delarosa
Church of Condemnation – Jesus received the lashes
Stones on floor show Roman Soldiers games
10:50 – Spot where Pilot asked the people who he should release
10:55 – Jesus falls the first time – Armenian Catholic Church
Garden of the Tomb – English!
Place of the Skull - 1800’s by English Captain Gordon; outside the wall of Jerusalem on a main road - where stoning's
were likely held, possibly including St. Stephen.
John 19:17 – Golgotha
May be property of Joseph of Armethia
– Cistern and wine press would be owned by a wealthy man. “Not a tomb, but hewn
This became a meeting area for 1st Century Christians with a cross and a baptistery
Communion here – wooden cups
the traditional location of the last supper was an interesting place. the olive tree and grapevine depiction was a bit confusing for me at first. the tree has cut-off upper branches that signifies that Jesus life was cut off. an the grapevine
represents the lifeblood
of Christ (grapes/wine).
It was interesting architecture
The place that was the traditional location of King David's tomb, was a holy place and as with a few others like it, the men and women had separate
The lions gate was interesting, but with many of these places, it isn't the "original", but the reconstruction. it is ancient, but Jesus prophesied that "no stone would be left on another", as I recall for the temple, and when Rome sacked Jerusalem in the middle/late 1st century, it would have been destroyed.
The archaeological dig location of the pool of Bethesda
area was kind of a mish
-mash of various levels and was difficult to see what was there, and had to be pointed out, even with markers. this was one of my favorite places, probably next to Masada and Qumran.
When we went on the Via Dolorosa
, I had tried to be prepared for it not being very "holy" or sacred, but when I got there, I was still disappointed
. I can deal with the open markets there, but there was no sense of sacred at all, anywhere.
there were souvenir
salesmen, and money changers that kind of "ruined" the ambiance. to further challenge was that there was a number of people in the group that could not help themselves and keep from "shopping". we ended up stopping about half way through (I think we go to about station 7 or so), and giving
folks a "break" (so they could go shopping). we were told in the information packet for the tour that this was NOT a shopping trip, but it is difficult to not shop when it is so prevalently
available (at least for some. :) )
We had Communion
Garden tomb. the area is a traditional location of the tomb of Joseph of aramathea
, and location of Golgotha. Finally
a place where the information presented was in "evidence-form". they didn't insult my intelligence by saying that "this is the exact location of..." it was well presented, and understandable. I was very impressed.
Instead of commenting on the pictures here, after I get finished with the blogging of each day of the trip and as I get time, I will add comments to the pictures at the picasa
the final banquet was great. we got to meet the minister of Tourism for Israel. we received
our Baptismal certificates and a certificate about our exodus tour itself. the Wedding re commitment
) certificates were not available. we have pictures of that day, so it was no big deal.
a beginning note (on the
final day's notes) about the trip. Mary and I were unaware that the tour was going to be completely in Spanish. Honestly, had I known this - we probably would not have chosen to go. I am GLAD we didn't know!
Reyes was missed, as she was essentially the
main reason we decided to make this commitment
and go. after she talked us into going (essentially), it never really dawned on my that this would be a Spanish-speaking tour and guides. The people on our group was friendly and we didn't feel like we missed much at all. I had been trying to learn Spanish for a few years, but had lacked a way to "practice" in conversation, so I had forgotten most of what I had studied. Being "immersed" in Spanish, was not what I had in mind when going to Israel - heheeeehehehee
. the volunteers that helped in translating didn't seem to mind helping us. so it was enjoyable. had I felt that I was putting anyone out, it might have been a bit more stressful
. as it was, everything worked out well.