A Very Good First Day

Trip Start Aug 31, 2010
Trip End Sep 12, 2010

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Where I stayed

Flag of Israel  , Galilee,
Thursday, September 2, 2010

Wake up call was 6 AM this morning and at 7 AM everyone was at breakfast, most saying they had a good night's sleep.  The breakfast at the hotel was fabulous with all kinds of breads, veggies, juices, and a host of things we never see back home.  Almost everyone ate too much, which is not unusual in the Holy Land.

Then it was on the bus at 8 AM to head north of Tel Aviv for Caesarea.  Caesarea has the only golf course in Israel and is also the home for all the rich and famous.  Old Caesarea also has some of the most beautiful ruins in the Israel, with the Mediterranean or Great Sea as the backdrop.

From Caesarea, we went on to Mt. Carmel, the site of the famous battle royale between the prophet Elijah and the 450 prophets of Baal as described in 1 Kings 18.  In both places our guide gave historical background and I presented the biblical setting.  After those first two visits, it was time to eat again, so we settled on a quick lunch of falafel or schnitzel at a local roadside restaurant.  The more adventurous chose the former.

After lunch we went to the archaeological site at Megiddo, site of many famous battles and the last great battle to be fought according to Revelation 16:16 (if you interpret that passage literally).  It was 100 degrees out, so six of the 24 on the tour sat back while the rest toured and walked all over the site and down the site's impressive water shaft, dug during King Ahab's reign.

Then the final stop of the day was the scenic overlook across from modern Nazareth, where Jesus was raised. At that time, there were probably only a couple hundred residents, but today Nazareth is a mix of Christian and Muslim Israelis.  When we left Nazareth, it was a 35-minute drive to Tiberias on the coast of the Sea of Galilee, where the team is staying at Caesar's Hotel, right on the Sea of Galilee.

Dinner tonight was another sumptuous feast, and the team has all headed to bed to rest up for the next 6 AM wake up call.  Everyone is doing well and healthy.  When asked how today was, most say, "Awesome," "Wonderful," or "Perfect."  As my tour guide friend often says to a group, "You ain't seen nothing yet."  That is true for our team.  Here are some pictures for you to enjoy, with more tomorrow after we cruise the Sea of Galilee and go up to the Golan Heights.
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