SHALOM! SShalom.h Or as they say in Israel, welcome home.
Wow - what an amazing trip. Although these pictures aren't in order (too much work), it gives a glimpse of our amazing week.
We flew from LAX to Frankfurt to Tel Aviv. Only one week in Israel, but we packed it in. Kami and Russell went also and we had a fabulous time.
The BYU Jerusalem Center and the Mt. of Olives.
In Jerusalem at the Western Wall.
The tram up to Masada.
The view from the top of Masada. The water you see in the distance is the Dead Sea.
Masada. The dark line you see on the stones: what is below was the original wall. Everything above it was put back together and is "new."
David at the top of Masada. "Masada will never fall again!"
The amphitheater in Caesarea. (correct pronounciation: Ka-saw-ree-ya.) Seats 2000.
Kami stood on the stage and sang "Walkin' in the Sunshine" and we could all hear perfectly. Fun fact: this amphitheater is in use today for concerts and plays.
The amphitheater in Beit She'an. An ancient Roman city dating back to King Saul. Still undergoing excavation. Located between Tiberias and Jerusalem.
At King's Square. Or Rabin's Square. Tel Aviv.
The whale honoring Jonah in the city of Jaffa. (or Joppa as it was known in ancient days) Jaffa was where the big fish deposited Jonah. Our guide Ofer is on the right.
At the Statue of Faith in Tel Aviv. (Joppa) Jericho on top, Abraham's sacrifice on the left, and Jacob's ladder on the right.
Touring the artist town of Zefat. Funny signs.
In an ancient synagogue in Zefat where the scrolls are kept.
The town of Zefat. Very cute and quaint artist colony. And at high elevation north of the Sea of Galilee.
Very green and lush in the north of Israel. Even our guide said he doesn't remember it being so green before. Wild flowers everywhere.
North/east Israel. Golan Heights. On top of Har Bental. Site of a former Israeli bunker. Highest point in Israel. Looking down there? That's Syria.
David going down into the Israeli bunker. And behind him -- that's Lebanon.
Our guide said it was the warmest day up there on Har Bental that he could remember. It was pretty cool with the wind, so I can imagine it's much colder all the time.
Kami and I at the highest spot in Israel. Within days, we would be at the lowest spot on earth.
Funny t-shirt for sale.
At our hotel/kibbitz in Tiberias (Ma'agan). Sea of Galilee in background.
These sea shells are what the beach is made up of on the Sea of Galilee. No sand, just these everywhere. Kind of cool.
The Sea of Galilee. On our hotel property site. Tiberias in background.
The Jordan River right by the Sea of Galilee.
At the Israeli Museum. Scale model of Jerusalem during the Second Temple period.
We also toured the Shrine of the Book where the Dead Sea Scrolls are housed.
We toured the Holocaust Memorial. We had an hour there, but to read everything available, it would take DAYS. They had a separate building to honor the 1 1/2 million children that were killed. A recording says the name of each child -- it would take 8 months, 24 hours a day, to hear each name.
In Jerusalem. The Statue of David. Both of them.
In Bethlehem. Our Israeli guide couldn't go with us, so we had a Palastinian guide for the day. Here we are at the Church of the Nativity. Inside and down some stairs, we are in "the exact spot where Jesus was born." (the star)
You turn around and here is "the exact spot where Mary laid him in the manger."
After Masada, we went to the Dead Sea. LOVED it! Here I am floating and being a good girl reading my Ensign. Only knee deep, but you bob on top. And the water is magical. Makes your skin feel amazing.
Kami and Russel floating in the Dead Sea.
And then we scooped mud from the sea floor, spread it all over and let it dry. Our skin felt amazing afterwards. I was even "forced" (ha ha) into buying mud to bring home to keep this up.
Our last night in Jerusalem, we had a 10 course meal (yum!) and then went to The Night Spectacular at the Tower of David Museum. You sit outside (cold) and watch a sound and light show that tells the story of Jerusalem. 3300 BC to 1948. Cultures, religions, rulers and legends magically appear on the ancient walls and among the archaeological remains of Jerusalem's citadel. All of the moving images are projected on the walls behind us.