It has been way too long since I’ve gone on a vacation with my family, and even longer since I’ve updated my blog. To be honest, I was quite hesitant to go on this trip, since it will be a family trip, without my man, and I’ve lost touch with my bible stories. This trip will thus, bring those stories alive.
However, the wanderluster in me refuses to give up an opportunity to get out of the country and explore the world. Truth be told, this trip has not only opened my eyes to the beautiful middle east, but also cultivated a certain bond between me and my family which has long been gone. The 10D8N trip will be again, split into different posts as there are simply too many pictures.
After a 2 hours flight to Bangkok, we were greeted with Israeli guards(?) before we are able to get our boarding tickets. Apparently we needed to go through a security clearance and interview, showcasing their heightened security before you can even board their plane, El Air, let alone enter their country.
The 14 hours flight from Bangkok to Israel on Israel’s national carrier, El Air, was not the most amazing. There was a really creepy incident though, I was told by my stepmother that while I was asleep, a Thai/Vietnamese looking guy walked up to me, and stared at me sleeping. Like literally bending forward to scrutinize my face while I was asleep!
Anyway, we reached Ben-Gurion airport at 6AM in the morning, just in time for the very beautiful sunrise! After clearing the customs, we were brought to a small cafe near the airport to have a very typical Israeli breakfast, with lots of cheeses, dips, and pita bread washed down with a steaming hot cup of coffee. We will be staying in Tiberius for the first 3 nights.
First stop of the day, Caesarea’s National Park. This was only the first site and it has taken my breath away.
Day 1 – Caesarea’s National Park
So this was the auditorium that the Romans used to hold their gladiator games while they were in Israel. The guide, Moshare (not sure if I spelled his name right) made us stand at the stage, facing the audience, and sing “Amazing Grace”. It was definitely awkward with groups of people giving us “WTF” stares. But all was well when we were greeted with applause after we gave a bow.
An ancient city on a hill that is now in ruins.
The really smart people of Tel Meggido built an underground tunnel that connects the city to water nearby, thus eliminating the need to travel outside the city gates.
This offers a panoramic view of Jezreel Valley and Mount Tabor. We got here just before sunset, so the view was spectacular, but it was also windy as hell.
Mount of Beatitudes
Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God.
The place where I think, the 8 beatitudes were given by Jesus Christ during the sermon on the mount.
Day 2 – Sea of Galilee
Woke up bright and really early to go for buffet breakfast offered by the hotel (Leonardo Hotel), before making our way to the pier for our boat ride out to the Sea of Galilee. This lake (even though they call it a sea) is home to many miracles performed by Jesus, such as walking on water, calming the storm, and providing boat sinking load of fishes when his disciples said they caught none.
The start of the boat ride was something that we have never experienced in any of our travels – flag raising and singing the national anthem of Singapore on the boat. It was quite hilarious, but kudos to Sea of Galilee Worship Boats for making this an unforgettable experience.
On board, the owner and worship leader, Daniel Carmel, led us into worship, which was really quite fun and pretty memorable as well. After worship, we were given a chance to feed the seagulls, in the middle of the Sea of Galilee. This is probably one of my favourite moments, and it is only the second day!
Church of the Primacy of Saint Peter
After a short visit to the boat museum, we were brought to Church of the Primacy of Saint Peter, marking the spot where Jesus reinstated Peter as chief of the apostles.
The place where Jesus called his home, but also one of the 3 places that Jesus cursed. Capernaum is also the home of the apostle Peter that at present has a church built above it. This is also the place where Jesus healed a paralyzed man. In order to get him to the house, the audience had to remove the roof of the building and lower him through it.
The second place that was cursed by Jesus for their lack of faith. This is also supposedly the place where Jesus fed the crowd of 5,000 people with 2 fishes and 5 loaves of bread.
i wanted to have a pamper session that night due to the dry air of Israel and walking all over town. Not sure if there will be a tub in the hotel of Jerusalem, I decided to use my bath bomb (Golden Wonder), which smelled citrusy and beautiful. Staining the water blue with a slight golden shimmer in them, it really made my bath both relaxing and fun!
That’s all for now. Continue the Israeli adventure here!