I just loved the markets we visited in Israel. . .wish I’d had more time to wander through them — and browse – and hear more of the life of the marketplace!
We spent a day driving from Jerusalem to Tiberius because enroute we visited Masada and had the opportunity to float in the Dead Sea!
Very soon after leaving Jerusalem the terrain changed and we were below sea level.
First stop was Masada – an ancient fortification which was the former fortress palace of King Herod. It is located on the top of an isolated rock plateau, similar to a mesa and is at the eastern edge of the Judean Desert and overlooks the Dead Sea.
In 70 A.D., the Zealots maintained a two-year standoff against eight Roman legions. When Masada was finally conquered by the Romans, it was a hollow victory. Rather than be captured by the Romans, the Jews, approximately 960 of them, committed mass suicide or killed each other.
The path winds up and around – like a snake to the top. . .but another way is to take the funicular.
Next stop, the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth at 1,373 feet below sea level. This sea water contains so much salt, you just float! And it’s true – I am very buoyant and had no trouble floating – in fact i had difficulty turning over to stand up. LOL
In fact, we discovered that synchronized swimming wasn’t too difficult in this sea:)
Magdala – the crossroads of Jewish and Christian history was discovered in 2009. Mandatory archaeological tests required for building unearthed the only first century synagogue on the Sea of Galilee – one of only seven synagogues from this period in the world. The remains of the 2,000 year old city of Magdala, home of Mary Magdalene are still being uncovered and it is certain that Jesus visited and taught in this synagogue.
Magdala is a unique Holy Land site and home to the beautiful Duc In Altum, which provides a place for worship, mass, and prayer for all faiths.
This is a church in the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. According to tradition, the church contains the two holiest sites in Christianity; the site where Jesus of Nazareth was crucified, at a place known as Calvary or “Golgotha”, and Jesus’ empty tomb, where he is said to have been buried and resurrected.
The tomb is enclosed by the 19th-century shrine, called the Aedicule (Edicule). The church proper contains the last four or five Stations of the Via Dolorosa (Road of Sorrows), representing the final episodes of Jesus’ Passion. It has been a major Christian pilgrimage destination since it was created in the fourth century, as the traditional site of the Resurrection of Christ.
The history of this church, it’s location, validity and current statues to the property can fill a book i am sure. To close – if you have a chance – visit it – you will be moved!
I recently spent a week in Israel, with most of the trip being a travel agent educational trip…meaning we covered more territory and saw more than the average visitor to Israel. Long days and lots of walking and it was totally worth it! I would love to go back and spend more time at any of the sites we visited.
I’m going to start my Israel posts with the last day of the trip – a visit to Haifa. Haifa is the city where my parents met and married while both of them were working at the US Consulate shortly after Israel became a state.
This building is Stella Maris Monastery (meaning Star of the Sea), on Mount Carmel and inside, enclosed as if a precious chest is the Basilica of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. This was built in 1836, over the ruins of an earlier church of the Byzantines times. It is the church where my parents were married.
Teresa Ann Constable & John Banyas
Below are pix as the Basilica of our Lady of Mount Carmel looks today.