Posted by: HisBeauty4Ashes | January 27, 2011

En Gedi/Qumran/Mesada/Dead Sea

Yesterday was another wonderful day! We left our B&B (our last day at that B&B) and headed out about 7am. On our 3 hour drive to our next Hotel we stopped three places. From our van, we could see across a small expanse of land, into Jordan. You could tell the differences in terrain from green and pretty (Israels Winter season,,,, which here means it’s green) then to all dry/rocky, but still pretty! We drove thru an Arab community which was strange because you could feel a darkness as you drove thru. We went to Qumran. En Gedi, Masada, & the Dead Sea.

((Pic of me sitting on a wall with a Mt in the background)) Qumran was where a group of Zealots (Essenes) lived. They are the ones we can thank for giving us the Dead Sea Scrolls. They wanted to be as pure as possible and lived with no woman or comforts. They believed that discomfort would bring them closer to God, so at night they even hiked the hills to sleep in caves. They bathed 2 times a day to stay clean before God. Being clean was VERY important to them, but it was what ended up killing many of them…….. parasites in the water.

((Pic of me and a waterfall & another pic sitting & looking to my left)) En Gedi, located on the Eastern edge of the Judean Desert, is the lowest place on Earth! Aprox 400 meters below sea level. It was where David hung out/ hid from Saul (and snuck in and cut off Sauls Tzit-tzit “part of his robe”.) Absolutely amaizing place. I totally see why David hung out there.

Then to Masada. ((pic of me sitting on ground with hands around my knee)). Masada was built by King Herod and was home to Jewish freedom fighters against the Romans. When the Romans finally broke thru… he people of the city decided to kill themselves instead of falling into slavery. Only a few women and children survived. The top is about 450 meters above the Dead Sea. Natalie and I decided to hike it instead of riding the tram. It took us about 55min with catching our breath and taking pictures. Hiking it just made it much more personal!

The Dead Sea was cool and weird at the same time.  (pics to come later) It is true that you can’t sink. Once you are on your back or stomach, it’s really hard to stand up again. It stings BAD if you get the water in any open places on your body (eyes, nose,,,, and um,,,, etc,,,not to be gross, but it’s true… lol ). It smells kinda’ like rotten eggs and feels thick. Last night we stayed at a nice hotel right on the sea.

Posted by: HisBeauty4Ashes | January 25, 2011

Tiberius/Boat ride on the Galilee/Jordan River Baptism

Today was wonderful! My favorite day so far! We drove thru Tiberius on our way toGalilee for a boat ride on the Sea

of Galilee. Interesting note: the Sea of Galilee is actually the Lake of Galilee. I asked my group, but nobody knows why it’s called a sea and not a lake? The boat ride was so much fun! There was a light haze on the lake, but not too cold. Just a nice breeze. The water was calm and the view beautiful.  The man who owns the boat is a Christian and while the boat was sailing, he played a CD of Christian music that is sung in half English and half Hebrew. The music just made the ride so much more special! We stopped at one point and the captain demonstrated how they would have fished during Jesus’ time. Knowing you sailed on the same waters as Jesus did, is something special.

We ate lunch at a place called Arbel. It is the of a mountain with an amazing view of all over. While we were up there, one of the men spotted a Goat and then realized she had a baby with her. SO CUTE!!! We found out later that the baby was born yesterday. I gave momma my apple and she seemed to love it. If you see my pics (and a video I will try to add to facebook tomorrow) you will see some pictures. (and the video of one of our guys holding the baby,, lol). It was an amazing place to eat lunch!

Next we went to the Jordan River to be baptized. It is a place you have to pay $10 for a robe & entrancefee. But we all got baptized and it was a moment I will treasure.

I have already been baptized,

but how can you pass up being baptized in the Jordan River?

The water was cold, but once you were in it wasn’t too bad. One of the girls on the trip with me, Natalie, baptized me. We were all cheering, whooping, and laughing. When we were done, a woman approached a few of our group and just reamed us. Telling us we shamed ourselves by laughing and clapping. We shamed ourselves because we were dressed inappropriately (we were in t-shirts, shorts, or bathing suits) and the robes we had to rent,,,, so we were dressed just fine. It was just we “shamed-shamed-shamed” it was sad! I guess she was the “religious police”? She didn’t work there or anything,,,, she was just pissed off I guess? LOL! But none the less,,,,, it was a blessed time!!!

On our way home tonight we stopped in town and just walked around for about two hours. Just w

alked thru the shops and window shopped. The area we were in had almost no English…. almost totally Hebrew which is kind of cool. Beautiful evening to walk around and enjoy the weather and the local night life.

Posted by: HisBeauty4Ashes | January 24, 2011

Golan Heights, Dan, Banias, and Metula.

Today we went to Golan Heights, Dan, Banias, and Metula. I will Add pictures tomorrow……

 

Banias was the area that the “god” Pan was worshiped. I will be loading pics and a video of this place also. There is a large opening in the Mountain where a temple was built and water used to flow. The temple was built by Herod the Great. Sacrifices were thrown into the mouth of the temple (into the flowing water) and if the water flowed out red (with blood) then Pan accepted the sacrifice. If the water did not flow red, then another sacrifice had to be given. The “god” Pan was the half man half goat image (he is always playing a flute).

 

We went to the town of Dan, but weren’t able to explore it because we got there too late.

 

We went to The Golan Heights, the sight of the Yom Kippur War of 1973. That is where the pic of the tank was taken. There are still fenced off places that warn of land mines….. and yes the mines are still there! In the same area of the Golan Heights, (farther up the Mt) I have pics and video of an underground bunker that is pretty cool. There are “listening posts” on the hills that are there specifically for listening to the “chatter” from VERY CLOSE BY Lebanon.  While we were there today, there were a lot of Israeli soldiers touring the place also. (a lot of pretty cute ones too…lol!)

 

We also went to the town of Metula which is on the Lebanon border. At one point we were within maybe 500 feet from the border. I will have some pics and video (when I can load the video????.) from on top of a building. . . from that vantage point you can see into both Lebanon and Syria!

 

Posted by: HisBeauty4Ashes | January 24, 2011

Capernaum, Beatitudes, Loaves & Fishes, Gamla, Galilee (Sunday)

The past two days have been wonderful. We are in our 3rd night at this B&B. It’s a cute place in a communtiy where a lot of “believers” supposedly live. There is a playground and the riuns of a few buildings across the street. Yesterday we went to Capernaum, which is considered the town of Jesus. Peters house is in this town… as is a temple where it is believed that Jesus taught. The temple is now only half there, but it is beautiful none the less. (I have added a video of the temple on facebook).

We went to the Mt. of Beatititudes (Matthew 16) the place where the Loaves & Fishes were given to the multitudes. There is a beautiful view from the top of the mountain. There is a church on the Mt too…. here in Israel, they like to build a church/temple in every place they find a historical sight.

We went to a place called Gamla. In 67 C.E during the “Great Revolt” the Jews of Gamala fought the Romans for as long and hard as they could… till they realized they could not win and decided to jump off the edge of the cliff rather then be taken prisoner. After the Jews committed suicide, the Romans were SO horrified that the Jews had done something like that,,, that they (the Romans) just left the area. One of the pics I will be adding here and to facebook (a pic of a bunch of Hebrew words) we believe is a monument to the people that jumped from the cliffs. But the view is breathtaking!!! Gamla is also a Nature Reserve for the largest flock of Griffon Vultures in Israel. I have pics and a video, of the Vultures, I will be adding to facebook. The Vultures were HUGE!!

We then went to the Sea of Galilee. The water was very pretty and not very cold at all. The spot we were at is where they believe that Jesus called out to Peter and told him to cast his net on the other side of the boat (because they weren’t catching anything) and when they cast to the other side of the boat, the net was totally full of fish. We ate dinner at a nice restaurant. Here in Israel almost all restaurant are either Dairy or Meat,,,,, generally (unless it’s not a Jewish establishment) the two are not combined. It was a beautiful day, but very long. I was exhausted by the end of the day and slept well. 

 

Posted by: HisBeauty4Ashes | January 22, 2011

HaCarmel Assembly/Mt. Carmel/Arab Restaurant

Last night was our first night at the new B&B. A very cute home with three levels. Took a cold shower because we have to flip a switch to turn on the hot water heater (and we didn’t know it,, haha). I had a nice leasurly morning with coffee, yogurt, olives, bread, & avacado for brakfast. The weather today was just beautiful! We headed out about 9am, for an hour drive to HaCarmel Assembly for a church service. It is a Jesus believing congragation that is spoken in Russian, Hebrew, and English. The English was spoken over headphones.

Then after service, we went up higher on Mt. Carmel to the Mt. Carmel Monastery. The sight where the Monastery stands is believed to be the sight in (I Kings 18) when Elijah called down fire from Heaven to consume the sacrifice & overcome (and eventually slaughter) the prophets of Baal. 

The way people drive here is crazy. Many of the roads are very narrow with twists and hairline curves. The drivers here seem to honk at each other more then they do in NYC. If you want to be somewhere,,, you just go there and the other drivers had better be watching out,,, lol. There will be one lane of road,,, with two lanes of drivers,,,,,, and cars parked on both sides of that one lane road! So in other words, imagine fitting 4 lanes of cars on one lane of road!! (not kidding!)

On our way to the Church service and then to the Monastery (on a very narrow and winding road) we passed thru a Druze community. The Druze faith believes that the Messiah has not come to Earth yet. And they believe that when the Messiah does come…. he will be born as a baby….. AND A MAN WILL GIVE BIRTH TO HIM! I will attach a picture of a statue (above right) of a man with a sword). In the picture you can see an older man who is wearing very baggy pants. He is wearing those pants, so if he is the one to be chosen to give birth to the Messiah, there will be room in his pants when the baby drops out of the mans “backside”. (Yes that is what they really believe)!

After the Monastery, we piled back into the van for another narrow and winding drive to an Arab Restaurant. The restaurant serves plates of flat bread with about a dozen different toppings for the bread. (see picture). After the meal, we were served Turkish Coffee and Baklava. And now we are back at the B&B. Some are playing cards. Others are just relaxing.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I can’t even properly put into words what this place is like. I encourage each and ever Christian to visit Israel if at all possible!!! I can’t fully explain it, but being here is just. . . . . right. And again, if you go to my facebook pictures, there are a lot more pics from today under the folder “HaCarmel Assembly/Mt. Carmel/Arab Restaurant” Love you all!

Posted by: HisBeauty4Ashes | January 21, 2011

Tel-Aviv, Mediterranean, & Ceaserea

Hello again and sorry it took me a few days to write again. I didn’t have Net last night, so here I am now. We had a nice trip getting here to Israel! Turkish Airlines was AWESOME! The seats are much more comfortable then the airlines in the states. The seat bottoms recline too (not just the backs) so they were very comfortable! Each seat had a TV with free movies, music, and games to choose from. They also served two full meals (dinner and breakfast). For dinner I had a pasta meal which was great. The flight was just under 9 hours, but with the movies, it made it go by quite quickly. I didn’t get his name, but I sat next to a pretty cute Turk! (LOL!) We had a 2 hour layover in Turkey. The airport was very nice. They had many stores that sold Turkish Delight and had plates-and-plates of free Turkish Delight samples (I had a LOT of samples…lol). I have also learned that foreign countries love their high end name brand clothing.

We arrived in Israel to beautiful weather. The airport here is very nice too. Our group leader was there waiting to pick us up. We headed right out to our B&B. A really cute place run by a Christian couple. Our leader Kathy wanted to keep us awake to a certain time at night (not to go to bed too early) so she took us to Tel-Aviv for dinner and shopping. We had Schwarma for dinner and then walked around and did some shopping. I uploaded a video on facebook (the video with the Muslim “call to prayer” in the background)……. so you can see where we were shopping. I found out that here in Israel, wild house cats (yes like kitty cats) are a protected species (no joke) and they are EVERYWHERE!!! We also swung by the Mediterranean Sea for a few seconds. I was really tired by the time we were done shopping and slept great!!!

This morning we got up and had a nice breakfast. Here, they have mainly fruits and fresh vegetables for breakfast. We packed up and headed out early. First we stopped at the Roman Aqua-ducts I have seen them on TV many times and it was so awesome to see in person. We then went to Ceaserea. It was so very cool to see the Roman Coliseum, and the Hippodrome (Hippodrome was where they raced with horse and chariots…. Ben Hur kinda stuff). There were other ruins as well. When I was done looking at the ruins I sat with a cup of good coffee & then purchased a beautiful Israeli necklace.

After we left there, we headed to Poryya to our B&B that we will be at for the next 4 days. Today is Sabbath so we had to stop to get food for Sabbath dinner. We missed all of the grocery stores before they closed down (for Sabbath) but praise God we found an outside market that was still open in Tyberius. It was really cool!!! Fresh friuts, vege’s, nuts, dates, breads, olives,…… YUMMY! We then arrived at our B&B and began fixing dinner. We had a beautiful Shabbat dinner. We are now sitting and relaxing. This place (Israel) is not what I expected,,,, but in a good way. It is an AMAZING !!!! It blows my mind that I am here! WOW! I will add some pics here,,, but to see them all go to my facebook pics and I will upload in todays (Tel-Aviv, Mediterranean, & Ceaserea) folder. Aqua-ducts

Posted by: HisBeauty4Ashes | January 19, 2011

My Israel & Turkey Blog


Well good morning & greetings from New York City. . . WOOP-WOOP! This is my first blog entry on my adventure of a lifetime (so far)!!! I packed almost everything in one med sized Jeep duffle bag & one backpack (to the shock of the other women in my group whom each have at least 2 suitcases and a cary-on… haha). I got a ride to the airport with 2 other ladies that are on my trip with me. My group arrived at the airport 1st and got right thru (the Anchorage airport is the easiest to come and go from)! There are a total of 9 of us going, but 2 others left ahead of us. Soon after, our other travel buddies began to arrive. The air was very light & excited as we began to chat about our adventure. On the plane into Seattle & then into NYC I had an empty middle seat in-between me and the other person in my row. That is always a blessing.

We had a layover of a few hrs in Seattle. Some of us had breakfast and chatted,,,, some of us slept. When we arrived in NYC it was overcast and rainy. We had to walk a ways for our shuttle, but it finally arrived and whisked us away to our hotel. It was pretty neat because on our shuttle to the hotel there were a few groups. There was our Church group on the way to Israel, a family with a few kids on their way (as missionaries) to China, and another girl (a missionary) on her way somewhere.  It’s a nice hotel and quite large in the scheme of NYC hotels. . . as I hear. The hotel is in Jamaica, NY.  I shared the room with two other ladies from my group. We ordered dinner out (I had Chinese . . . and I’ve had better, but at least it was edible). We were thinking about going to the Statue & Ground Zero this morning, but then decided that we wouldn’t really have ample time before we had to leave for our plane. Instead we all decided to get a Taxi (which was about $250 round trip and one of the couples decided to totally pay for) last night and go to Time Square and see the lights. I’m glad we made that choice!

I was beside myself!!! I have wanted to visit New York for a really long time and was SOOOO very excited!  We walked and walked. I had a NYC hot dog and a big slice of cheese cake. We shopped “knock-off” vendors and took a bunch of pictures. We ended up spending over 3 hrs just walking around. There were people everywhere and everyone seemed friendly. The same Taxi driver picked us up and gave us a tiny tour on the way back. We had a great time. but were all exhausted when we got back. I slept pretty good last night and woke up just past 8am & came down for continental breakfast. After that I took a shower and got ready for the day ahead. We leave for the airport again about 12:30 pm and are off for the next leg of our adventure. It’s overcast and cloudy again, but at least there’s no snow!!! We fly Turkish Air for this next flight into Turkey (aprox 10hrs in the air). There will be a short layover in Turkey and then it’s off for the last part of the trip into TelAviv (aprox 2 more hrs). I will post again as soon as I can. I will also upload more pics on my facebook page. God bless and see you all again soon!

Posted by: HisBeauty4Ashes | January 14, 2011

My Israel & Turkey Itinerary

I already posted this on my other blog, but since this is my “official” trip blog. . . I decided I would post it here too. Just 4 short days until the beginning of my adventure. WooHoo!

A number of people have asked me what I am doing while in Israel & Turkey, so I decided to post my Itinerary here so you could all see:

Jan 18th: Overnight in NY City (and some sight seeing)

Jan 19th: Fly into Tel Aviv (overnight stay)

Jan 21st: Caesarea, Galilee,  & Shabbat (Sabbath) Dinner

Jan 22nd: HaKarmel Assembly, Mt. Carmel Monastery, Mediterranean Sea, Arab Restaurant for dinner

Jan 23rd: Capernaum, Mt. Of Beatitudes, Church of Loaves and Fishes, City of Gamla, Galilee, & Ein Gev (Kibbutz)

Jan 24th: Golan Heights, Dan, Banias, & Metula

Jan 25th: Tiberius, a Galilee Boat Ride, & Jordan River Baptismal site

Jan 26th: Jordan Valley, Dead Sea, Masada, En Gedi, Qum Ran, & overnight in Ein Bokek

Jan 27th: Jerusalem, Western (Wailing) Wall, Old City, & Jewish Quarter

Jan 28th: Jewish Shouk, City of David, Hezekiah’s Tunnels, & Shabbat (Sabbath) Dinner

Jan 29th: Sabbath

Jan 30th: Succat Hallel, Yad Vashem, & Israel Museum

Jan 31st: Temple Mount, Davidson Archaeological Museum, & Hasmoneum Tunnels

Feb 1st: CFI (Christian Friends of Israel), Gethsemane, Garden Tomb, & Mt. of Olives

Feb 2nd: BFP (Bridges for Peace), free day

Feb 3rd: Fly to Istanbul, sight see

Feb 4th: Istanbul Ottoman & Byzantium Traces Tour

Feb 5ht: Free day

Feb 6th: Back to NY City and then home.


Posted by: HisBeauty4Ashes | January 7, 2011

My Israel & Turkey Blog

Well, I decided to create a blog for my travels in 2011. First up (from Jan 18th to Feb 7th) will be New York, Israel, and Turkey. I will do my best to blog and upload pictures as I go so you can all keep up to date on where I am and what I am doing. Later in the year (planning on September) I will be spending a few weeks exploring Europe. So stay tuned and I will see you all here in 2 shakes of a lambs tail….

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