Week 19 Sunday: Leaving Cairo, Caesarea, Tel Megiddo, and Sea of Galilee

Hello from Jerusalem!  I am trying to write down everything that we are seeing and experiencing, but there’s a lot.  So, I decided to break it down by day.  You can click on words in blue to get more information from Wikipedia if you’d like. Thanks for reading.

Sunday

Sunday morning we woke up at 4 AM in Cairo so we could be at the airport extra early to fly to Tel Aviv, Israel.  It is very different traveling with 31 other people than by myself, but our group is full of incredible people so it was actually easier to get through everything with the group than it would have been by myself.  It also helped to have the travel agent take all our passports and check us in as one instead of 32.  They took my swiss army knife (even though it was in my checked bag)…which means no more opening pop in Kenya or Speghettios cans…no bueno.  Any who, we left Cairo and arrived in Israel. The airport in Tel Aviv is one of the nicest airports I have ever been in (and I’ve been in a lot of airports).  We met our guide, Peter, and we were off to the Sea of Galilee where we would stay for the next several days.  However, we had made such good time we decided to stop and see some sights.

My first impressions of Israel were formed by their airport (which as I said was amazing) and then by the wall which they are building to separate Israel from the West Bank.  Israel is not a very large country so we saw the wall many times as we were driving. It seems to me that walls haven’t worked out so well throughout history…and it was just sad to see people building walls to separate themselves.

Any who…

We used 3 categories for everything we saw to distinguish how plausible it was that something actually happened in a particular location.

Categories

1.    Category 1:  There is archeological proof that this is logically the place where “it” occurred.

2.    Category 2:  Somewhere in between Category 1 and Category 3.

3.    Category 3:  Tradition states that this is where “it” took place.  However, there is no archeological proof and usually there is 20 more feet of dirt on top of the location then there was during Jesus’ time (or whatever time we are talking about).

Our first stop was Caesarea Maritima where we saw the double Roman aqueduct of Caesarea and the Amphitheater of Caesarea.

Aqueduct of Caesarea:
IMG_2164

Amphitheater of Caesarea: (Check out the line of Nigerians at the lower left)
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The coolest part architecturally was that Caesarea had a protected harbor which was one of the engineering marvels of its time.

Me looking out at the Mediterrean Sea where the Harbor of Caesarea used to be:
IMG_2176

In Christian history, Caesarea is where the only secular record of Pontius Pilate was found.  Furthermore, it is believed that Peter started the church in Caesarea and that Paul was imprisoned here and wrote his letters from prison.  I believe that the Biblical bo-jazz is a category 2.  So, that’s pretty slick.
We then journey to Tel Megiddo (Tel is Hebrew for “hill” or “mound”).  Tel Megiddo is a city that was inhabited from 7000 BC to 586 BC and is where the word Armageddon comes from.  It is the place that Revelation is referring to when it speaks of Armageddon (good way to start the tour).  The city was located at a major crossroads and was therefore, a very important place strategically.  As our professor described it, one army would be traveling one way and another the other way.  They would meet at the crossroads and then fight.

The most interesting architectural aspect of Tel Megiddo was that they dug a tunnel to their water source.  Their water source was outside the city walls.  So, when they were under attack they couldn’t get H2O.  Therefore, they dug this tunnel through limestone (?) to the water and then closed off the other end.  I wouldn’t want to attempt this today with our technology, so to do it back then is beyond amazing.

A Panorama video of Tel Megiddo:

Jesus’ manger – An example of what Jesus’ manger looked like at the stable of Megiddo:
IMG_2181

We then drove through Tiberius to the place we were staying right on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.  The first time I got up to leave the hotel room, I walked out and looked at the Sea of Galilee and was dumbfounded.  This continued for the next 4 days we stayed there.  Thus concludes Sunday…

(For those reading who were on the trip please correct or comment with your thoughts.  Thanks)

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  1. Series – Egypt Trip | rtqblog - July 16, 2011

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