Thursday, May 10, 2012

Caesarea, Bethlehem and the Garden of Gethsemanee.

 This morning we headed for the Mediterranean Sea and Ceasarea. There are some wonderful Roman ruins here also.  There are the remains of a water viaduct. These people were very industrious. 

 Our group sat in the bleachers of a chariot track and learned about the area. The men then went down and sang to us. They sang "Elders of Israel". 
 Our guide stopped along the way where there were openings on the ledge. He told us that this is the community toilet. Folks would sit here together and visit. He wanted to show us how it worked so picked a couple of us to demonstrate. Apparently both men and women used it at the same time. I felt so special. 

 Ancient swimming area along the sea. 
 I collect heart shaped rocks. I was pretty excited to see this beauty. 
 It would not fit in my suitcase so I had to leave it behind. 

 The Roman amphitheater is still here. I like to climb stairs so I went up to the top. They still do shows here. 
 It was spring in Israel so the wild flowers were everywhere. Poppies are especially common. 

 The field above is the spot where David killed Goliath. It is hard to believe that you can be in these ancient historical places. I guess I always wondered if they really new where these sites were located. 
 As I said the poppies and wild flowers are abundant. In a couple of weeks everything will be be brown and dry. Perfect timing for us.
 We arrived in Bethlehem in the early afternoon. It is a lovely city. The spot where Christ was born is no longer as it was. The spot they believe that it happened is buried deep under a very old church. Most of Israel is on top of ancient cities. You could put a shovel anywhere and find history buried beneath. This is the entrance to the church. The Church is huge and beautiful. 
 You have to climb down a few layers to a cave which is the spot they think is most likely where he was born. The church is on top of other old buildings. 

 After visiting the cave below the church we gathered to hear the story of Christ's birth and sing Christmas carols. It was really a good experience. Christmas will never be quite the same for us. 
 Our next stop was the Garden of Gethsemane. We arrived in the morning and had the Garden to ourselves. It is a beautiful garden spot. There  are two parts to it. They told us that the olive trees there go back to the time of Christ. They have ancient roots and have continued to grow there. 

1 comment:

Garden of Egan said...

I'll bet the stories that your guide told you were so awesome.
I love the last picture of the tree. So interesting to look at.

I think you should have had Jeff ship that rock home for you! You totally need it.