Israel Journals

The Land of Milk and Honey

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A February 1998 trip to Israel by phileasfogg

Peddlers Market Photo, Israel, Middle East More Photos
Quote: The story goes that when God created the world, he gave it ten measures of beauty. Nine measures he gave to Israel, and the remaining one measure to the rest of the world to divide. Wandering through this stunning country, you can well believe it.

The Land of Milk and Honey

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Overview

The Star of the Nativity, in Bethlehem Photo, Israel, Middle East
Quote:
We spent a week in Israel, and finally realised at the end of it that it was too short a visit. This country is tiny, but it’s packed so full of sights that you’d go crazy trying to fit them all into a week-long vacation. Anyway, my top recommendations would be: the hill fortress of Masada; the Dead Sea (there’s something almost creepy about the viscosity of the water); the Wailing Wall and the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem.As Christian pilgrims, we were keen on churches- Jerusalem, even otherwise a wonderful city, has plenty of them, along with tombs and other interesting places. The must-not-miss ones include the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Church of Al...Read More

Olympic Village Inn at Squaw Valley

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Hotel | "Casa Nova Hospice"

Quote:
Our room at Nazareth was reserved by our travel agent back home in New Delhi, who told us that he’d booked us a room at the `Casanova Pilgrim Centre’. Casanova? That didn’t seem to fit with `Pilgrim Centre’ and we wondered whether religion or romance was the name of the game here- until we reached it on a hot, dusty afternoon. The road on which the Casa Nova (yes, that’s what it turned out to be) Hospice stands makes its way up a very steep road running up a hill, and the hospice is pretty high up the hill, almost directly opposite the imposing Basilica of the Annunciation, Nazareth’s most important Christian sight.Other than the fact that the hospice is so conveniently located, it’s also a beauti...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 19, 2002

Olympic Village Inn at Squaw Valley
1909 Chamonix Place
Olympic Valley, California 96146
(530) 581-6000

A Day Trip through the Judaean Desert

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Attraction

Sunrise over the Dead Sea Photo, Israel, Middle East
Quote:
Stretching for miles around Jerusalem is a land of golden rock, harsh mountains, scraggy grey-green olive trees- and loads of history. The good news is that it can be seen in a day trip from Jerusalem, and lots of local tour operators have mini-buses which can take you around. Don’t expect a high-falutin’ guided tour; what we got was a van (fortunately pretty clean) and a taciturn driver who drove like he was on a Grand Prix course. At each stop, he’d tell us where we’d reached and how much time we had to look around. Despite all that, though, we had a good time- and it was fairly economical too.Our tour began at the ungodly hour of 3.30 in the morning- the bus tour began at Damascus Gate, but a te...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 19, 2002

The Basilica of the Annunciation

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Attraction

The Basilica of the Annunciation Photo, Israel, Middle East
Quote:
"And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women."- Luke 1:28The most visible structure in Nazareth is the Basilica of the Annunciation- a two-storied cathedral, topped with a conical black-tiled roof and marking the spot where the angel Gabriel is supposed to have first appeared to Mary. Historians say that the first shrine at the spot dated back to the 4th century, and by the 11th century, a huge church- the largest of those built by the Crusaders- had been constructed at the spot by the Norman knight Tancred, the prince of Galilee. The present building is much newer, though- it was designed by Giovanni Muzi...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 19, 2002

Walking the Ramparts of Jerusalem

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Attraction

Peddler's Market Photo, Israel, Middle East
Quote:
Way back in 1536, the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent built the walls of Old Jerusalem (in a record three years)- and those walls stand today, still solid, still intact- and among the oldest, best-preserved standing medieval walls anywhere in the world. Walking along the ramparts is a great way of seeing the walls and the city itself. Three entrances lead up to the walls: one’s at Damascus Gate, the second’s at Jaffa Gate and the third’s at Zion Gate.We began our walk at Jaffa Gate- where, after buying tickets at the counter, we walked through a small room carved out of stone- a room which had been, in previous centuries, a Roman guard room and an olive oil press- the p...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 19, 2002