Hi again! I apologize for the long hiatus I took from blogging. I hope that you are still looking forward to hearing about our recent tour to the places mentioned in the Bible.
Are you ready for another virtual Bible Lands Exploration?
“Yalla!” (i.e. “Let’s go!” in Hebrew)
I’m done telling you about how Day 1 went so please allow me to narrate how we fared on Day 2. 🙂
We had our breakfast at the Dead Sea Spa Hotel. I was amazed that some of the staff at the hotel’s restaurant were Filipinos!
After breakfast, we surrendered our keys and checked out all of our luggage. We then hit the road and crossed over Jordan River via King Hussein/Allenby Bridge to get to Israel. Oh no! We did not cross Jordan River on dry ground by the way! We did take our tour bus. 🙂
Below are some of my snapshots while crossing Jordan border to Israel.
The following are: 1) Upper Left: Bedouin tents 2) Upper Right: River 3) Lower Left: flock of sheep and other livestock 4) Lower Right: young olive trees orchard
Before facing Israeli customs officers, we said goodbye to Mr. Basam, our Jordanian driver and Ms. Jihan, our tour guide. We were not allowed to take photos in the security check area. We queued up to have our passports stamped with VISA. The custom officers were very strict. I personally felt nervous because one lady questioned why my old passport is stapled to my new passport. I said that it works that way in other countries. I was relieved that she let me get in after her inquiry to the other lady custom officer. The custom officer in the next window was so lenient that she did not ask me any question after showing her my documents. Thank God!
For some people in our group though, the custom check took rather too long.
After the long wait, we praise God that everyone in our group was allowed to get in!
Coming out of the customs, Mr. Yoni Simmons welcomed us warmly and introduced us to “the best driver in the world”, Mr. Firaz.
These two people made sure we are safe and are enjoying our tour with them.
Here was our first stop.
Next, we had our quick lunch just across this location at a restaurant called Mount of Temptation Restaurant.
After our meal, we boarded our bus and went straight to our next destination–Antipatris. According to our tour leader, this was the half point way between Paul’s journey from Jericho to Jerusalem (Acts 23:31). This was also the place where Paul was brought on the way to Caesarea to be tried before the Roman procurator. We also learned that this place is also known as Aphek in the OT. This is the “Philistine base against the Israelites at Ebenezer” (1 Samuel 4:1; 29:1).
You know what? At this point of our travel, my camera’s battery died so I had no chance to take as many photos as I wanted. Thank God for Bro. Kenneth Cheong, who is willing to share some of his snaps to make this post possible. The following are some of his still shots with lower resolution in Antipatris.
Another good photo was taken by another brother in Christ, who also diligently took videos of snippets of our daily tour. Here’s another side of the site.
Before heading to our hotel, we were supposed to get off our bus to observe the sunset from Mount Carmel but we ran out of time. Consequently, our tour leader showed us the said mountain from the bus. This site was a mountain range unlike my misnomer about it (i.e. a cone-shaped mountain). This lime-stoned mountain is known for its beauty and this is the place where Elijah challenged the worshipers of Baal to call upon him (1 Kings 18).
So yeah, that’s how we fared on Day 2! We are humbled to have stepped on the places tread by heroes of faith such as Joshua, Elijah and Apostle Paul. I can’t thank God enough for such privilege. Glory to His name!
I hope you enjoyed seeing the photos and I hope to see photos of your recent travel too. God bless you as you continue to seek God daily!