Ashdod (Jerusalem), Israel
Information Not Currently Available
2 days/1 night
Day 1 (L/D)
On the drive to Jerusalem, familiar names will catch your attention all along the way. Begin with a magnificent view over the Golden City from atop the Mount of Olives; then, walk through the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus spent the last moments before his arrest. Re-board your coach for the short drive to Mt Zion, where you will visit the Room of the Last Supper. Enter the Old City via the Zion Gate for a walk through the Jewish Quarter and the Roman Cardo to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Emperor Constantine constructed a vast sanctuary here, on the site of Christ’s resurrection. The building was later destroyed but was rebuilt by the Crusaders. Inside the church you will see the five last Stations of the Cross. After a pleasant lunch, drive to Bethlehem. There, you will visit the Church of Nativity built above the place where Christ is said to have been born. The actual Cave of the Nativity is a small crypt with a vaulted masonry roof. Poor Bethlehem families used the rocky hollows of the region as stables or dwellings, so the tradition that places the Nativity in a cave is not at odds with the story of the manger. After checking in and enjoying dinner at your hotel in Jerusalem, you’ll set off on a drive around the magnificently illuminated Old Town walls, stopping at the Dung Gate for a moonlit visit to the Western (or Wailing) Wall. This is the last vestige of the ramparts that surrounded the Holy Temple of the Jews built by King Solomon. Take time to touch the stones before returning to your hotel.
Dinner and Overnight at the Inbal Jerusalem Hotel (or similar) after an exciting and memorable day.
Day 2 (B/L)
After breakfast, you’ll leave Jerusalem via the Judean Mountains and drive through the Sharon Valley to Nazareth, the childhood home of Jesus. Called the City of the Annunciation, Nazareth is revered as the spot where the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, telling her that she would bear the Son of God. See the Church of Annunciation, sited where Mary is said to have lived, and where she received Gabriel’s message. You will also see the Church of St Joseph, where Joseph’s carpentry workshop is believed to have stood. Below ground level, an important Judeo-Christian baptismal basin is preserved. Next, it’s back on the motor coach for the drive to the Sea of Galilee, to enjoy lunch on its shores. Then you will drive by the Mount of the Beatitudes where Jesus gave his Sermon on the Mount. Continue to Capernaum, St Peter’s village, where Jesus lived during his ministry in the Galilee region. See the ancient synagogue and the archaeological excavations of the 2,000-year-old village. Finally, visit the Yardenit baptismal site by the Jordan River and, at the conclusion of two exciting days in Israel, your motor coach will bring you to Haifa’s port where you will re-board the ship.
You must bring your passport for the visit to Bethlehem. Modest attire is required; knees, shoulders and midriffs must be covered.
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