Tuesday, January 29, 2013

On the way to the Holy Land

Years ago, when we were on a cruise to the Baltic, my dad asked me to take my mom to see the Holy Land.  He said that he wouldn't be able to take her, but thought it would be a good trip for us someday.  He was right!  In November, my mom found a trip to Israel and I didn't hesitate!  However, with the unrest in the area and combat in December around the West Bank and Gaza, our trip was almost called off.  It settled down a bit, and I am so glad that we were able to go!!
Janet and Mother - Galilee
We did so much on our trip to Israel and it was definitely fast-paced.  We experienced an incredible amount of "history" and we were able to understand much of the reasons behind the current turmoil of today's time.  The Bible came alive as we walked the streets of old, visited Mt Olives, crossed the Jordan River, strolled on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and rode the waves on the Sea of Galilee. It was truly a trip of a lifetime, but the part I enjoyed the most was just being there with my mom!  Israel is a spectacular country and the depth of learning that took place only scratched the surface.  Israel is one of those few places that must take years to really experience correctly. 
Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport is beautiful! 
My mom flew through New York with a group of travel agents into Israel.  I left from Lagos and arrived into Tel Aviv about an hour after the group.  With address in hand, I was able to locate a taxi and find my way to the Herod's Hotel, about 30 minutes away, right on the beach of the Mediterranean.    I met the group at dinner which included agents and guests from Colorado, New York, Texas, Florida, California, Arizona, Tennessee and Nigeria (me!).   It was a great group of 15 - a perfect size for touring.
View from our hotel 
Shabbot (Jewish Sabbath) begins at sundown on Friday evening and families traditionally gather for a special Shabbot dinner.  Many Orthodox Jews were in the restaurant and we were welcomed with their prayers as they stood around the tables.  Our leader - a reformed Jew - lead the blessing of the wine and the bread before we began our incredible meal.  We had lamb as well as hummus, Israeli salad and other wonderful new dishes.  It was a fabulous beginning to a week of adventure.

No comments: