I woke up bright and early at 4:00 in the morning and headed to the airport for check in. Everything went well and we took about a 3 hour flight to Newark, New Jersey. The ride was smooth and we had about an hour layover and then boarded a plane and took a 10.5 hour plane ride. The ride was 10.5 and the time difference was 7 so we lost about 18 hours there. We arrived at Tel Aviv at around 9:30 in the morning. I didn’t get too much sleep on either plane and was close to feeling like a zombie in dire need of some sleep.
I was shocked when I got to the airport in Tel Aviv. It was dead, quiet, not much going on. We also got there on a Saturday, which is the Sabbath in Israel. The culture is just quiet, people going about their life not making eye contact unless people had to. From the airport we left and took a scenic drive up the Mediterranean coast to Mount Carmel for a view of Northern Israel. Mount Carmel is referenced several times as being praised for its beauty as in Isaiah 35:2, “To be given the ‘splendor of Carmel” was to be blessed indeed” & in Song of Solomon 7:5. From here we had a beautiful view of Northern Israel. I was very tired from the traveling and jet lag, so I wasn’t all there.
One thing you appreciate while there is all the valleys and hills. It’s interesting to think back at exactly how far Jesus, and others had to walk to get to place to place. Mount Carmel was also very important because of the International Highway (also called the Via Maris) that passes through. On this location you are higher than anything near, and could/would have had an easy advantage of seeing any one come to you.
The top of Mount Carmel may have been where Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal in 1 Kings 18 as well.
Our next stop was in Caesarea for the day. Caesarea was an ancient city that was on the coast of the Mediterranean. Here is where Herod the Great built an amazing port that went out towards the sea. There is also an amazing aqueduct that is built so well, people have trouble figuring out how he did it to this day. The port is about 70 miles northwest of Jerusalem and was built by Herod the Great in 22 B.C. Paul was also believe to have been imprisoned here and can be found in Acts chapter 10. The port was huge, and protected the city from the waves of the sea and nearly 300 ships could stay at a time. There was also a track where horses raced for the entertainment of the people. I walked the ruins, and looked into the stands wandering what it would have been to live in that time period. Yet, today we still watch things for entertainment just like horse racing.
The view is spectacular with the waves crashing to the shore. Of course the city was taken over, and destroyed several times, but columns are still left from ancient times and give the place a great sense of history.
There is also ruins of a amphitheater in Caesare. I was surprised to see that a modern day stage and chairs set up for possbilly a church service or a some sort of concert. Overall once again it was amazing to learn the history of where former kings ruled
I have struggled being able to eat over in Israel and I really miss fountain drinks. In Israel you get water unless you pay 10 shekels for a bottled Coca Cola, no refills. The food is very healthy and not fried so I’m struggling to say the least. I do enjoy the pita bread and hummus. There were also lots of vegetables and fruit that I’m unfamiliar with. When we do get meat it is welcomed!