Israeli Highlights

Sarah at Mediterranean

Sarah tripping out at the Mediterranean Sea.

Erika wanted to stay in Kibbutz guesthouses, so that was an upgrade for me from hostels and cheap hotels. The breakfast at the one near the shore of the Lake of Galilee was stupendous with 4 kinds of fish, fresh orange juice you could watch being squeezed by the machine when you pressed the button, yogurt of many types, olives, various forms of eggs, many greens and veggies and fruits. Since I was on a liquid fast for the trip I enjoyed the fresh juices and coffee. Speaking of my liquid fast, I woke up one morning feeling better than I ever remember feeling in my entire life!

The Sea of Galilee has dropped vertically at least 15 feet in recent years. The shore line is now I'd say 500 feet at least from the original shore. Funny to see docks in mid air! Sarah & Noah swam one night after dark but it was cold then. I think it took Noah several hours to warm up again.

Noah took up to the Golan Heights a couple miles from Syria to see a huge castle called Nimrod's castle although I don't think it had anything to do with Nimrod. Very huge, it spanned two mountain tops. One fun part was a circular stone stairway that kept descending and descending.

Sarah in Castle

Also, up north we walked inside the ruins of Agrippa's Palace. Paul testified before King Agrippa. It had quite a water system that flowed beneath the floors.

King Agrippa's Palace

Also a wonderful waterfall from a spring in that area - the beginning of the Jordan River!

Jasmine, Sarah, Noah

Around the Galilee was the ancient city of Capernaum made out of stones. It reminded me, Sam, of the village in Turkey where we bought two rugs. A 4th century synagogue was almost all intact and neat to walk around in.

Noah left us here but we saw him again in Jordan. Going south we walked in one of the Qumran caves where the scroll jars were found. Sarah free climbed in there over 40' I think. I wasn't watching but glad she could get some climbing in.

Erika - Qumran Caves

Erika left us here so it was only the 3 Musketeers, Kari, Sarah & Jasmine.

Masada was amazing but so over touristed. Sarah & Jasmine went down a huge cistern room and I enjoyed more looking down on ancient and destroyed Gomorrah because very few people even know what it is. It's actually on both sides of the road to Masada. I got up early one morning and spent some hours walking around and taking photos and soil samples. A big thrill for me to know about this. At one point I said to myself if these were buildings, they'd be hollow and sure enough I then saw one that had caved in on top corners and was hollow. I saw three other of these cities destroyed in the same manner near the Dead Sea.


A life size Tabernacle was fun to see near the bottom of Israel before we got to Eilat where we stayed in a fancy apartment and swam in the Red Sea with the colorful fishes.

Ark of Covenant Replica

Jerusalem and a fancy guest house that gave us 30% off right by Petra Hostel spoiled me forever! It was so nice we spent most of our time in the room! One draw back to nice guest houses but we did explore the old city in the snow and icy rain even if our shoes got soaked through and through. We saw the Wailing Wall in a hail storm, the Mt of Olives in the rain, missed the timing on Garden Tomb and because of snow other places were also closed but a highlight was being shown a sneaky way to get on top of the wall by some little boys and walking on the wall for free. (We offered to pay when we got off the wall but they said, no, it's okay.)

Jasmine & Sarah in Old Jerusalem

I found some lovely antique pearl earrings that I couldn't resist and my big purchase got us invited to breakfast in the store on Sunday morning....just for us. They loved Sarah! And liked my shekels. I was still on my liquid fast but enjoyed the conversation and watching Sarah down 2 1/2 pita breads plus many other goodies. The tea was remarkable. (Tomorrow is the last day, by the way, of my fast.)

The last night Sarah walked all the way around the outside of the Old City walls by herself in the dark. The soldier guards at one point shined their big spot light on her but I'm sure they could tell she was a farm girl from Iowa and quite harmless so let her continue.

Sarah on the Walls

God was sooooo good to let us go to Israel and Jordan and to see Erika and Jasmine and Noah there.

We were even put into Business Class on the way home and I watched 3 movies and hardly knew how long it took to reach the good old USA again.

End of the Kari Epistle.

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