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Israel

After Egypt, http://www.pbase.com/ageojo/egypt , and Jordan, http://www.pbase.com/ageojo/jordan__petra , we crossed the King Hussein Bridge and arrived at the Allenby check point in Israel, where we saw a huge crowd. There were simply too many people, locals and tourists, that did the same thing we did. After a long wait, we finally arrived in Israel. Although it was not a strict pilgrimage, our tour visited historical sites mentioned in the bible.

The tour started in Jaffa/Tel Aviv and we headed to Caesarea at the Mediterranean Sea. Caesarea was the capital of King Herod that reigned when Jesus was born. Then we went to Mount Carmel , where Elijah issued his challenge to false prophets and to Megiddo to see the remains of Solomon's days and where the battle of Armageddon will be fought. Nazareth, the childhood town of Jesus was next on the list and we stayed overnight in Tiberia at the Sea of Galilee. In the morning we boarded a boat and sailed on the Sea of Galilee to see a wooden boat from the time of Jesus that was discovered in 1986. We visited Caesarea Philippi, where one of the springs that feeds the Sea of Galilee/Jordan river is located and the Grotto of Pan. Traveling through Golan Heights, we continued to Tabgha, the site of feeding of 5,000 people with 2 fishes and 5 loaves of bread then to Capernaum, where Jesus ministered a synagogue and where he stayed in the house of Peter's mother-in-law.

We visited the baptismal site of Yardenit along the Jordan river and witnessed several tour participants being baptized and then we headed to the ancient city of Beth Shean and drove to the lowest altitude in the world, the Dean Sea. Indeed, with that high salinity content, you will be floating on the water in the Dead Sea. The following morning we were off to see Masada. Built by King Herod, Masada is famous for being the last stronghold of apocalyptic Jewish rebels against the Romans. We then visited Ein Gedi and finally off to Qumran where the famous Dead Sea scrolls were found in several caves there. On the same day, we arrived in Jerusalem and saw a typical burial ground from the time of Jesus and then we visited Mount Olive, overlooking Jerusalem.

We stayed 4 nights in Jerusalem and visited various sites within the city, where numerous events in the bible took place, including but not limited to the Pool of Bethesda, King David Tomb, the Upper Room, where the last supper took place, Garden of Gethsemane, Via Dolorosa (Way of Sorrow) with 14 stations of the cross, and the Garden Tomb. We also went to Bethlehem for several hours which is located in an area controlled by Palestinian authority. There we visited the Shepherd's Field, the Church of the Nativity, the location of the manger and shadow of the Bethlehem Star.

I had a tough time choosing a representative image for Israel and finally decided on the sunrise scene at the Dead Sea. I felt that rowing a boat similar to a surfboard could only done one the high salinity water of the Dead Sea. Nowhere else one could use a "surfboard" as a boat and would be able to float like that with the weight of an adult.

The sequence of the images in this gallery may look weird. It is strictly based on the date/time of capture. While staying in Jerusalem for 3 nights, we went to Bethlehem for a few hours and because of that, some images may look out of sequence. When we moved from one religous location to the other, I also posted a few images I took along the way between the two. That may create the same situation to some.

Photography tidbits:
On this trip, I took 2 zoom and 2 prime lenses with a Canon full frame body. In total, I took approximately 3,500 images, including the time in Paris. The most used lens was my 16-35mm f/2.8 Mark II with which I took more than 2,000 images. The other zoom lens, a 70-200mm f/2.8 Mark II, some in combination with a 1.4X TC, was used to take 700 images. Out of the primes lenses, I used my 50mm f/1.2 for some 550 shots and the 24mm TS-E Mark II lens for slightly over 100 shots and mostly in Paris where we stayed 3 nights on the way over to the Middle East.

Thank you for visiting my gallery. Please feel free to leave your comments on the gallery or images you see fit.

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Amphitheater at Caesarea
Amphitheater at Caesarea
Remnants of Caesarea
Remnants of Caesarea
Benches at Hippodrome
Benches at Hippodrome
Mosaic Floor at Caesarea
Mosaic Floor at Caesarea
Inside Crusader Tunnel
Inside Crusader Tunnel
Depiction of Elijah in a Contest with False Prophets
Depiction of Elijah in a Contest with False Prophets
View from Mount Carmel into Jezerel Valley
View from Mount Carmel into Jezerel Valley
The Ancient City of Megiddo
The Ancient City of Megiddo
Seen in Nazareth
Seen in Nazareth
Church of Annunciation
Church of Annunciation
Corridor Showing International Display of Faith
Corridor Showing International Display of Faith
The Grotto of Annunciation Viewed from the First Floor
The Grotto of Annunciation Viewed from the First Floor
Close-up of Grotto of Annunciation
Close-up of Grotto of Annunciation
Dome of Church of Annunciation
Dome of Church of Annunciation
Altar at Church of Annunciation
Altar at Church of Annunciation
Church of Annunciation Viewed from the Altar Side
Church of Annunciation Viewed from the Altar Side
The Japanese Mosaic of Madona and Child
The Japanese Mosaic of Madona and Child
The Ancient Hamlet of Nazareth
The Ancient Hamlet of Nazareth
Facade of the Church of Annunciation
Facade of the Church of Annunciation
Direction to Other Places from Nazareth
Direction to Other Places from Nazareth
Church of Annunciation in the Background
Church of Annunciation in the Background
Seagulls on the Sea of Galilee
Seagulls on the Sea of Galilee
Fisherman on the Sea of Galilee
Fisherman on the Sea of Galilee
Remnants of Boat from the Time of Jesus
Remnants of Boat from the Time of Jesus
Church of Multiplication
Church of Multiplication
Depiction of Feeding from Five Loaves of Bread and Two Fishes
Depiction of Feeding from Five Loaves of Bread and Two Fishes
Nun at Church in Tabgha
Nun at Church in Tabgha
Altar at Church of Multiplication
Altar at Church of Multiplication
Mosaic Depicting Five Loaves of Bread and Two Fishes
Mosaic Depicting Five Loaves of Bread and Two Fishes
Plate Showing the Mosaic
Plate Showing the Mosaic
The Central Room Where Jesus and His Deciples Stayed
The Central Room Where Jesus and His Deciples Stayed
Inside the Church
Inside the Church
The Opening to the Central Room of the House Below
The Opening to the Central Room of the House Below
More of the Opening with Low Setting Sun in the Background
More of the Opening with Low Setting Sun in the Background
Yardenit Baptismal Site Along Jordan River
Yardenit Baptismal Site Along Jordan River
Hot Bath Facility at Beth Shean
Hot Bath Facility at Beth Shean
Shrine at Synagogue
Shrine at Synagogue
Ancient City of Beth Shean
Ancient City of Beth Shean
Ancient City of Beth Shean
Ancient City of Beth Shean
Amphitheater at Beth Shean
Amphitheater at Beth Shean
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