It was a beautiful view (left) from atop Mt. Carmel as we looked down on the Valley of Armageddon where the final battle on earth will take place. We stood in the past, present and future. It was where Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal in the past. We were there in the present and we looked over at the place where our dispensation will come to a close in the future. Speaking of views, the center is a gorgeous view from Masada of the Dead Sea. On the right is part of an ancient piping system used to conduct water to where it was needed.
The whole group with our guide on the far left in front of the Western (Wailing) Wall
More photos and reports to come. Stay tuned......
Come go with me to Israel in 2015. Email me for information - firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Steps of Paul
Twelve of us went to Greece for "The Steps of Paul" tour. Below is a group photo with our tour guide who did an excellent job. We were in Athens visiting the Acropolis and Mar's Hill where Paul encountered Greek philosophers and the altar to the "unknown god."
We stopped in Munich, Germany on the way to Greece visited the town square, had lunch and looked around a bit. Mr. Givens posed for a picture with a human statue. We went back to the airport and everyone took advantage of the facilities to charge up their devices and check email was even able to contact my husband and engage in a little face time.
Then we flew to Thessaloniki, Greece and began our journey to follow the Steps of Paul. Our bus was comfortable and there was a lot to learn on the way, looking out the windows as we traveled from one site to another. An example was a wall that was thousands of years old. When the Greeks restore a wall or building, they make it clear which pieces are original and what is filled in to help you see what the original looked like. We went to Philippi and down by the riverside where Paul may have found Lydia and baptized her after her conversion. One of the team members is seen taking pictures of the stream that is part of that river. There is a baptismal hall constructed in memory of Paul and Lydia there. Orthodox children are baptized inside. The building is decorated and a big reception follows with refreshments and party favors. When we were there a little girl had just been baptized so the decorations and favors were in pink.
It was exciting to walk on a road that Paul more than likely walked on during his missionary journey. We learned about how history was uncovered through archaeological digs as the guide pointed out how records were etched in stone. Our group did a lot of climbing and it was fun taking pictures from places like the Acropolis that was so far up that you could almost see the whole city below. (Story continued below)
While visiting an Orthodox convent high in the hills, we had to borrow wrap around skirts before going inside to learn from the paintings in the chapel. (See photo below on the left.) The paintings told the story of how Christians were persecuted in the early stages of the church. It also revealed some beliefs of the Orthodox Church.
We went to a pottery store and learned how pottery was made thousands of years ago. We watched a demonstration of how pottery decorated and had an opportunity to purchase samples. There are certified copies of pottery that has been excavated and there are less expensive pieces that are free designed, like the old ones but using the current artist's imagination. Certified copies take more time to create as they must follow the exact pattern and color scheme of the original.
One of the fun things about traveling is discovering unique things like the bridge in the photo below (second from the right). Unlike other water bridges that lift up to allow ships to pass, this one sinks into the water and comes back up after the boats have gone by. We were able to see it in action twice while visiting a waterfront restaurant for lunch.
I saw a female human statue for the first time in Greece. Three of the ladies posed with the golden girl. (See photo on right.)
Come explore the world with us in 2015. Email me and request information about upcoming trips or monitor our schedule at the bottom of this page.