Sent: Friday, February 15, 2008 2:43 AM|
Subject: Tour south of Jerusalem
Just a little news from Israel. I went on a tour on Wednesday with a group of students from Master's College. I was invited to come by Randy, one of their teachers. We first headed for Jericho, but stopped at Wadi Qelt on the way. The place that we stopped at was an overlook of St. George's Monastery, which I had hiked past last year.
After that, we headed on to Jericho where we stopped at the location of the Old City. It is a large mound of earth where some excavation has been done. We walked around it and Randy did some teaching.
Next we headed for Bethlehem. After a quick lunch we went into the Church of the Nativity. There was a service going on in the cave where Jesus may have been born, and also one in Jerome's study. So, we weren't able to see those, though I have seen both before.
The next place we went to see was Herodium, one of the palaces that Herod built. It consists of an artificial hill with a palace and tunnels inside, and a swimming pool with other buildings down below the hill. We could see the Mount of Olives from there.
After Herodium, we went to see Solomon's pools. They are located in a more dangerous area, so Randy told us to stay close. He told us what had happened to some people that came to the pools for a picnic. While they were walking around, their car was rolled into one of the pools and burned. God kept us safe though. The three pools were huge and very deep. There wasn't very much water in them. We were only there for a short time.
The last thing that we did was stop at an olive wood store in Bethlehem. Then they dropped me off near the central bus station and headed back to Yad HaShmonah. It was a very good trip. There had been rain the day before and also on Thursday, but God blessed that day with nice weather.
May God bless you as well,