Our Trip to Israel

The road from Galilee to Jerusalem

 This is Beth Shean, a Greco-Roman city of the Decapolis. It is the largest reconstruction of any of the cities in the Middle East. Our leader, Jimmy, while on a dig here several years back found the best preserved "capital" that has been found so far. In the background is a mound called a "tel." Under that mound is a temple and more of the city.

 Beth Shean is located in the Rift valley near the Jordan River Valley. It was destroyed by an earthquake and covered by the sands for many years. To the right you can see two of the columns that toppled from a local temple when the earthquake hit.

 

 Not far from Beth Shean is an oasis called Gan Ha-Shlosha with a beautiful spring suitable for swimming and other forms of recreation. It was one of Israel's national parks and reminded me very much of similar parks and recreation areas here in the states. After walking the dusty streets of Beth Shean, it was very refreshing to take a break here in the cool spring waters.

 I was absolutely amazed by the city of Jericho. It gave me a whole new perspective on the idea of an oasis. I guess I had a mental picture of a spring of water with no more than a couple dozen trees. Jericho is definitely an oasis in the middle of a desert, but it is miles across. A viable place for a city in the desert. Our bus driver told us that he recorded a temperature of 122 while we were in Jericho.

 

Here is a monastery tucked away in a ravine. There is only one road in or out. It's not really the kind of place you would go hiking to for pleasure. This can be seen from the old Roman road from Jericho to Jerusalem.

Here is Theresa and Ted looking at the monastery from our perch atop the opposite side of the ravine. As you can see in the background - there is nothing but rock and sand. Actually that is all that you can see from Jericho to Jerusalem.

Here are some modern day Bedouin tents near the road between Jericho and Jerusalem. These people live much the same way today as they did centuries ago. When they decide to move on, now they load up the trucks instead of the camels to carry their tents to a new area.

Another of the sights along the road between Jericho and Jerusalem is the Inn of the Good Samaritan. It has exactly two trees and in located at the top of a desolate pass in the mountains between the two cities.

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