Published: December 20th 2006December 16th 2006
Grotto of the Annunciation
The cave where Mary is believed to have lived and where the angel Gabriel heralded the impending birth of Jesus
Next stop was Nazareth, the place where the angel Gabriel appeared to the Virgin Mary to inform her that she was to be the mother of the son of God, and where Jesus spent most of his growing years. The Old City (Natzeret Ha-Atika) is really cool, with all the sights within easy walking distance. Also took a side trip to Tel Megiddo (aka Armageddon), the supposed site of the last great battle of the world, but there's not much to see there.
Another day was spent visiting the Bahai Shrine and Gardens in Haifa (stunningly beautiful landscaped gardens down the slope of Mount Carmel), and the Crusader City in Akko (so-so). These towns are approx 30-50kms from the Lebanon border. Speaking with some TA locals there was quite a bit of damage sustained in this northern area in the recent conflict, but they considered it to be really far away as Haifa is an hour from TA. I reckon I would be freaking out if someone decided to fire a few missiles or bombs say in the Blue Mountains.
Tourism in Israel appears to have been badly affected by the recent Lebanon conflict. Whilst there is hardly anyone
Basilica of the Annunciation
Built on the site believed to be Mary's home. The bronze front door depicts the life of Jesus.
around (most hostel dorms I have either been alone or with another occupant) it's been kind of nice to see the sights without a horde of tourists jostling for photo opp's.
Finally spent a great weekend with Itay and his friends by hiking up to Masada near the Dead Sea.
There are more photos below