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Published: April 28th 2018
Last day of the tour and we start off at 8am for the short walk to the Church of Annunciation which has mosaics contributed by many countries around the world including Australia which has it’s contribution inside the church. The church is built over a Byzantine era then crusader era church which in turn houses the remains of what is believed to be the house of the Virgin Mary and the location of the Annunciation by angel Gabriel that she would give birth to the son of God.
Then walked down to our waiting bus (another van had taken our luggage down) and we headed off to Haifa on the Mediterranean coast to look at the Bahai Gardens that go up Mount Carmel and then a drive to the top where we had a great view of the Mediterranean. The gardens are generally not opened to the general public except on special tours.
Then a 30 minute drive down the coast to Caesarea where we another lovely non-Middle eastern meal in a restaurant overlooking the sea. Caesarea is another Ancient Roman site which served as the capital during the Roman and Byzantine eras, complete with theatre, hippodrome, baths etc.
This whole site was only excavated in the 1950s after being completely covered by sand and forgotten.
Our last activity on this tour was a quick look around the port of Jaffa in the south of Tel Aviv. Jaffa is the oldest part of tel Aviv and has a long history of conflict but most of the buildings still standing today are from the Ottoman period so the area generally has a Moorish appearance. Jaffa is built on a high headland so therefore offers great views along the beach towards the Tel Aviv centre.
Our tour concluded at 3:30 at The Gordon Inn. Steve and Greg had to head straight to the airport as they were leaving later that day and only a Louise, Kelly and Ina were staying at Gordon. The others were staying at other places around Tel Aviv. We were to picked up by our friend John Bostock so we sat with Lousie, Kelly and Pierre who had decided to also stick around a bit longer in the first floor balcony. John arrived at 5pm and we bade farewell to our traveling companions.
John drove us to his beautiful house in Ein Sarid about
40 minutes away and we met up with Michal again and their son, Guy, who we had not seen for about 10 years. We had a lovely dinner and long chats until retiring for bed around 10pm.
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