Blogs from Nazareth, North District, Israel, Middle East


Middle East » Israel » North District » Nazareth January 20th 2020

Last night we made a little presentation to Bill Dawson from our group...the Brown Bus. In the past we’ve been Aqua, Gray, and Purple, so this tear we’ve referred to ourselves as the pooper scoopers. We gave Bill a poop emoji hat which he wore on the bus this morning. It got a great laugh!! Today we started with a long drive to Caesarea. It was rainy day but warm. Caesarea is a great Seaport built by King Herod. It is important to Christians because Paul spent two years in prison there in Cornelius was the first non-Jew to be baptized Christian. Read acts 10:1-6 to know more. Typically it’s beautiful and sunny at Caesarea but today was rainy and windy, Plus there is a lot of construction going on so it wasn’t conducive to great ... read more

Middle East » Israel » North District » Nazareth April 25th 2018

Departing from Jerusalem today so met at 7:20am this morning to get bags into the bus and we got away at 7:35am. This is the first day we got some proper rain and the sky was quite an unusual colour. Took about one hour to get to Jericho where we visited Hisham’s Palace. This is an Islamic archaeological site from the 8th Century. It was destroyed by an earthquake. It is famous for it’s intact mosaic “The Tree of Life” but we were not able to see it. In fact all the floors were covered by cloth and dirt so we couldn’t see any mosaics at all. However it was still very interesting and one of the rooms had multiple columns reminding me of Luxor temple but on a much smaller scale. We then had a ... read more
Hisham's Palace
Hisham's Palace
Hisham's Palace

Middle East » Israel » North District » Nazareth February 16th 2018

This morning was a little different as this is the day we move from our hotel in Bethlehem to our hotel in Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee. We not only had to get ready but pack our suitcases and put them outside our door before we went to breakfast. We are very fortunate that at each hotel we have young men who carry our luggage from our rooms to the bus and vice versa. All we have to do is double check and make sure our luggage is ready to be put on the bus. Our bus ride today took a little time as we were going to Caesarera Maritima on the Mediterranean. It is beautiful there with the ancient ruins on a backdrop of the blue seas of the Mediterranean. This site is important ... read more

Middle East » Israel » North District » Nazareth October 31st 2017

Before departing Haifa, we take the Mount Carmel Cable Carfor the view and to visit the Stella Maris Monastery. We walk back along the beach, no humans – it’s off season but it’s heaving with cats, they appear to live among the rocks. Then onwards, stopping for lunch at Tel Megiddo (aka Armageddon), to check out the venue where the world is prophesied to end. A strange irony; it’s not where Google Maps says it is. A conspiracy theory; this is a deliberate and cunning ploy by Google to prevent the end of civilisation. We arrive at today’s destination, Nazareth - Jesus’s manor. The hotel, Villa Nazarath, is immaculate. It is in a converted school adjoning the Greek Orthodox Church of the Anunciation which is built over a spring where the Greeks believe Mary was visited ... read more
Mount Carmel view
Stella Maris Monastery
Cats on a beach

Middle East » Israel » North District » Nazareth October 10th 2017

Hello everybody, We have moved from Haifa to closer to the Sea of Galilee. We will be in this area 5 full days. Today we toured the ancient city of Megiddo. We were looking across the Jezreel Valley where the site of the final battle is foretold in Revelation. This city was rebuilt by King Soloman in 30 BC over city after city built and destroyed below it. The mock up image shows what it would have been in its hayday ? Here are some images I know it's hard to visualize. Even when you see it in person Lowell... read more

Middle East » Israel » North District » Nazareth October 3rd 2017

today we had breakfast on the run from a bakery and headed straight to Nazareth I was the navigator and we did a little tour of Nazareth before getting into the nazareth village so we arrived 10min late but when we got there other groups were also late so it didnt seem to matter but it was full of tour groups and we had to really keep moving but as Pete would say it was a moving experience. we bought a bit of hebron glass here it was good prices hopefully we can get it home in one piece. one thing that accured to me here is that a lot of the tools used 2000 yrs ago and probably 4000 yrs ago were still being used just over 100 yrs ago and it reminded me of ... read more

Middle East » Israel » North District » Nazareth September 16th 2015

Over the last year, I had the opportunity to minister at a hospital and an elder care facility. One of the greatest challenges (and blessings) of this ministry was walking with women and men who were struggling with various types of suffering. Much suffering associated with illness seems unnecessary and is often inexplicable; there are no easy answers to explain why pain, illness and suffering are a part of the human condition. However, one of the greatest gifts of our Catholic Christian faith is that our God chose to become human in the person of Jesus. As we know, Jesus experienced much unnecessary and inexplicable pain and suffering. Today, we visited the spot where the Incarnation, and thus Christ's full participation in the human condition sans sin, became possible. It became possible because of Mary’s ... read more
[Here] the Word became flesh (John 1:14)
Salve Regina
1st Century Dwelling (Nazareth)

Middle East » Israel » North District » Nazareth January 19th 2015

Today we traveled to Cana where Jesus turned water into wine at the Wedding Feast of Cana, his first miracle. Upon arrival all the married couples in the group renewed their wedding vows. It was one of the little surprises that we have been experiencing every day. We processed down the aisle in 2’s and then facing our spouses all recited our wedding vows followed by a blessing of our rings. It added a nice touch and was a special beginning to our day. Some of the sites we visit have been destroyed in one way or another but through excavation ruins are found and then churches built on top of them to preserve them. Sometimes these churches are destroyed by war or earthquakes and rebuilt only to be destroyed again. Next stop was the Sea ... read more
Sea of Galilee
Casting fishing net
St. Peter's Fish

Middle East » Israel » North District » Nazareth January 18th 2015

Today after breakfast we boarded our bus for the drive to Caesarea Philippi which is in the Lebanon/Syria border. Caesarea Phillippi was an ancient Roman city located at the southwestern base of Mount Hermon, adjacent to a spring, grotto, and related to the Greek god Pan, and called “Banias or Paneas.” The city is mentioned in the gospels of Matthew and Mark. The city is now uninhabited, an archaeological site in the Golan Heights. Near Caesarea Philippi, a city of Greek-Roman gods, Jesus announced he would establish a church and gave authority over it to the apostle Simon—whom he renamed Peter. This is where He declared, “You are Peter and on this rock I will build my church….” It was a very moving experience. Afterwards we stopped for lunch where we ordered some Gyros. So far ... read more
Ruins at Banias
Niche where statues of pagan gods were displayed
Church of Transfiguration on Mount Tabor

Middle East » Israel » North District » Nazareth January 17th 2015

After waking up at 2 a.m. this morning, I was unable to fall back to sleep undoubtedly because of the excitement of what was in store for the rest of the day. After spending a few hours thinking and not able to sleep, I got up and went about getting ready for the day at about 5:00 a.m. Our bags were out by 6:00 a.m. and John and I decided that since our hotel was on the beach, we should go down before breakfast and take a walk on the beach. Granted, it is January and not that warm, so it was going to be a quick walk. Julie, thanks for the prompt. It was worth it. It was a beautiful morning and it felt invigorating to be out on our own for that short period ... read more
Early morning frolic
Early morning on the beach
Roman and Crusader Ruins

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