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Holy Land & Petra Tour with Pastors Sims, Rice & Harp

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Itinerary

Day by Day

1
tuesday
Houston, Istanbul

Today we will meet at Houston International airport for our flight to Istanbul via widebody aircraft arriving the next day. Meals served on board.

2
wednesday
Istanbul, Amman

This afternoon we arrive in Istanbul and transfer to our flight to Amman. We will have a late evening arrival in Amman where we will be met and taken to our hotel for overnight.

3
thursday
Amman, Petra, Amman

This morning we will drive to Petra. Today we will spend time in one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Start the tour of Petra; you are in the heart of the rose red Seir mountains as mentioned in the Biblical Book of Genesis. This mountain range houses the Aaron Peak, which is the highest locality in Petra and the burial place of Aaron brother of Moses. A walk down through the narrow ‘Siq’ passage, being the main entrance to Petra, along 1250 meters brings you to the first monument Treasure "the same as the one seen in the Indiana Jones' movie". A walk further down through the outer ‘Siq’ encompassed by tombs and burial chambers brings you to one of the largest theaters in Jordan. This theater is carved into the sand stone mountains of Petra at the bottom of the High place of Sacrifice Mountain. Apparently some sacrificial rituals used to take place here. Now, it is time to walk up hill to the Royal Tombs. You will have a great view of the lower part of Petra with all its Roman remains. These tombs are: The Urn- Corinthian- Silk- and Palace tombs. This afternoon we will board our motor coach and take a panoramic ride of the outer environs of Petra. We will head back to Amman for dinner and overnight.

4
friday
Amman, Mt. Nebo, Jordan River, Tiberias

This morning we board our bus and drive to Mount Nebo from which God showed Moses a view of the Promised Land. We then drive along the Exodus route north along the famed historical King's Highway. Continue north to the Sheik Hussein border where we cross into Israel. We follow the Rift Valley running parallel to the Jordan, along the route Jesus most frequently traveled to Jerusalem, to the River Jordan where we will have the opportunity to be baptized. Time permitting we continue to Bet Shean at the foot of Mt. Gilboa, where King Saul was slain. Here we see the evidences of Egyptian, Roman, and Byzantine occupations, and view the ancient tel, Roman Theater and church mosaics. We travel to Tiberias where we are taken to our hotel for dinner and overnight.

5
saturday
Sea of Galilee, Caesarea Philippi, Capernaum, Magdala

This morning we enjoy a relaxing boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, returning to Nof Ginosar where we will see the New Testament boat found below the sea. We continue to Banias (Caesarea Philippi), dedicated to Pan the Greek god of pastures, flocks and shepherds; here Peter made his great profession of faith, recognition of Christ Jesus (Matthew 16). In the afternoon we continue our tour with a visit to Capernaum, Tabgha and the Mount of Beatitudes. Our last stop will be Magdala, one of the oldest synagogues dating back to the first century AD. Home of Mary Magdalena and was the fishing center where Peter would have brought his catch to be sold or processed. Dinner and overnight at our hotel.

6
sunday
Cana, Nazareth, Caesarea, Jerusalem

“We are going up to Jerusalem.” (Matt. 20:18). We drive west to Nazareth. Traveling through Cana of Galilee where Jesus performed his first Miracle, turning water into wine (John 2). We proceed to Nazareth and ascend the Mount of the Precipice at the brow of Nazareth overlooking the Valley of Jezreel, synonymous with Armageddon. We then drive through the valley to the mound of Megiddo, Har Megiddo in Hebrew, which gave its name to Armageddon. We then ascend Mt. Carmel, site of Elijah’s confrontation with the prophets of Baal. From there we drive towards the Mediterranean coast traveling south along the coastal highway to Caesarea by the Sea. We enter Caesarea Maritima to explore this Roman bridgehead to the east, which became the Christian springboard to the west. After the visit to this ancient harbor, we board our bus and we head up the historic Beth Horon road (Joshua 10:10) to the Benjamin Plateau, passing ancient Gibeon and continuing on to Jerusalem. Finally, atop Mt. Scopus, we behold majestic Jerusalem. Check in to our hotel for dinner and overnight stay.

7
monday
Masada, Qumran, Dead Sea, Jericho

Today we drive to Masada and ascend by cable car to the magnificent ruins of the fortress where, from 70 to 73 AD, Jewish defenders made their last stand in the Judean revolt against Rome. We see the remains of storehouses, cisterns and a sixthcentury Byzantine church. Continuing alongside the Dead Sea, 1,300 ft. below sea level -- the lowest spot on earth -- we proceed to Ein Gedi where, time permitting, we will walk the path to see the waterfall in the desert. This afternoon we continue to Qumran and the caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. We will have a stop for lunch and time for those that want to swim in the Dead Sea. We travel to Jericho, the world’s oldest city. From the excavated tel atop the ruins of ancient Jericho we view the lush green Jordan Valley, Elisha’s spring and Qarantal, the Mount of Temptation. We will head up to Jerusalem and return to the hotel for dinner.

8
tuesday
Mt. of Olives, Garden of Gethsemane, Herodium, Shepherd's Fields, Bethlehem, Rabbi Tunnel

"If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace" (Luke 19:42) This morning we board our bus and continue past the Chapel of Ascension and Paternoster to the Mt. of Olives for an orientation view of Jerusalem and the opportunity of a group photograph overlooking Jerusalem. We then walk the traditional Passion walk. We descend to the church known as Dominus Flevit ("Our Lord weeps"). After viewing the Golden Gate, we walk downhill to Gethsemane, where we take time to meditate on the Gospel text and view the Church of All Nations. Next we visit the Upper Room and the Tomb of King David, enter the Zion Gate and proceed to the Steps that entered the temple and the Southern Wall. It was here that Jesus would have taught the disciples. See a video that shows the temple as it was at Herod's (or Jesus') time. "I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord." (Luke 2:10-11). We drive south to the region of Bethlehem passing Rachel's Tomb on the outskirts of Bethlehem. We drive to a hilltop for a view of Bethlehem, noting its relation to the rest of the central mountain range, including Jerusalem, as well as to the desert and the area of ancient Moab. This is Herodium, the palace set in a conical mountain built by Herod to mark his tomb. Note the juxtaposition of the two Kings of the Jews: King Herod buried in great opulence and the King of the Jews born in a humble manger in Bethlehem sitting in the background of the Herodium. We then drive to one of the possible sites for Shepherds' Fields. We continue into Bethlehem itself, walking through the restored old town to the Church of the Nativity and visiting the manger and see the cave of St. Jerome. This evening we will board our bus for our exciting tour to the famous Rabbi Tunnel. Here we will enter by the Western wall plaza and go down to the foundation of the Second Temple. We will see a model that will demonstrate where we are in location to the Temple in the time of Christ. Continue along the tunnel as we proceed to the Gateway of the Priests entry to the Holy of Holies. We drive back to Jerusalem for dinner and overnight.

9
wednesday
Old City, Via Dolorosa, Garden Tomb

“He has risen!” (Mark 16:6) After breakfast we transfer to the Dung Gate, where we walk via the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest site. We ascend to the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque, considered the third holiest site of Islam, located on the site of the ancient Temple Mount. Here the first and second Temples once stood. Just to the north we find the Pools of Bethesda (John 5) and St. Anne’s Church. The church is perfectly preserved from the Crusader period – with remarkable acoustics. Continuing on we see Pilate’s Judgment Hall, the Chapel of Flagellation, Lithostrotos, and the Arch of Ecce Homo (Behold the Man). We then follow the Way of the Cross (Via Dolorosa) through the bazaars as far as the Holy Sepulcher. From there we walk from the Christian Quarter along the Arab Souks through the Cardo Maximo and past the Armenian Quarter. Continuing to Mt Zion and to the grounds of a church called Peter in Gallicantu, which affords the best view of early Jerusalem from the west. (Here, the Assumptions Fathers suggest, was the house where the High Priest Caiaphas interrogated Jesus). We board our bus to the Garden Tomb where we will end our day with a special visit and the possibility of having a private communion on the grounds outside the city walls. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.

10
thursday
Jerusalem, Home

We transfer to the airport for our flight home with unforgettable memories to cherish always. Knowing we have walked in the footsteps of Jesus and the early Christians on such a memorable tour will bring new meaning to our Bible reading.

No Dates for this Tour.