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Israel Tour Pastor Michael Zechman March 8, 2021

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Itinerary

Day by Day

1
wednesday
Dulles, Istanbul

Today we will meet at Washington International airport for our connecting flights to Istanbul via wide-body aircraft arriving the next day. Meals served on board.

2
thursday
Istanbul, Tel Aviv, Arad

This morning we will arrive in Istanbul and transfer to our flight to Tel Aviv. Upon arrival in Tel Aviv we are met by our guide who will be with us for the time we are in the Holy Land. Continue south to Arad where we check into our hotel for dinner and overnight.

3
friday
Arad, Dimona, Arad

Our day begins at the Solomonic fort of Arad, guarding the exposed southeastern flank of Judah. Some unique remains here give a more complete idea of the first temple of the Lord in Jerusalem. Continue on to Dimona, the third largest city in the Negev with over 33,000 residents and growing. Originally, a development town created under the leadership of David Ben Gurion during the 1950s, this town was initially settled by immigrants from Northern Africa known as the “Black Hebrews”, but now contains many Russian immigrants as well. Next we stop at Mamshit National Park, the smallest but best-preserved Nabataean city in Israel, established in the 1st century BCE. The excavations include ancient reservoirs, watchtowers, two 4th-century churches, and Roman and Byzantine cemeteries. One highlight is the large mosaic floor in the courtyard of the Church of St Nilus. Return to our hotel for dinner and overnight.

4
saturday
Beersheba, Bethlehem, Jerusalem

This morning we motor across the Beersheba basin to the western Negev fortress of Beersheba, "city of Abraham," discussing desert life and settlement in this sparse region and its relation to faith in God. Continue north were we finish the day in Bethlehem, the site of Jesus' birth, located since at least the second century in a cave beneath the Basilica of the Nativity. Standing in the courtyard of Jerome, we speak about lives changed throughout the ages because of the event of Christ's birth in this lowly Judean town. Continue on to Jerusalem where atop Mt. Scopus, we behold this majestic city. Check in to our hotel for dinner and overnight stay.

5
sunday
Mt. of Olives, Garden of Gethsemane

If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace" (Luke 19:42) Our drive this morning takes us 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 before we 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. We will have time to shop and explore the Old City on our own before returning to the hotel for dinner.

6
monday
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, the third holiest site of Islam, located on the traditional 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. Continue on 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.

7
tuesday
Jerusalem, Taba, St. Katherine's

Today we pass through the Valley of Elah, the site of David and Goliath's battle, through the region of Adullom, where David took refuge from Saul, and on to Beersheba, ancient city of Judah, a watering hole and trading post for thousands of years. It is the center of desert traffic, located on the edge of the vast Negev Desert. Here we catch a glimpse of Bedouin life. Then on to Eilat on the Red Sea, and cross into Egypt at Taba. Continuing through the desert, we come to St. Catherine's Monastery and Mt. Sinai, traditional site of Moses' receiving the 10 Commandments. We check in to the hotel for dinner and overnight.

8
wednesday
St. Katherine's , Mt. Sinai, Cairo

Those who desire, may climb Mount Sinai for the sunrise. Continue to St. Katherine's Monastery, where we visit the Chapel, then go to the traditional site of the Burning Bush and the Chamber of the Skulls. We then head north to the Suez Canal and cross it to Ismailia and the desert route to Cairo, where we check into our hotel for dinner and overnight.

9
thursday
Pyramids, Sphinx, Egyptian Museum

After breakfast, we begin our tour by visiting the Pyramids of Giza. Cheops Pyramid, the largest of the three which was built in the 3rd dynasty about 2690 B.C. and is one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. In front of the Pyramids of Chephren, we find the Sphinx carved from a single piece of stone, it incorporates a lion with a Pharaoh’s head, thought to be a portrait of the Pharaoh Chephren son of Cheops. After a camel ride we visit the Papyrus Institute. In the afternoon, visit the Egyptian Museum famous for its antiquities from Egypt’s Pharaonic period, which dates back some 50 centuries and includes the fabulous treasures of king Tut –Ankh-Amon (Tutankhamen). Return to our hotel for dinner.

10
friday
Cairo , USA

This morning we will 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.

Pre-Tour: Jordan (Simmons)

Day by Day

1
monday
Dulles, Istanbul

Today we will meet at Washington International airport for our connecting flights to Istanbul via wide-body aircraft arriving the next day. Meals served on board.

2
tuesday
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
tuesday
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. We will board our motor coach and head back to Amman for dinner and overnight.

4
thursday
Amman, Mt. Nebo, Allenby, Arad

This morning we board our bus and drive along the Exodus route north along the famed historical King's Highway. Arriving at Madaba, ve visit St George’s Church with its 6th century mosaic floor showing a map of the Holy Land as Christian pilgrims knew it in that period. Continue to Mt. Nebo, from where God showed Moses the Promised Land. This afternoon we continue to the King Hussein Bridge (Allenby) where we go through customs and enter Israel. Here we will be met by our guide and begin our tour of Israel with a stop at the place where it is believed that Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River, known as Bethany Beyond the Jordan. Continue along the Dead Sea, 1300 ft. below sea level -- the lowest spot on earth, south to Arad. Check in to our hotel for dinner and overnight. Tonight we join those arriving from the USA.

Post-Tour: Turkey (Simmons)

Day by Day

1
friday
Cairo, Istanbul, Blue Mosque, St. Sophia

This morning we will transfer to the airport for our flight to Turkey. Upon arrival in Instanbul we will be met by our guide and begin our tour to the magnificent Topkapi Palace once home to the great Sultans; it is filled with treasures and antiquities including twelve thousand pieces of fine Chinese porcelain. Then visit the unique Blue Mosque built in 1609 by Sultan Ahmet. The interior walls are covered with twenty thousand blue Iznik tiles. Proceed to our hotel for dinner and overnight.

2
saturday
Istanbul, Spice Bazaar, Bospherous Cruise

We will begin our day with a morning of shopping at Eminönü’s Spice Bazaar. Al Bazaar, this large covered market has remained the city’s center for spice trade century. Next, we will embark on a cruise of the Bosphorus, the winding straight that separates Europe and Asia and connects the Black Sea with the inland Sea of Marmara. This is our time to relish the views of the old wooden mansions, Ottoman palaces, and ancient fortresses that dot the river’s coast before the ship drops us off in Asia! Here, we will visit Beylerbeyi Palace, which was constructed between 1861 and 1865 during the reign of Sultan Abdülaziz as a summer residence for the Ottoman sultans. Next, we will enjoy impressive views from Camlica Hill. At 268 meters above sea level, it is the highest point in Istanbul, offering panoramic views of the surrounding area. From the top, we can see the Bosphorus Bridge, the Eminonu Peninsula, the Sea of Marmara, and the Princes’ Island. And if the skies are clear this day, we may also see as far as Mount Uludag near Bursa! Then, we will drive across the bridge back to Europe. This afternoon our sightseeing continues with Hippodrome and Basilica of St. Sophia, which has inspired architects and religious leaders for over fifteen hundred years. Constructed in 326 by Constantine the Great, it has been a cathedral, a mosque, and now a museum. Dinner and overnight in Istanbul.

3
sunday
Istanbul, Home

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

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* $500 deposit per person
Departure Date Jul 14 - Jul 23, 2021
Price / Person $4,399.00
Tour Number: 210724
* Wait listed must call before signing up 602.788.8864