Monday, May 24, 2010
The center of Christianity, Judaism and Islam, the country of Israel is a thriving place where basically all people get along. I have been there many times. I have lead groups on pilgrimages there also traveled there many times with my husband on official US/Israeli government business. While Don was working, I was playing. I rented a car and traveled from north to south and east to west. A few hints: if your car has yellow license plates (it is Israeli) and blue license plates (it is Arab). I had yellow plates and drove everywhere. I do have a few stories about that!!!! I took city buses in Tel Aviv to Haifa, cable cars in Haifa, and a one way flight from Eilat to Tel Aviv (no international ticket on me, a one way ticket bought that day, no luggage except a backpack). You guessed it, I really had to convince them I was not a terrorist!!!!! I had to call the hotel in Haifa so they could verify that I had been staying there and security had to call Don's Israeli boss to verify who I was.
Food, sightseeing, religious sites, Mediterranean Sea, Dead Sea and Red Sea, Sea of Galilee are unique and very special. The Jordan River where I was baptized again was special. I always thought it was a wide river. Not so. Only about 5 feet wide where I was baptized. I saw across the border to Lebanon and I crossed the border to Egypt on a bus. I crossed the border to Jordan on foot. I swam in the Gulf of Aqaba and the Dead Sea. I went to Bethlehem where Jesus was born.
In Jerusalem, I carried the cross on my shoulder down the Via della Rosa. I saw the place that Jesus died and rose again. Israel is special. Whether you visit Israel to learn its history as a country or its history from a religious perspective, you will not be disappointed.
My two pictures are at the airport and in Haifa. In Haifa, the picture is of the Baha'i Center.