Friday, April 6, 2012

galilee part I

Our trip to the Galilee region of Israel was simply fantastic. We roamed the northern part of the country for four days. One thing to note about Israel is the fact that the country is very diverse in its vegetation, geography, and landscape. The south is very arid and dry like the dessert; the north is lush, green, and full of growing crops; the west is rainier, green, and by the Mediterranean Sea; and the east is filled with mountains, hills, the wilderness, and even some volcanoes. You would think that a country so diverse would be large in size, but it's tiny. In fact, it is a bit smaller than the state of New Jersey and could fit into Florida eight times! 
The Galilee region is where Jesus grew up and is the place where He did most of His ministry. This trip and it's places focused more on the New Testament, where as the previous trips held more weight of the Old Testament. 

The first stop was at Caesarea on the Mediterranean Sea. This was a major political center during the New Testament. Herod built the city (of course he did, who else would create such a magnificent place?). Caesarea is where the Gospel was first taken to the Gentiles by Peter (Acts 10). Philip the evangelist lived in Caesarea (Acts 21). It is also where Paul was imprisoned for a few years (Acts 24). 
Herod build the city and named it after Caesar Augustus who was in Rome. Most theaters that were built back then faced north east in order for the golden rays to shine on the actors when the sun is setting and give them a nice glow. And also so that the sun wouldn't get into the eyes of the audience. Clever, huh? However, this one faces west, towards Rome, in order to "please" and "honor" Caesar.
Theatrical performances are still being held in this theater today.

This is a "sarcophagus." In Greek it literally mean "the flesh eater" -yum! But we would simply call it a casket. It is made out of limestone, fancy.  

This area marks the spot where Herod built a palace for himself. It is surrounded by water on three sides, prime place to be. It is believed that this was one of his favorite palaces and where he spent most of his time. 

Below is a picture of a hippodrome. No, not where hippos would roam around, but where horse (in Greek hippos means horse) and chariot races would take place. In other words, a horse track.

These structures signify a praetorium where soldiers stayed and prisoners were held. Paul would have been kept in one of these as he was imprisoned in Caesarea. 

Fisherman casting a net.

An aqueduct used to bring in water to Caesarea.

Beautiful and lush Jezreel Valley, picture taken from Mount Carmel.

This cactus is styling a Jamaican dread-lock do.

Roman-style grave on the side of the road with a rolling stone to cover the entrance.

City of Nazareth

Mosaic found on the floor, called "The Mona Lisa of Galilee."

 City of Beit She'an was at a crossroad with much international traffic. Saul and his sons' bodies were hung on the outside of the city walls for everyone to see after the Israelites lost the battle to the Philistines (1 Sam 31). 

This tree was in the movie "Jesus Christ Superstar."

How beautiful is the exquisite work on these massive pillars? Imagine that all this done by hand, no room for mistakes. 

Communal toilets below. I guess they must have been a close knit community, or they became one after these were built. 


  1. So beautiful, especially Jezreel Valley... What an experience that must be!

  2. Allison in the Wonderland :)April 24, 2012 at 10:10 PM

    Danggg you guys are definitely lucky to have such an amazing experience!! Cherish every moment becuase you just have a couple more weeks :)