Thursday, January 14, 2010

Jerusalem... and beyond!

Before leaving Jerusalem, we had a couple of places we wanted to see first: Bethlehem and the Holocaust Museum. Bethlehem is now controlled by Palestinians, and even though tour groups are allowed inside their walls, we did not stay long. We did not feel safe there and we knew that no one really knows exactly where Jesus was born. Therefore, just going inside the city for a short while was enough for us.
Once we toured the Holocaust Museum, we traveled two hours north to the Sea of Galilee, which is the general area in which we are staying tonight. We took many pictures along the way, weaving in and out of Palestinian territories since they have taken control of various pieces of land all throughout Israel.
Enjoy seeing some of today's pictures!
On the Israeli side, David is asking Israeli soldiers how to get beyond the walls into Bethlehem.
Inside Bethlehem
A cave inside Bethlehem shows the type of caves people have used as shelter for centuries.
The mountain in the distance is believed to be the place where Herod lived and ruled.
Inside the Holocaust Museum, a "funnel" of pictures shows just a small portion of the Jews who were executed by the Nazis during WWII.
Looking up at the pictures... Behind and all around me are bookshelves 1/3 full of record books of those whose deaths are known. The empty shelves (not seen in this particular picture) represent the other 2/3 of Jews whose death records are unknown.
Palestinian-occupied land
Palestinian homes. I will not make a comment here, but you can see for yourself how they live. We saw this situation everywhere!
Wall and barbed-wire that separates the Jews from the Palestinians
Bedouins still play a role in society today. We saw several of these make-shift tents as we traveled as well.
Driving through the Judaean Desert, where Jesus was tempted by Satan.
We stopped for a snack and I wanted to point out here that prices in Israel are expensive. Just this can of chips was $5! Gas is $8 a gallon; a bottle of shampoo is $7!
We stopped off at the Dead Sea, and all got a good laugh out of this "man" who caught a fish here. Of course, fish cannot survive in this salty water, so fishing here would be useless!
Standing in front of the Dead Sea. Jordan is behind us. (Actually, the territorial line that separates Israel from Jordan runs right through the middle of the Dead Sea.)
The slimiest, strangest water I have ever felt was this water. People were swimming here, and I certainly had no desire to join them!
Don't worry.... we found drinking water elsewhere!
Jews are simply brilliant people, as evidenced by these luscious date trees being grown in the rocky desert. The key here is their efficient irrigation of water.
Supper at McDonald's
You come to understand what it means to eat "kosher," (meat separated from dairy) when you are in a McDonald's that does not offer cheese on their hamburgers. In this particular McDonald's you could order your food to the right and your ice cream to the left. A Big Mac Meal here costs $10!
Until tomorrow...!


  1. Did the McDonalds have a Dollar Menu? :)

  2. No, no dollar menu at McDonald's!


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