Tuesday, May 3, 2011
My husband and I spent the past two weeks in Israel and Greece, hence the lack of posting. This was an amazing experience and truly a trip like no other. Complete with many ups and downs, we traveled around the whole country of Israel enjoying new foods and captivating sites, and also bearing and learning to be patient with different cultures and lifestyles than our own. Highlights of the trip included hiking Mount Masada at sunrise and swimming in the dead sea, and a relaxing day on the secluded Lindos Beach in Rhodes, Greece where we sunbathed on the rocks overlooking a gorgeous cove and snorkeled through underwater caves and along the bluffs of the shoreline.
We spent four days in Jerusalem and found ourselves fairly disappointed with this part of the trip, as we assumed it would be a pinnacle point of the overall experience. Over the course of my 24 years of biblical study, I have naturally developed perceptions of historical sites and events. I somewhat expected (or hoped) to walk the grassy Hill of Calvary and kneel at the foot of a cross. I envisioned an empty tomb still intact and preserved. I imagined the Mount of Olives as a peaceful hilltop lush with olive trees and other foliage. Today each of these sites, along with every other well-known Christian site that we visited, is built up and over with extravagant, often gaudy churches and cathedrals. A combination of excessive religiousness coupled with tourist-driven commercialism seemed to detract from the authenticity and holiness of this beloved territory. I couldn't help but imagine how our Savior would respond when walking around present-day Jerusalem. I like to think that He would appreciate the gestures, but express little interest in the grandiosity and much more in the people.
I feel incredibly blessed to have visited the Holy Land, and will probably be processing all of the details of my experience for weeks to come.
Still sorting through over 1500 pictures, but here are a few from the places mentioned above..