I just can't put it off any longer. I've got to do some updating. I haven't put anything about my trip to Israel and Egypt on here yet, and it's been three months since I've been back! What can I say? I'm a slacker. I went with Felicity and Brianna, who are excellent travel companions. Felicity's cousin came, too, and she was cool. Well, I don't want to make this painful, so I guess I'll just post some photos and say that I loved the experience.
Well, okay. I will say a few things. It will be a short travel log, though. Shortish?
Places we went:
Day 1: Joppa (Jaffa). Tiberias. (We stayed in Tiberias for the first part of the trip.) You may remember Joppa as being the location where Peter was at Simon the tanner's house when he had the vision where it was revealed that it was okay to eat pig ... er... share the gospel with the Gentiles. Mmm... bacon. I mean, yay Gentiles!
Day 2: Caesarea. Mt. Carmel. Megiddo. Nazareth. Tiberias.
This is the ... street... where we tried to go to St. Joseph's Church. There was no room for us in that inn. Really, they closed early for a funeral. And the shops were closed. Kind of sad. Oh well.
Day 3: Capernaum. Sea of Galilee. Caesarea Philippi. Jordan River. *Switzerland. Tiberias.
This is the Jordan River. You may recognize it by the fence in the lower right-hand corner, which is used partially as a guard so you don't fall in, and partially to queue all of the people waiting in line to be baptized a la how you would do it in Disneyland. That is, if they did baptizin' in Disneyland.
Day 4: Mt. Tabor. Beth Shean. Saw Jericho. Jerusalem. Mt of Olives.
Day 5: Yad Vashem. Hezekiah's Tunnel. Garden Tomb.
Day 6: Western Wall. Masada. Qumran. Dead Sea. Had birthday.
I went back through time for this shot. Pay no attention to the discarded soda can in the photo. This is in Jerusalem. I actually kind of felt badly snapping this shot. While it captures an interesting juxtaposition of the old with the new, my time probably should have better been used helping the person to the right. I think I failed the "Trying to be like Jesus in Jerusalem" test. Stupid, touristy me.
Day 7: Garden of Gethsemane. Church at BYU Jerusalem Center at which I ran into my cousin. Small world in the church. Bethlehem. The Great Wall of Palestine/Israel, Bethlehem section. Old City tour.
I snapped this photo by the Garden of Gethsemane. I really like how the light was captured in the shot. I also like how there are little red flowers there and not just because red and green are my favorite colors. Me gusta verde y rojo. This place was beautiful to me. Very beautiful.
This is the wall outside of Bethlehem. I don't know about you, but I'm not a huge fan of gigantic concrete walls with graffiti on them separating one people from another people. Discuss.
Day 8: Flew to Cairo via Jordan. Egyptian museum. Ate by Nile. Very sleepy.
Day 9: Giza. Sakkura. Mohammad Ali Mosque. Shopping.
Giza. Pyramids. Sphinx. I rode a camel there. It did not spit on me. Pyramids are musty on the inside. I don't think I want to be entombed in a pyramid when I die. Please make note.
Here is the pyramid of Sakkura. Or something. As you can see, my vacation took me back through time when they were building the pyramid. Please notice the scaffolding that was so prevalent in use in ancient Egypt. You may also notice that the Egyptians should be actually credited with the first use of the green tarp. It was the best thing since sliced pita. Mmmm pita. Sorry I have issues with taking straight photos.
Day 10: Luxor. Valley of Kings. Al-deir Al-Bahari Temple/Hatshepsut Temple. Karnak Temple. Luxor Temple. Market.
Flew home. The flight/traveling was grueling. I'm not going to lie. The end.
Stuff I ate:
Hummus, Falafel, Schnitzel, Pita, Hummus, St Peter's Fish from the Sea of Galilee, Shawarma, Hummus, Ice cream, Gelato, Hummus, Dairy but no meat for breakfast, No dairy but meat for dinner, Hummus, McDonald's, Chocolate Croissant, Hummus, Tzatziki, Baklava, and Hummus. And also, they had hummus.
This is the St. Peter's Fish I ate.**
Pretty much, Jerusalem was on the goal list, completed, and very enjoyable. If you have the remote desire to see Israel, I suggest going. The following were my Top 5 activities of the whole trip:
1. Garden Tomb - It felt really, really nice and peaceful there.
2. Garden of Gethsemane - A place for deep reflection.
3. Hezekiah's Tunnel - Best. Tunnel. Ever.
4. Dead Sea - In which I had a Funniest Home Videos moment including dumping water on my own head.
5. Caesarea Philppi - We took a short hike there, and I was reminded of Agrippa's "Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian" because he had a palace there.
I went with Bountiful Travel. I can give a recommendation for that tour group. Good times were had by all. The real end.
*There was some kind of religious dignitary in town when we were going back to Tiberias. They had the main roads closed off, so we had to take a detour through Switzerland. The forest.
**Not pictured: Hummus.