Luis Garcia Holy Land
Day 1 – DEPART - Today, we depart Los Angeles on our overnight flight to Tel Aviv. We enjoy in-flight movies, dinner and breakfast aloft. Day 2 - TEL AVIV/TIBERIAS - We arrive at Ben Gurion Airport Tel Aviv this afternoon. We drive to the Jordan, where we renew our Baptismal promises. We continue to Tiberias, to our hotel on the shores of the Galilee for dinner and overnight. Day 3 - TIBERIAS/ NAZARETH - By boat, we cross the Sea of Galilee and view the surrounding mountains and sites of Jesus' bountiful ministry. On the opposite side, we visit Magdala to view the recent archaeological discoveries, then Capernaum, where we see the remains of the village synagogue and the new church built atop St. Peter's house. Next we drive to the Mount of Beatitudes, where we have time for personal meditation in the beautiful gardens. We proceed to Tabgha and see the Benedictine Basilica of the Loaves and Fishes followed by the Franciscan Church of St. Peter's Primacy, where Jesus made His appearance after the resurrection. This afternoon we drive to Nazareth and walk through the local bazaars. Following personal prayer time, we celebrate Mass at the Church of the Annunciation, where the Word became Flesh! Time permitting; we then see the Synagogue Church and the Church of St. Joseph. Before returning to our hotel for dinner and overnight, we drive to the village of Cana, the site of Jesus' first miracle, where our married couples renew their wedding vows. Day 4 – TIBERIAS/BETHLEHEM/JERUSALEM – This morning, we drive to Mt Tabor, the site of the Transfiguration, where we have a time for personal prayer. We drive south to Judea and pass by Jericho, viewing the Mount of Temptation. We continue to Bethlehem, the House of Bread, to visit the Church of Nativity that commemorates the birth of Christ. We visit the manger, Crusader’s Cloister, the Grotto of St. Jerome and the Milk Grotto. We celebrate the Christmas Mass in one of the grottos. We enjoy lunch (included in price) at the Tent with folk show (if available). Afterward, we continue to the Shepherd’s Field. Before we depart Bethlehem, we visit a Christian gift and olive wood store. Finally we make our thrilling entry into Jerusalem. Dinner and overnight at our hotel. Special request: Visit at 3 Arches after all site visits in Bethlehem Day 5 – JERUSALEM - This morning after visiting the place of the Ascension and the Church of the Pater Noster, we view the beautiful City of Jerusalem from the Mt. of Olives. We then walk down the hill to Dominus Flevit Chapel, where Jesus wept over Jerusalem and on to the Garden of Gethsemane, where we have time for personal prayer and celebrate Mass at the Church of All Nations. We drive along the Kidron valley stopping at St Peter Gallicantu, (The Cock Crows) where Jesus was held in the house of High Priest Caiaphas. Afterwards, we continue to Mt. Zion to visit the tomb of King David, the Church of Dormition and pray in the Upper Room. We enter the Old City through Zion Gate making our way to the Western (Wailing) Wall. Time and condition permitting, we visit the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount. Time permitting; we visit the “Shroud exhibit” at Notre Dame Center before returning to our hotel for dinner and overnight. Day 6 – JERUSALEM – Early this morning, we prayerfully walk the Stations of The Cross along the Via Dolorosa concluding at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher where we celebrate Mass at Calvary or Tomb. We return to the hotel and have breakfast. Afterward, we enter the Old City through Lion's Gate, where we visit the Church of St. Ann (Mary’s mother) and the Pool of Bethesda. We visit Pilate’s Judgment Hall, the Chapel of Flagellation, Lithostrotos, Arch of Ecce Homo and the Convent of the Sisters of Zion. We continue to the New City passing the Knesset and Hebrew University. We visit the Model City of Jerusalem in Jesus’ time, then proceed to Ein Karem, where John the Baptist was born and the Church of Visitation where Mary visited Elizabeth and said the words of the Magnificat. Dinner and overnight at our hotel. Special request: Mass at 7:30 am or no later than 8 am, if possible. Please request wooden cross if available ($50 extra, if available – please include in costs). Day 7 – JERUSALEM/PETRA – This morning we drive to the Allenby Bridge and cross into the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. We proceed to the ancient city of Jerash where we enjoy the Roman Chariot and Army experience. We continue to Petra along the Kings Highway, which the Bible records as the route that Moses wished to take as he led the Israelites through the land of Edom, which today is in southern Jordan. Dinner and overnight in Petra. Day 8 – PETRA/WADI RUM – After early breakfast, we drive to the Wadi Rum for one hour of 4 x4 ride in the desert and enjoy its sandstone and granite mountains. Lawrence of Arabia spent a significant amount of time here during the First World War. This afternoon, we spend time at the wonderful archaeological Rose City of Petra, the awesome city the Nabataean Arabs carved out of the rock during the four hundred years before Roman rule. We travel that same way Indiana Jones entered in search of the Holy Grail in the Stephen Spielberg classic “The Last Crusade”, where the magnificent “Treasury” dramatically appears at the end of the gorge. We can walk to or travel part way by horseback or by horse carriage (optional, fees extra). Dinner and overnight in Petra. Day 9 – PETRA/MT. NEBO/DEAD SEA – Today, we drive north to Mt. Nebo where Moses viewed the Promised Land but was forbidden entry. We celebrate Mass here. On a clear day, Mt Nebo offers stunning views of the Jordan Valley, Dead Sea and the rooftops of Bethlehem & Jerusalem. We continue to our hotel by the Dead Sea for dinner and overnight. Special request: Hotel: Dead Sea Spa or Holiday Inn, whichever costs less. Must be at the Dead Sea hotel by 3pm, before the dead sea beach close. Day 10 – DEAD SEA/ABU GOSH/TEL AVIV – This morning, we cross the Israeli border and travel to Lazarus tomb (condition permitting). We visit the Church of Martha and Mary, then drive to the Church of Notre Dame de l’Arche d’Alliance in Abu Gosh. We continue to Jaffa, the city of Jonah, for our closing Mass at the Church of St. Peter that commemorates his rooftop experience and the raising of Tabitha to life. After a brief walk down Jaffa’s charming alleys, we celebrate our farewell dinner nearby. We proceed to Ben Gurion airport for our return flight to the US. Special request: Similar or same seafood restaurant booked for St Genevieve in July 2013. Day 11 – USA – Today we arrive in the U.S. with unforgettable memories to cherish always. Knowing we have walked in the footsteps of Jesus and the early Christians bring new meaning to our Scripture reading and celebration of Mass. .
Map Image: Luis Garcia Holy Land