Travel Diaries :: Israel (Part 1)

2:29:00 PM

Our recent vacation to Israel was nothing short of a dream. We were there for 9 days and honestly I could have stayed so much longer. Israel was truly a magnificent country, filled with culture, history, and the majesty of our Creator. It is no surprise after spending time there that it is the Promise Land. It is truly breathtaking.

Caperneum - Sea of Galilee

I'm going to break this up into a few posts as we did a LOT and there is much to share. Let me know if you are interested in a summary post with a look at our itinerary and some advice from our experience on traveling to Israel with 3 kids at the end. I am no expert, but I am happy to share what I can.

Although Israel is quite a small country it is so rich in culture and history, whether you are religious or not, there is so much to experience and love about this beautiful country. As a Christian family, it was beyond special for us to experience all of the places from where Jesus would have walked and lived out his life and ministry here on Earth as well as many places significant in the Old Testament. It was truly life changing.

A brief outline of our itinerary

Here is a general look at our itinerary and how we laid out our trip. We have friends in the Tel-Aviv area, so naturally we started there and spent some time visiting with them our first couple of days. Then we traveled up the coast and hit some key spots on our way to staying in the Sea of Galilee region. We then met up with our friends again to see the Jordan River and do the Dead Sea region before doing another couple of days on our own in Jerusalem. We jam packed as much as we could into our 9 day itinerary and even though we saw and did so much I know that I will go back again some day, because it was just that amazing! 


ISRAEL PART ONE :: JAFFA + CEASAREA + BA'HAI GARDENS

JAFFA
Our first stop after a long day of travel was Jaffa, near Tel-Aviv. This was the perfect start to our trip as we were all very tired and jet-lagged when we first arrived. A slower paced day spent with friends.

We ate yummy hummus along the water and explored some of the old city. The marina here was where Jonah jumped a boat trying to escape God's instructions to go to Nineveh. You may know the story. Swallowed by a large fish/whale Jonah prayed for God's forgiveness and after 3 days he was spit back on dry land, praised God and obeyed going to Nineveh telling all the people there about God's love.


Another fun thing to do in this town is the Jaffa flea market. We didn't go through it this day, but came back at the end of our trip to explore. Streets lined with vendors carrying all sorts of nick-knacks and treasures. A fun, off the beaten path place to explore for the afternoon, followed by a coffee or lunch. You don't need a whole day here, which is why if you have a long travel day getting to Israel, this may be the perfect way to ease your way into your trip.

CEASAREA
The next day we took a trip up the coast to Ceasarea and Haifa.



Ceasarea is a pretty cool place to see, especially for those who appreciate history. Tucked right on the Mediterranean Sea, this city, that now lays in ruins, would have once been a bustling, beautiful place to be. Ceasarea was built by King Herod in the first century as a refuge and to show his allegiance to the Roman empire at the time.

It is amazing to see how innovative and advanced they were even over 2000 years ago. Also a little heart-breaking to see where those once thriving cities are today after centuries of discord between the Israelite people and other nations and peoples around them. A pile of ruins, only for us to dream and imagine what life must have been like during that time. Definitely a must see if you come to Israel. This was a great place for the kids as they could just run and climb on the ruins and collect rocks and seashells along the shore.


Pictures will not do any of these places justice and let's face it, I am not a professional photographer. But I did my best to capture the magic and beauty of all of the places we went.

HAIFA - BA'HAI GARDENS
After we walked through Ceasarea we headed North to the the city of Haifa. A huge, bustling port town. We didn't do too much here, just grabbed a delicious lunch and then went through the Ba'hai Gardens. A gorgeous, symmetrical cascading gardens up the side of Mount Carmel.


I have always loved to travel and had a passion for seeing the world, but after our time as a family in Israel, I have a renewed fervor for showing my kids more of the world. Different cultures and experiences outside our Western bubble we live in. Yes, I love this bubble, it is home, but there is so much more that this beautiful planet has to offer that I absolutely cannot wait to see and share with my kids.

Stay tuned for part two of our trip... Sea of Galilee, Nazareth and the Jordan River.

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