The Holy Land, Jordan & Egypt
Join Rev. Mark Gazzingan on a pilgrimage to The Holy Land, Jordan & Egypt!
Arrive in Amman
After breakfast, we depart through the “King’s Highway” to ancient city of Petra. We enjoy a walking tour of Petra. It begins with a walk through the Siq to the Treasury. Continue through the main street with the magnificent structures on each side carved into the mountains, to the colonnaded street, ending at the Petra museum. Lose yourself in the history of the Nabateans who meticulously carved massive structures out of the rose-colored sandstone. See the influence of the people that followed including the architecture of the mighty Romans and a beautiful Byzantine chapel decorated with ancient, stunning mosaics that have been carefully preserved.
This morning we cross the Jordanian / Israeli border and head to Mt Tabor, the site of the Transfiguration of Jesus. Later we visit Cana where Jesus preformed his first miracle, turning water into wine; here we have a chance to renew wedding vows. This evening we continue to Galilee for dinner and overnight.
Some of today’s highlights are a boat ride across the Sea of Galilee to Capernaum to see the synagogue and St Peter’s house, a visit to the Mount of the Beatitudes where the Sermon on the Mount was given, to Tabgha to see the splendid mosaic about the miracle of the loaves and fishes, and to the nearby Church of Peter’s Primacy where Peter was told ” Feed my lambs, feed my sheep.” There will be an unforgettable Mass near the shores of the Sea of Galilee at the Primacy or Mt Beatitudes.
We start our morning with a visit to the Basilica of Annunciation in Nazareth where we will celebrate Mass and visit Mary’s well and the Church of the Angel Gabriel. We then drive through the Carmel Mountains heading to Haifa, where we visit Stella Maris, a Carmelite Monastery with the Madonna of Mt Carmel. Visit the Roman and Crusader ruins. Continue to Muhraka where Elijah confronted the false prophets of Baal and where the Carmelite Order was started. Next, we head to the nearby city of Jaffa where we will visit the old historic port of Jaffa and the Church of St. Peter. We continue to Bethlehem for dinner and overnight.
Today we begin with a dramatic view of the Old City from the Mount of Olives, revealing a city with 4000 years of history. From this vantage point, we see much of what makes Jerusalem such a unique city to the three major religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam. We then head to the village of Ein Karem, the birthplace of St John the Baptist and to the Church of Visitation where the Blessed Virgin Mary visited her cousin, Elizabeth, and proclaimed the ‘Magnificat’. In the afternoon, we drive to the Shepherd’s Fields where the angels announced the birth of Jesus. Then we visit the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem that stands upon the site where Jesus was born. Mass in Bethlehem or the Shepherds Fields.
We begin our day with morning mass at a local church. then we head to Mt. of Olives to walk the Palm Sunday route stopping at Dominus Flevit, where Jesus wept over Jerusalem. Then to Gethsemane, the Rock of Agony where Jesus prayed His last prayer before his arrest. Visit the cave of betrayal then the cave of Assumption of Mary to heaven. Back on the Mt. of Olives we visit the Pater Noster with the Lord’s Prayer in many languages, and the Ascension from where He ascended to Heaven.
The Way of The Cross
Early in the morning we retrace the last steps of Jesus. As we walk along the Via Dolorosa (Way of Sorrow), through the markets of the Old City praying the Stations of the Cross, we reflect on the greatness of His sacrifice. Finally, we arrive at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre for Mass. We return to the Old City of Jerusalem to visit St. Anne’s Church, the home of the Virgin Mary and her parents Saints Joachim and Anne. We pass the Ecce Homo where Pilate proclaimed “Behold the man”; then the Wailing Wall, the most holy place for Jews. Nearby is the Dome of the Rock and the Temple Mount. We exit at Mt Zion. At the Cenacle we visit the Upper Room of the Last Supper. Next, we go to Dormition Abbey where we believe the Blessed Mary died. We end the day at St. Peter in Gallicantu, where Peter denied Him thrice.
We head to the Jordan River and the authentic baptismal site of Our Lord. After, we visit Masada, an ancient fortification, a top of an isolated large rock plateau overlooking the Dead Sea, and a symbol of great national pride. Continue along the shores of the Dead Sea to Qumran to see the caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. Then we enjoy a swim in the salty, mineral laden and unsinkable waters of the Dead Sea. At the oasis town of Jericho, visit the excavations of the oldest city in the world and view Mt. Temptation where Jesus fasted and was tempted by Satan. Continue to Taba – Egypt.
After breakfast we continue our pilgrimage by heading to St. Catherine, an Eastern Orthodox monastery located on the Sinai Peninsula. It lies at the mouth of a gorge at the foot of Mount Sinai, near the town of Saint Catherine, in Egypt. The monastery is named after Catherine of Alexandria. It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002 for its unique importance in the traditions of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.
Optional: Early this morning we have the option to climb Mount Sinai, the mountain where Moses received the tablets of the law of God. The main route to the summit is known as the path of Moses and is lined with remains of various chapels.
After breakfast we visit St. Catherine Monastery. Set beneath the mountain where Moses is said to have received the Ten Commandments. Saint Catherine Monastery has been one of the world’s great centers of religious pilgrimage for over fifteen centuries. Among its treasures is a library of ancient manuscripts and icons second only to the Vatican. Continue to Cairo.
We start our day by visiting the Citadel and Mohamed Ali mosque. We then visit Abu Sergha Church. Later we travel to Khan Bazaars. The Khan El-Khalili is one of the most interesting bazaars, not only in Egypt, but also in the whole Middle East.
Today we visit the Egyptian Museum. This is a place of true discovery and without doubts one of the greatest collections of all time. We then visit the great Pyramids – Cheops, Chephren & Mykerions. Next is a close-up look at the Sphinx. At night we gather for a Nile Cruise Dinner with belly dancing.
Return to USA / Optional Dubai Extension
Our adventure begins with a flight from Cairo to Dubai. As we soar through the clouds, we eagerly anticipate the marvels that await us in this glittering city. Upon arrival in Dubai, we are warmly welcomed by our tour guide and transferred to our luxurious hotel. Time permitting, we will transfer to the Dubai Aquarium and enjoy free time to explore here before returning to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
Dubai City Tour
On our third day in Dubai, we experience the natural wonders of the city by visiting the mesmerizing Miracle Garden. With over 45 million blooming flowers in a kaleidoscope of colors, this is a sensory feast for nature lovers. In the afternoon, we have some free time to relax and explore the city on our own. As the sun sets, we gear up for an unforgettable desert safari adventure. We ride on a 4×4 vehicle through the undulating sand dunes, marveling at the surreal landscape around us. The safari culminates with a sumptuous dinner under the stars, accompanied by live music and dance performances.
Return to USA
WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED
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