New Day Herald

(left to right) Marcello Lacroix Wacker, Matthew Van Fossan, Kevin McGinn on Day 2 of the PTS Tour to Israel

Day 2 PTS Tour of Israel

Generally speaking, there are two ways to destroy a human being. One is through violence (or even the threat of violence or some sort of physical harm). The other is by giving them something for nothing over a long period of time. Since PTS and MSIA are in the business of uplifting people, they take good care of them—and at the same time people have to have some way to confront their karma or all you get at the end is a flabby mess. I’ve observed that on these trips there’s a lot of grace and comfort, and usually some kind of challenge.

The challenge on this one, at least on Day 2, seems to be the heat. The quest for shade, cold drinks and pockets of air conditioning, either in our brand-new buses or in shops, pretty much overwhelms my ability to process information, plus I have the normal human “tour guide filter” somewhere in my inner ear so that as soon as they start talking I zone out (even though the guide on my bus, Meher is a delightful, positive, powerful, loud-talking, fit and macho Israeli who starts singing at any sign of chaos)—so I’ll quote from wikipedia about where we were:

“Caesarea was built in Roman-ruled Judea under the Jewish client king Herod the Great during c. 22-10/9 BCE near the ruins of the small naval station of Straton’s Tower. The Herodian hippodrome…along with all of Judea, was awarded by Rome to Herod the Great in 30 BCE. The pagan city underwent vast changes under Herod, who renamed it Caesarea in honor of the Roman emperor, Caesar Augustus. Caesarea was known as the administrative, economic, and cultural capital of the Palestinian province from this time. In 22 BCE, Herod began construction of a deep-sea harbor named Sebastos and built storerooms, markets, wide roads, baths, temples to Rome and Augustus, and imposing public buildings. Herod built his palace on a promontory jutting out into the sea, with a decorative pool surrounded by stoas. Every five years, the city hosted major sports competitions, gladiator games, and theatrical productions in its theater overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.”

You can see the theater in the photos, and the remnants of the pool jutting out into the sea. The one interesting factoid that I remember is that there is an inscribed piece of stone sitting outside in the sand, Ozymandias-style, that mentions the name Pontius Pilate as a governor of Judea. According to our guide this is the sole evidence (outside of the written record in the Bible of course), that a guy named Pontius Pilate existed. (Politicians, make a note.)

Lunch is at a family-style restaurant by the Mediterranean.

After lunch are the Knights Halls in Akko, dating back to the Crusades, a fortress and hospital where pilgrims to the Holy Land were cared for. Large, dark, stone rooms with vaulted ceilings. Not a happy place.

We take a short walk through a smugglers’ tunnel. (Some kind of jaunt through some kind of dark, enclosed area seems to be a common feature on these trips, I guess for the release of unconscious fears/memories, death/birth-canal/emergence/rebirth psychic impressions, etc. In the old days with J-R it was Hezekiah’s Tunnel, filled waist-high with brownish water. Now we’re less tolerant, or more lawsuitophobic, or smarter, or less in need of extreme measures, or lazier, and there’s just some moss and a little dampness on the floor of the smugglers’ tunnel.) In the last photo you can see Matt, a guy on our trip who’s blind, walking in front of me with his hand extended above his head to avoid bumps.

Then we visit the Al Jazzar mosque, the largest mosque in Israel outside of Jerusalem. At the end of the day we arrive at the beautiful Dan Carmel Hotel on a hillside overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, in a ritzy part of town, and hit the showers.

View the Photos from PTS Israel Tour Day 2

7 thoughts on “Day 2 PTS Tour of Israel”

  1. So much gratitude and appreciation for you managing to write, David! It’s so much fun to read! I’m laughing out loud :)) And I love feeling like a part of the trip — minus the extreme heat! Thank you!

  2. So grateful, David, for your travel narrative. So beautifully written, and much appreciated. God bless you.

  3. So grateful David for your travel narrative. So beautifully written thank you so much. God bless you.

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