Tour overview

Pilgrimage, People and Places

Led by

Dr Liz Burroughs and Valerie Martin

3 – 11 May, 2021

Included

  • Scheduled flights on British Airways from London Heathrow
  • All airport departure & passenger taxes (UK & Israel)
  • Accommodation at selected guest houses & hotels:
  • All entrance fees and local government taxes
  • Qualified English speaking guide throughout the tour
  • All touring in modern air-conditioned tourist coaches

Not Included

  • Single room (limited availability) £495
  • Travel Insurance
  • Gratuities £80
  • Any items of a personal nature (laundry & drinks etc)

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Day 1, Monday, 3 May

Journey to the Holy Land
We meet at London Heathrow Airport to join our afternoon flight to Tel Aviv. Dinner will be served on board. On arrival in Israel we will be met by our guide and then driven to our hotel in Jerusalem. The Knight’s Palace which is situated inside the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem, ideally situated for easy exploration of the wonders of the Old City.

Day 2, Tuesday, 4 May

The Mount of Olives
Late morning we will leave our hotel and drive up to the summit of the Mount of Olives for a breathtaking view of the Old City of Jerusalem and its beautiful mediaeval walls. We will visit the Church of Pater Noster, where plaques can be seen bearing the Lord's Prayer in well over 100 different languages and dialects, we then walk down the hill to the Church of Dominus Flevit, where Jesus wept over the city. We continue to the Garden of Gethsemane and the Church of All Nations, where we pause for reflection. After lunch we will visit the Garden Tomb. Although it is generally accepted that the Garden Tomb is not the burial place of Jesus, it does give an idea of what a first century burial place might have looked like and it is often a peaceful place. Our final visit of the day will be to the Western Wall, the holiest site in Judaism, before returning to our hotel in time for dinner.

Day 3, Wednesday 5 May

St Peter in Gallicantu, Princess Basma Centre& Via Dolorosa
After an early breakfast we drive to Mount Zion to visit St Peter in Gallicantu, built at the top of an ancient set of steps which leads up from the City of David to what is believed to have been the residence of the High Priest. Many believe that Jesus himself was led up these steps to his trial by the authorities after his arrest. Here we recall not only Jesus’ incarceration over the last night of his life, but also Peter’s faithless threefold denial of Jesus. We drive to the top of the Mount of Olives to visit the Princess Basma Centre to learn about the services provided there for Palestinian children with disabilities and their families. After a break for lunch we drive around to St Stephen’s Gate and to St Anne’s Church [the mother of Mary], famous for its wonderful acoustics and the nearby pools of Bethesda. Then we will start the profound pilgrim walk of the Via Dolorosa (including the Lithostrotos). We will follow closely the route Jesus carried his cross to the traditional place of crucifixion in what is now the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. After time for reflection we make our way back to our hotel for dinner and overnight stay.

Day 4, Thursday 6 May

Yad Vashem & Shu’afat
After breakfast, we check out of our Jerusalem hotel and drive to West Jerusalem to visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum and Park, where we will spend the morning. After a break for lunch we will visit the former Palestinian village of Lifta , the population of which was driven out during the hostilities of 1947/48. We will then go to the Shu’afat Refugee Camp, before continuing to Bethlehem and check-in to our hotel in Manger Square. We will visit the Church of the Nativity as it is much quieter later in the day. Dinner and overnight stay by Manger Square.

Day 5, Friday 7 May

Jericho - the Dead Sea
An early start! We will drive to Jericho via the hills of the Judean Wilderness and stop in Wadi Qelt for a wonderful view of St George’s Monastery which clings precariously to the cliff face of the valley. Jericho is believed to be one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. It is a real oasis – and Jericho dates, oranges and bananas are famously good. We will lunch there and hopefully take the cable car up to the Mount of Temptation. In Jericho we will have an opportunity for a dip in the Dead Sea [bring bathing costumes for that iconic picture]. If time allows we may visit Qumran where the Dead Sea scrolls were found. Dinner and overnight stay in Bethlehem.

Day 6, Saturday 8 May

Bethlehem - Tent of Nations
This morning we will visit the Shepherds Fields, then travel to the Tent of Nations for lunch and to learn about what life is like under occupation. In the afternoon we will return to Bethlehem to visit the Arab Women’s Union Museum and shop. Then the LAYLAC Centre, the Palestinian Youth Action Center for Community Development in the Dheisheh Refuge Camp where we will hear about some of the work being done to help create a positive context for children and young people living in the camp. Later we will ‘Walk along the Wall’, i.e. the wall that separates the West Bank from Israel. Time for shopping. Dinner and overnight stay in Bethlehem.

Day 7, Sunday 9 May

Sunday Worship - An Ancient Route
After an early start we will make our way to Ramallah to attend worship at the Friends’ Meeting House, we will be able to meet the local Christian community there and perhaps share an early lunch with them. Then we will travel north through the heart of the West Bank, noting as we drive some of the ‘facts on the ground’ about the Occupation, as we come to the remains of the ancient city of Sebaste on the outskirts of Nablus. Sebastia was destroyed by Alexander the Great. Pompey rebuilt it and Augustus bestowed it upon Herod the Great in 27BC. It was here too that his decapitated body was buried. After visiting the Roman and Byzantine ruins we will visit Jacob’s Well where the Fourth Gospel tells us of Jesus’ encounter with the woman drawing water. We will continue to Nazareth the town associated with the beginning of the gospel message to see how the Good News is both remembered and lived out today. We will visit the site of the only spring in town, where Jesus’ mother will have drawn water, the Basilica of the Annunciation and, if possible, the Synagogue-Church. We will continue to the Sea of Galilee and our hotel situated by the lake and check-in. Overnight stay by the Sea of Galilee.

Day 8, Monday 10 May

Jesus’ lakeside ministry
Today will be devoted to a leisurely exploration of the area that was the base for Jesus’ ministry by the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. We will visit sites associated with the call of the first disciples, the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, the teaching of the Sermon on the Mount and the villages of Capernaum and Magdala. We will also sail on a modern-day version of the boat used for fishing at the time of Jesus and also see the remains of a similar boat which dates back to the early First Century. Farewell dinner and overnight stay by the Sea of Galilee.

Day 9, Tuesday 11 May

Caesarea Maritima - Our journey home
We leave Galilee after an early breakfast and drive west across the Jezreel Valley and the plains of Armageddon to Caesarea Maritima. There we will visit the Roman aqueduct and the amphitheatre for a brief act of worship. If time allows, we will visit some of the other archaeological sites in the town before continuing to Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport to check-in for our afternoon return flight to London. Depending on the time of our flight we will lunch either in Caesarea Maritima or somewhere nearer to the airport. We plan to arrive back at Heathrow at around 20:30.

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