The only other young people on the pilgrimage was a family coming from Germany. The Dad was a Fed Ex pilot over here. The boy, Charlie, received his First Communion when we celebrated Mass in Bethany.
Kiss the camel, kiss the camel............................no thanks!
As we descended from Jerusalem into Jericho the temperature rose drastically. Beyond Jericho, we stopped at the Jordan River. Not at all like I imagined it! The outside temp was about 90 degrees and when I saw the river my first thought was, "Ewww.....I would never get baptized in that! Warm, mucky and who knows what creatures are lurking beneath the surface." However, as my feet submerged, they were welcomed by a refreshing rush of cold water. Suddenly, I could imagine jumping in very easily! The muddy color results from the sandy soil that the Jordan weaves through.
Receiving a blessing.......Scarlett, Father gave you a blessing too!
Jericho is one of the oldest cities in the world. It is an oasis in the middle of the desert, because of natural springs which still exist today. The toilets actually flushed! The only place they worked inside the West Bank.
Jericho sat near the base of the Mount of Temptation, believed to be the spot where Jesus was tempted during His 40 days in the desert.
The desert surrounding Jericho.
Mount of Temptation
Dead Sea Scrolls
Caves speckled the hills surrounding Jericho. One of these caves is where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. Around the time of Christ, a group of men named the Assines inhabited the caves. They lived in hermit like communities and copied the books of the Old Testament.
During the rainy season flash floods roll over the mountains and this was the Assines only way to collect water. They carved out gigantic cisterns that filled during the rainy season, with hopes that the water would last for a year's time. From the cisterns, aqueducts were built to feed the pools where the Assines performed their daily cleansing rituals.
Some think that perhaps Jesus spent time with the Assines during His fasting in the desert.
34 miles long. 1500 feet deep. The lowest point on earth.
Absolutely ridiculous! Totally unearthly experience.
Trying to prove I could swim......not possible! Instead I looked like a fool.
I didn't rinse off when I got out........hence the layer of salt.
And that concludes our pilgrimage to Israel. The most amazing trip I have ever been on. Alex, you are the bestest travel buddy around, not to mention my love so dear! Cheers to you! And cheers to the adventures ahead!