8:45 pm


STEPS TODAY:  10,449
MILES:  4.5

We made it to our hotel and have had dinner and we are all tucked into our rooms for the night.  At least I think so anyway.  Most of us are too old and too tired to go out onto the town tonight.  Maybe on Saturday (it won’t do any good to walk to town tomorrow night, Shabbat will have everything shut down tight).

It was an interesting day.  The first day always is:  Caesarea and Mt. Carmel and Megiddo and Nazareth – with lunch on Mt. Carmel.  We saw some amazing rain – and got soaked in it – had a great lunch – and thoroughly enjoyed the day.
We left the hotel a bit late this morning (never a good thing).  We planned to be 15 minutes later than usual because another group was leaving at our preferred time slot.  But somehow, we got down to the lobby and there were two other groups there.  And, they even misplace some of our luggage.  So that was interesting.  They found our two missing suitcases on the other side of the lobby from all of ours.  Hmmmm, I think the luggage guys messed up.  While all that was going on I realized I had tipped the dining room staff with the luggage tip money (which would have meant I underpaid the dining staff).  And, of course, the dining room is on the second floor so I had to traipse back up there and get that straightened out.  Which was after I brought my own luggage down the to the lobby (from the fourth floor) since I put it out too late to be taken for me.  It was just one of those mornings and I’m still just trying to get my travel life in order.  I should be fine by tomorrow.

Anyway, we were off after 8:30 (a horribly late start) and off to Caesarea.  There was no sun anywhere to be found.  That meant the temperature was lovely, but everything was just gray.  We had a nice visit at Caesarea.  Theater.  Hippodrome.  Movie.  Harbor.  The most shocking thing about it all was the number of buses in the lot and then….the hordes of people milling around the site.  That was typical of the day, by the way.  Everything is crowed.  Bus parking lots are jammed.  I have not seen so many people here in like….ever.  Great for tourism.

After Caesarea we headed to Muhraqa – Mt. Carmel.  We got there about 11:45, so we stopped for lunch.  I had falafel.  And….it was delicious.  Then back on the bus for our stop at the monastery on the top.  Again – I’ve not seen so many buses.  But we found a spot on the roof to catch the view and share from 1 Kings 17 – Elijah on Mt. Carmel.
Then back to the bus and off to Megiddo.

And guess what?  More buses than I have ever seen were parked at Megiddo.  It was amazing.  Toured the site, ventured down into the water system.  We had lost five along the way, but they found their way back to the bus.

When we all made it thru the tunnel we then headed to the bus.  It was on to cross the Jezreel Valley.  The traffic was terrible, by the way.  Bumper to bumper.  And then it started to rain.  A lot.  But it didn’t last too long and I thought perhaps it was clearing.  Nope.

Nice view of the clouds -- Nazareth Ridge
Nice view of the clouds -- Nazareth Ridge
We decided to head up to the Nazareth Ridge and catch any sort of view of the Jezreel Valley.  It was worth at least trying to get a view on this cloudy day.  The rain, just kept coming. More and more and more.  We got off the bus to see the view and it was sprinkling.  It didn’t take it too long to turn into a downpour.  I actually had my rain coat with me, and wore it. And needed it.  We were all pretty well soaked by the time we got back to the bus.  The pictures might be very interesting.  They shall at least be unique.

We dropped Andre off at Afula to catch the train to Haifa.  He’s home with his family tonight.  Glad for him, especially with a newborn (4 mos) at home.  He’ll be back in the morning and we’ll be off again.



Dinner was good.  We strolled a bit by the lake (well, we looked at it from above).  It’s delightful out now.  They are predicting a chance for rain again tomorrow afternoon so we will have to see what develops.  After that I think a warming trend begins.  Some sunshine would be nice.

A couple of folks want to get up for the sunrise.  That’s out of the room around 5:30 am.  Uhhh….we will have to see. 
Wow – we just experienced either fireworks or an attack.  It’s at it again.

A quick trip outside has proved fireworks.  We are still good over here.


What else?  Not sure.  We are on the ground floor of the hotel, so the view is not spectacular, just great.  The hotel is full.  I can’t imagine there are any unused buses in the country these days.  There are people everywhere.   That’s good for Israel.  We are seeing Galilee tomorrow – boat ride at 10 am.  At least we should miss the stormy afternoon.  The hotel staff said they had egg-sized hail this afternoon at the hotel.  Driving into Tiberius it was clearly a brutal storm here.  Mud covered the road.  There were trees down and pools of water everywhere.  The wind must really have blown and the rain must have come down in barrels.  Andre is shocked it is raining.  They hadn’t had rain like this even it the rainy season (and that is over now).  So it is all good for Israel, bad for tourists.  But we are troopers and enjoying each moment in the land.

Better get to bed, tomorrow is another day with another early start.  Shalom.

STEPS TODAY:  10,449
MILES:  4.5

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Laurie Brigantic says... (Reply)
"Brings back wonderful memories! Hope your trip experience is a great as mine was. God bless you all" (5/3/18)