Sunday February 17, 2013
Today we leave Jerusalem, and head southwest to Ashqelon. Dan and Sharon went to Avis and picked up 2 vans. The storage was less than we had before, but with the packing skills of Trevor, we got everything in.
On the way we stopped at a National Park site called Herodian. This is the site of a palace complex built by Herod the Great. Herod actually had 11 palaces throughout the land of Israel. This palace complex was the second largest in the Roman Empire only exceeded by Nero’s palace in Rome. The part of the complex that housed Herod’s quarters was at the top of a mountain. Then Herod had taken dirt from the top of an adjacent mountain to enclose his quarters. This adjacent mountain looks like someone took a knife and cut the top half of the mountain off.
We climbed up the side of the mountain, and then went into the cistern system that would have contained the water for this complex. Arriving at the top of the mountain, we hiked around the upper rim, looking at the incredible view. This palace is only about 15 miles from Jerusalem, and it became a “country club” fo all of Herod’s buddies, and the Roman elite of Jerusalem.
Leaving this park, we ate lunch at Aroma and then dropped Jane off near her apartment, before we resumed our trip to Ashqelon. As you would expect, somehow we managed to take the scenic route. But we arrived safely, and Checked into our rooms. We had a few hours free time before dinner, so some of our group walked to the beach, some went to the hot tub and sauna, some just rested, and Terry and Manna went to the emergency room.
Manna must have over done herself with all of the walking that she did yesterday, and was not feeling well, getting shaky and chilled, so Terry went with her to the emergency room. The doctor said she was just worn out, to rest, and gave her some more medicine, after 4 hours of waiting in a wild emergency room!
After dinner, we continued our Study of James. The discussion questions at the end of this lesson were how are we either a friend or an enemy of the world?
Retiring for the evening, Terry was ecstatic, as she anticipated her first bath in a bathtub on this trip.(12 days exactly, but who is counting!)
Please continue to pray for Manna, Terry, Sharon, and Sherry. Pray for opportunities as we go to restock supplies in some bomb shelters tomorrow.