Cana is another significant place in the Bible because this was where Jesus performed His first miracle of turning water into wine.
It was drizzling when we arrived. I managed to take these photos of the surrounding areas before we were all called in to one of the chapels where the ceremony for the renewal of wedding vows would take place.
When the ceremony was done, Pastor Larry gathered us singles and prayed for us.
Souvenirs are a must for every traveler. In the all the places I’ve been to, I’ve purchased magnets, accessories and local products that are unique to the place. Whenever I feel the urge to over-spend, I tell myself two things: baggage limit and storage. When I went to Egypt, I knew that I had to get papyrus paper. Of course in my head I was thinking it’s light, it’s thin, it can easily fit into one of my flat luggage pockets. When I got to the shop, I was enticed to take home not just plain papyrus but those with Egyptian hand-painted illustrations.
You can’t just slip paintings like that into pockets right? The good thing is, Golden Eagle Papyrus has a special way of storing the painting—you roll up the papyrus paper, put it in a circular cardboard case and slip it into your bag.
My friends know that I am such a sucker for aromatherapy. Lavender and mint are my favorite essential oils because they give off such a clean, calming scent that puts me to sleep easily. Purchasing these oils weren’t part of my original plan. I walked into the oil shop, listened to the demonstration and like most of my companions, I walked out of the store with these bottles:
SHOPPING IN ISRAEL
Since we were to spend five days in Israel, I expected to spend more on souvenirs. When we took a dip in the Dead Sea, I thought “Maybe I should gather some of the mud and take it home!” I was told by our travel coordinator Tita Mina that someone from the previous Holy Land trip did take some of the mud but they weren’t even done with the trip when it started to stink. As tempting as it is to take the free-flowing Dead Sea mud, we have to first learn how to handle and preserve it correctly. So really, Ahava products are the closest you can get. They’re manufactured in Israel and they’re much cheaper too.
Our first legit souvenir stop was at the Nissan Brothers Store in Bethlehem. They had so much to choose from—olive wood Bibles, olive wood carvings and sculptures, crosses, jewelry and gemstones, holy water, holy oil, holy soil, olive oil products, Dead Sea Salt products, the list goes on and on.
We went to a lot of tourist spots after that, of course there were small stores selling souvenirs but they pretty much carried the same items found at the Nissan Brothers Store.
That evening, my companions discovered the shops at the lobby of the Hotel Rimonim. They were fixated on the jewelry being sold because the prices were remarkably cheaper than the other places we’ve been to. Other than jewelry, I saw more interesting shirts, camel leather products, sculptures, figurines, magnets and even bags.
I bought camel leather wallets for my dad and brother and cross necklaces for me and my Lola.
I also got myself a Star of David pendant from a store in Nazareth, Jerusalem pouches from a small stall outside Cana (the place where Jesus turned water into wine for a wedding celebration) and an Eliat stone ring at Galilee.
Now let’s proceed to JORDAN.
Jordan for me was much more festive and colorful. Jordan is well-known for their mosaic art. We visited the mosaic factory in Madaba where we saw how the artists carefully arranged the colorful tiles into beautiful pieces.
I was tempted to purchase some mosaic artwork but since Jordan was our last country, I was getting more worried about my baggage limit. Mind you, the mosaic pieces are heavy. Every night, when we’d get to the hotel, my roommate Lizza and I would unpack and re-arrange our luggage just to make sure everything still fits in.
Here are the other items I got from Jordan:
Pashmina scarves from a Bedouin at Petra
Myrrh smells like Christmas ($7)
Frankincense smells like a Cathedral ($7)
Do you think I purchased too little or too much? If you were to visit these countries, what do you think you’d spend a lot on?
Let me know on the comment box below. Thank you for reading!
FINALLY! I finished this travel video! WHOOOO! When I edit videos, my tendency is to really get lost in time because I want to finish a project. It was a challenge to complete this because of my crazy schedule at work, events and ministry.
I spent weeks going through 600-800 video clips, noting which ones are good from those that are just crappy and blurry. So ladies and gents, my dear blog readers, here is ISRAEL IN MOTION (done with lots of love)!!!
The first time I heard of Megiddo, the images in my head were of scary arms and artillery, troops and their tanks locked and loaded. Megiddo is said to be the site where the final battle between good and evil will ensue (Revelation 16:12-16), when nations will gather against Israel and the latter will call out to Jesus Christ to rescue them.
How can such a beautiful, peaceful-looking plain be the backdrop of a bloody battle? History and the Bible both reveal that Megiddo has been the site of epic battles. The Megiddo Expedition site says:
Megiddo was the site of epic battles that decided the fate of western Asia. When the Canaanite city-states revolted against 15th century BCE Pharaonic attempts at hegemony, it was at Megiddo that they assembled to do battle. The Egyptian army, led by Pharaoh Thutmose III, surprised the rebels by choosing the most dangerous route of attack – through the narrow ‘Aruna Pass. After routing the Canaanite forces and capturing rich booty, Thutmose III laid siege to the city for seven months. His decisive victory enabled him to incorporate Canaan as a province in the Empire of the New Kingdom. The description of the battle of Megiddo is the earliest account of a major war in antiquity.
Would you believe that this was again founded by Herod the Great? The man was obviously rich, had a penchant for building colossal structures but he was also very paranoid specially when it came to power. He is the king who ordered the killing of male infants, after the visiting Magi asked him about the “one who has been born king of the Jews.” Aside from that, it’s also been recorded that Herod had his wives (Doris and Mariamne I) and two of his sons (Alexander and Aristobolus IV) killed.
Herod started building Caesarea Maritima in 22BC. It was named in honor of Augustus Caesar and became the Roman administrative capital, the military base of Pontius Pilate, Antonius Felix and other Roman officials.
Masada has such a moving historical background as told by Josephus Flavius. Built by Herod between 37-31 BC as his Northern Palace, this desert fortress served as a refuge for some 1000 Jewish zealots and rebels who revolted against the Romans in 66 CE.
In 73 CE, Flavius Silva led the 10th Roman Legion to conquer Masada. They infiltrated the fortress through a siege tower and fortified camps that can be seen from the viewing deck.
Before the legion even reached the top, the zealots (as told by Josephus Flavius) decided to take their lives in their hands instead of surrender and become slaves to the Romans. The only ones left to tell the story of Masada were two women and five children who hid in a cistern.
If you haven’t read my previous post, there are two sites in Israel which are believed to have been the tomb of Jesus Christ–The Holy Sepulchre and The Garden Tomb, which is featured in this post. The Holy Sepulchre is located within the walls of Jerusalem while the Garden Tomb is outside the city walls.
Most Protestants believe that this is more likely the location of the rich man’s new tomb, belonging to Joseph of Arimathea who along with Nicodemus, dressed, washed and anointed Jesus’ body for burial. If we look back at the description of the Jesus’ burial place as mentioned in the Bible, it enumerates the following characteristics:
A key characteristic of Golgotha is that it looks like a skull
Of course, worth noting are the beautiful flowers scattered around the garden
Now let’s get to the tomb
The fact that it was a new tomb is crucial–once corpses have already been laid to rest in a tomb, tomb toxins cultivate, therefore making it easier to decompose any new corpse that would be laid in there. Jesus’ body was laid in A NEW TOMB, meaning there was still no existence of tomb toxins/decomposing bacteria that could have easily made his physical body decay.
The Holy Sepulchre is believed by a lot of Christians as the place where Jesus Christ was crucified (Golgotha) and where He rose from the dead.
Later, we’ll look at the Garden Tomb which is the alternate site believed to be where Jesus was really buried. Researchers looked into the historical and geographical facts in the Bible and found that the location fit the descriptions of Golgotha (The Skull Hill) and the tomb which was originally owned by Joseph of Arimathea and “lent” to Jesus Christ.
Following Jesus’ agony at the Garden of Gethsemane, we now find ourselves in the place where Peter denied Jesus Christ. It was a panic-filled evening; their master and teacher has just been arrested. Imagine yourselves in the place of John and Peter. Despite the obvious danger, the two still wanted to find out what would happen so they followed all the way to the high priest’s place. Since John was known by the high priest, he was able to get in. He persuaded the servant girl to let Peter in and it was then that two servant girls recognised him as having been with Jesus. Like a deer caught in headlights, Peter outrightly denied association but his Galilean accent gave him away. After denying Jesus the third time, the rooster crowed and Jesus looked straight into Peter’s eyes. This compelled the latter to get out and weep bitterly, remembering the Master’s words (Matthew 26:75).
The Via Dolorosa or the Way of Sorrows is the path that Jesus went through on His way to Calvary.
According to our tour guide Diko, even in the ancient times, it was a marketplace. That meant that Jesus had to carry His cross towards Calvary, bearing the weight, humiliation and mockery of the people
The 14 stations on the 600-meter stretch culminates at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre where Jesus is believed to have been crucified and buried. Later, we’ll look into another location called The Garden Tomb which some Christians believe is the real site of the burial and resurrection of Jesus, given the archaeological and geographical evidence.