Day 1 – Nov. 17
Morning departure from Edmonton to Tel Aviv.
Day 2 – Nov. 18
Upon noon arrival in Tel Aviv we are transferred to Aqaba in Jordan. Time for rest, dinner and overnight.
Day 3 – Nov. 19
In the morning we travel to Wadi Rum, one of the world’s outstanding desert landscapes to observe local life and Bedouin culture. This is where the movie “Lawrence of Arabia” was made in 1962. We have a traditional Bedouin lunch in one of their tents. Return to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 4 – Nov. 20
Today we travel to Petra, world’s wonder and Jordan’s most valuable treasure. The city was carved into the sheer rock face by Nabataeans, settled 2000 years ago and made an important junction for silk, spice and other trade routes linking China and India with Egypt, Greece and Rome. We visit the Treasury, Monastery and amphitheater. Late afternoon continue to our hotel in Amman for dinner and overnight.
Day 5 – Nov. 21
This morning we depart to visit other treasures of Jordan. We visit Madaba, best known for its Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics and stop at Mt. Nebo where Moses saw the Promised Land for the first time. Late afternoon we cross the Jordan River and move on to Judea for dinner and overnight.
Day 6 – Nov. 22
Today we visit Bethlehem – where Jesus was born, celebrating Christmas Mass in one of the grottos. We visit the Manger, Crusaders’ Cloister, the Grotto of St. Jerome – Sheppard’s field and Milk Grotto. In the afternoon we visit Mount Zion with the Upper Room (Room of the Last Supper) and the Church of St. Peter’s in Gallicantu. Return to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 7 – Nov. 23
Today’s journey takes us to the ancient city of Jerusalem: St. Ann’s Church, Pool of Bethesda, Pilate’s Judgment Hall, the Chapel of the Flagellation and the Arch of Ecce Homo, the convent of the sisters of Zion. We continue with the Stations of the Cross – Via Dolorosa to the Holy Sepulchre. Mass will be celebrated in one of the many churches of Jerusalem. In the afternoon we visit the Western Wall, also called the “Wailing Wall”. We see the place of the Mosque of Omar and El Aksar. Return to hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 8 – Nov. 24
This morning we leave for a full day excursion to the Dead Sea and Jericho, the oldest inhabited city in the world. We visit the town and celebrate Mass. Time for swimming in the Dead Sea. After Mass in Jericho we stop at the Jordan River in Qasr al-Yahud, where Jesus was baptized. Transfer to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 9 – Nov. 25
This morning we depart Judea for Galilee. En route we visit Haifa and Mt. Carmel, the “burning place” where Elijah called fire down to confound the prophets of Baal. Here we celebrate Mass. We continue via Cesarea by the Sea to Galilee for our dinner and overnight.
Day 10 – Nov. 26
After breakfast we depart for Tiberias. We travel by boat on the Sea of Galilee, visit Capernaum, home of St. Peter and the site of Jesus’ preaching, on to Tabgha to see the Church of the Multiplication with its beautiful 5th century fish mosaic. We also visit the Church of the Primacy and celebrate Mass on the Mount of the Beatitudes. On our way back to the hotel (time permitting) we visit the archeological site of Magdala, the town of Maria Magdalena. Return to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 11 – Nov. 27
This morning we start our tour in Cana – the site of Jesus’ first miracle. Here we celebrate a marriage renewal ceremony. We move on to Nazareth where we celebrate Mass at the Basilica of the Annunciation and we visit Mary’s Well and St. Joseph’s Carpentry Shop. In the afternoon we ascend Mount Tabor – the Mount of the Transfiguration. Return to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 12 – Nov. 28
After breakfast we are transferred to the airport in Tel Aviv for a flight to Edmonton. Evening arrival.