Sunday, March 25, 2012

Hello All,
After a grueling 27 hour trip back to the US, Jeanne and I arrived home yesterday on time. Jeanne crashed almost immediately and I lasted about 2 1/2 hours before sleeping 12 hours straight. We are trying to get back on Pacific time, but not quite there yet. I hope all of you that followed our blog enjoyed reading about the highlights. We both go back to work tomorrow morning, but (now that I have high speed Internet...YAY) I plan to post some more pictures by the end of the week.


Friday, March 23, 2012

Farewell Thoughts

Jeanne and I are on our last day in Israel. Over dinner last night, we discussed how this trip has challenged us professionally (the HP product release here and, for those of you who caught in the news, the merging/re-org of the 2 major business units that included the departure of Jeanne's former boss Vyomesh Yoshi. Jeanne is not sure how this will affect her, and probably won't until all the pieces that are up in the air hit the ground), personally (the culture, languages and ways of Israel are so diverse as to make your head spin) and spiritually (take a generous helping of various beliefs, religions and forms of worship... place in a large pot...stir well!).

Our guide (Ossy Kaufman) said something yesterday that really jumped out at me. "Thousands of years of traditions cannot be erased by a moment of reality (historical fact). The traditions of Israel...Jews, Arabs, Christians and the various sects of each, have generations of traditional beliefs that are so ingrained in their society, they cannot and will not be changed. He finished his thought by saying "it is up to each of us to find our beliefs, and to live together and not argue about it. We should be happy!"

And Jeanne and I are happy. Happy to have been here, and happy to be going back home.

See you soon,


A couple pictures from Bet Shean

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Friends and family,

A quick post tonight (no Wi-Fi tonight, using Jeanne’s data card). We are in a kibbutz guest house tonight within view of the Syrian and Lebanese border. Not to worry though, as we are in the  good company of the Israeli Military who are patrolling the electrified fence that is the border. Something new, we will be having dinner at a kibbutz dining room tonight and are looking forward to the experience.

Our travels took us to what Jeanne and I considered the crown jewel of our trip…Bet Shean! A huge Roman city that was destroyed by a huge earthquake in 744 and subsequently completely covered with sediment from a resulting landslide, it was remarkably preserved  by being covered up over the centuries. Only 10% of the ruins have been excavated, yet the largest amphitheater (that was used for games, performances and gladiatorial combat) was discovered, in addition to bath houses, Hippodrome and meeting halls used for political discussions. The amphitheater, complete with marble columns and the seating, would have held about 4000 people. I will download pictures later.

Tomorrow we will finish up our tour and head back to Tel Aviv, a day off to rest, then leave Israel at 11PM Friday (Israel time.) If all goes well, we will be home Saturday at noon.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Today was probably the banner day of our tour so far. Caesarea, Acre, and the limestone grotto at Rosh Hanrika left one wanting to spend more time that we had at each of the sites. All were deeply rich in history and geology respectively. I am posting a few photos for now, but will try to do more later. Jeanne and I are retiring, as we are up early and doing it all over tomorrow. Megiddo, Bet Shean and Golan tomorrow. We like staying at the kibbutz hotels. Nice small rooms, great breakfast!



Eric, this one is for you...Roman Toilets!

Acre (Crusader Fortress)

Monday, March 19, 2012

A couple pictures from our trip to Jerusalem yesterday and day one in the North

Looking down at the city from the top of the Mt of Olives

The Church of All Nations which houses the rock on which
 Jesus prayed just before his betrayal by Judas

The Garden of Gethsemene

Day One

Another fantastic day in Isreal. After being picked up at our hotel early this morning, we headed straight to Nazareth. Our first stop there was the Church of the Annunciation. Built on the site that is is said to be where Mary was told by the Angel Gabriel tha she would be would become pregant by the miracle of the Holy Spirit. In the same complex is the home of Joseph, the stepfather of Jesus, and the ruins of ancient Nazareth.

From there we went to Capernaum, and visited the ancient city that we know for a fact that Jesus lived. The ruins of the city and synagogue were spectacular, as was the site of Peter's home. I will post some video when I get a chance. 

We start again tomorrow early, so it's lights out. We head for Caesarea, Acre and Golan Heights.

Until then,


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Jeanne and I went back to Jerusalem today and walked up the Mt. of Olives. On the way, we were pestered by a Arab street vendor, and unfortunately I let my guard down. In a thoughtless moment, I had left my camera in the side pocket of my pack, and after the vendor "bumped" into me, I discovered minutes later that my camera was gone. Luckily, I had downloaded all the pictures I had taken so far, and the camera was probably on it's last trip (Eric, I am so glad I didn't buy a new one like we had discussed). Plus, our Smart Phones take digital quality photos and videos, so we will not have to replace our camera while on our trip.

After beating myself up for being careless, and some soothing from my wonderful wife, I enjoyed spectacular views of the old city and the Dome of the Rock from the mount. From there, we descended back down the mount, and were spellbound by the Church of All Nations, the Garden of Gethsemane, and the centuries old olive trees in the garden. As we sat in the Church, Jeanne and I tried to imagine the night of Jesus' passion,  betrayal, arrest and desertion of his disciples  over 2000 years ago. Our time there was worth the extra effort of traveling back to Jerusalem, and even the loss of a camera.

Tomorrow morning Jeanne and I will depart for the north, and will be touring for the next 3+ days. I will post pictures of today's trip and descriptions of our adventures in the North as time and connections are available.

Until then,