Dick Hartz from South Franklin Circle and Hope Hungerford from Judson Manor just so happened to both venture to Israel and Jordan on the same Road Scholar trip this past October, Dick with his son and Hope with a friend. Here, Hope recounts the trip:
From local scholars and academics we learned about the current political situation and the complicated long history, visiting many sites that we had read about but never seen.
Jerusalem was the highlight. We visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Mount of Olives, the Holocaust Museum, and the Israel Museum, both designed by Moshe Safdie. We walked in the four quarters of the Old City and walked the path of the Calvary.
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Then we traveled by bus to various sites, including Bethlehem, Nazareth, Masada, Capernaum, Qumran, and the Mount of the Beatitudes. We visited an early Kibbutz, Degania Bet, enjoying a lunch with residents and learning about the history. Swimming in the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea were very memorable experiences. Although swimming in the Dead Sea is somewhat painful because it’s salty, I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to say I did it!
The visit to Jordan was very special, with Petra definitely serving as the high point there. The Nabotean civilization along the Silk Road was full of history, and another site, Jeresh, a Greco-Roman ruin destroyed in an earthquake in the eighth century, is considered the Pompeii of the Middle East.