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My time in Israel: Day 4

4 February, 20104 February, 2010 0 comments Natalia in the Holy Land Natalia in the Holy Land

"Strip away the layers and reveal your soul
Give yourself up and then you become whole" - Matisyahu lyrics

Today was an absolutely beautiful experience!! We said our goodbyes to Jerusalem and drove up along the Coastal Road to the ancient city of Ceasarea Maritima. No surprise here, it was also built by Herod the Great, but the most important aspect is that it was literally an invention of genius at the time of its creation! It was the first ever-artificial harbor!! This may not sound too impressive, but imagine literally singing limestone into the ocean and then building an entire harbor and port on top. Thanks to my obsession with the HBO show "Rome," I knew some of the history surrounding Herod's association with Marc Anthony and, as a result, his wish to build a city in honor of Octavius (later known as Augustus) to gain the Cesar's graces...it was nothing short of awe-inspiring to be walking on such a piece of history! Fun fact: Herod brought the Olympics to Ceasarea and created 2nd and 3rd places for the first time!

After a morning in the hot Israeli sun at Caesarea, we made our way to Nazareth and had a finger-licking-good lunch of falafel and hummus (no surprise there!).

A nice vendor also gave us some baklava for free! For being the place where Jesus spent his childhood, it is shocking to see that Nazareth population currently consists almost exclusively of Arabs... it is somewhat alarming in light of the billboards we saw there (one of them is pictured in my photos for this post).

This particular sign was placed directly in front of the Basilica of the Annunciation, the largest church in the Middle East. Ridiculous, absolutely inexcusable. There is a really interesting story associated with the sign (and the mosque on which it is posted), so if you're interested, ask me!

In the evening, we settled into our hostel and had a long advocacy-themed discussion with Dr. David Brog, sitting out under the stars. Afterwards, as would be our custom for the remaining nights we spent in Israel, we took our some hookahs, bought some Israeli beers, brought out some blankets from our rooms, and spent the evening under nightfall's cooler breeze.


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