1 Overlooking the beautiful city of Old Jerusalem - the gold dome is the 'Dome of the Rock.' The city of Jerusalem is important to many major religions.
2 Here I am outside one of the entrances to the Old City - notice the bullet holes in the walls from the War of Independence in 1948.
3 A closer view of the entrance
4 Young Israeli Naval soldiers on a group trip to see Jerusalem - the female soldiers carry heavy bags and weapons, too.
5 King David, leader of the ancient Kingdom of Israel, is buried in the Old City of Jerusalem.
6 King David's Tomb - according to legend, a visit to this place can help women conceive.
7 Arabic calligraphy on a stained glass window in Jerusalem
8 An Armenian Orthodox priest at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre
9 Mary's Tomb in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre
10 Christian pilgrims place religious items for blessing on what is believed to be Jesus' tomb.
11 A group of young Orthodox Jewish children
12 The streets of the Jewish Quarter in Jerusalem
13 The Western Wall, or Kotel, with the Dome of the Rock behind it
14 Tourists snapping pictures of the men's side of the wall
15 A swearing in ceremony of Israeli troops at the Western Wall - a very meaningful location
16 It is said that if you write a prayer and put it in the wall, you have a higher likelyhood that it will be answered.
17 The Western Wall is divded by gender - here men wearing prayer shawls and phylacteries pray on the men's side.
18 Heading to the coast - this is the skyline of Tel Aviv - it has grown over the years into a booming metropolitan area.
19 Hundred-year-old Ottoman cannons in Old Jaffa pointed north towards the modern Tel Aviv Beach
20 The tayelet, or promenade, on the beach in Tel Aviv
21 Hummus with mushrooms from Hummus Ben Sira, a delicious hole-in-the-wall sort of place on Ben Sira Street in Jerusalem
22 The Tel Aviv Beach
23 One does not need to read Hebrew to understand the meaning of this sign.
24 No reason to be alarmed! This is a paratrooper after a training jog in Old Jaffa - they are supposed to be with their weapon.
25 This is Andromedas rock - a tale from Greek mythology.
26 Shakshuka - a popular Middle Eastern dish - made with a chunky and spicy tomato and onion base with two eggs cooked into the mixture. This one had sheep's milk cheese melted on top.
27 A classic Israeli salad - chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, and though not as common, peppers.
28 A gigantic, fresh salad topped with sheep's milk cheese and almonds
29 A view of the hills and mountains nearing the town of Nazareth
30 Some may find this humorous, A KFC in Nazareth!
31 The ruins of a synagogue in Capernaum - on the shores of the Galilee - dating back to the time of St. Peter
32 Local Nazaretheans socializing
33 The Church of the Annunciation
34 Mosaic detail underneath the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth
35 Dozens of countries submitted artistic interpretations of Mary and Jesus. This one is from Japan.
36 My wife, Katie, and I on the shore of the Galilee, or Kinneret in Hebrew
37 Another ancient synagogue in Capernaum
38 The ruins of the ancient town in Capernaum and the Galilee behind them
39 The Jordan River - these are baptismal stations.
40 Steps leading down - here is station number 9
41 A woman about to be baptized
43 Hills in the Judean Desert
44 A gas station in the West Bank - yes, that is a camel!
45 On the way south, one sees many Bedouin (nomads) habitats. They are herdsmen and move with the flocks.
46 The terrain began to look more and more like the dessert.
47 In the distance, Jericho, the most ancient city in the world - dates back to 8,000 BC! - and is mentioned in the bible.
48 Dramatic steep cliffs
49 A first look at the Dead Sea, also the lowest point on earth.
50 On top of the ancient fortress of Masada, the Jewish Alamo - one can still see the outline of the Roman encampments below. The Romans put them in place to siege Masada.
51 Here is Katie, taking in a fantastic view of the Dead Sea.
52 Another view
53 This is the largest of the Roman encampments.
54 Some of the beatiful mosaics are still intact - the dry dessert air helped to preserve them.
55 Here is a view of the Snake Path that leads up to Masada. It is a long climb up and it is recommended that you begin your climb very early in the morning to avoid a punishing sun.
56 Here I am wearing the famous 'mud' from the Dead Sea - It is supposed to have medicinal and cosmetic properties.
57 Here is Katie floating in the Dead Sea - because of it's high salt content, there is great buoyancy. It is called 'Dead' because nothing can live in so much much salt.
58 This is what you see when you step in - lots of salt formations.
59 The effects of the salt corrosion on bycicles - what are they doing here anyway?
60 Now headed to northern Israel - this is the ancient 'Old' city of Acre (people in Israel call it Akko) one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world.
61 One of the attractions is the mostly intact Turkish bath house (Hamam al-Basha) - no, these are not real people!
62 The Mosque of Al-Jezzar
63 A baklava storefront in the old city of Acre - Baklava is a sweet type of pastry with layers of phyllo dough filled with chopped nuts and sweetened with honey or syrup. This shop had many varieties.
64 Delicious looking sacks of nuts in the market place
65 Majadera - a staple of Middle Eastern cuisine - made with rice, lentils, fried onions, and Middle Eastern spices
66 Kuneifa, a Middle Eastern dessert, made with milk, orange blossom water, and wheat
67 A view towards Rosh Hanikra - a natural wonder of grottos or caves - from the Patrol Path - in the northern town of Nahariya
68 On the Sabbath, many orthodox Jews like to appreciate nature.
69 Because Rosh Hanikra marks the border between Israel and Lebanon, there is a sizable naval base and radar station.
70 A grotto at Rosh Hanikra, a beautiful site on the border with Lebanon
71 The water inside is a beautiful color.
72 After millions of years of erosion, the rock took on the shape of an elephant's leg!
73 Katie loved getting her picture taken with Israeli soldiers.
74 Shuk HaCarmel, a gigantic open air produce and clothing market, in central Tel Aviv
75 Many herbs and spices - notice the big green mound? That is Zatar, a very popular herb mix in Israel and throughout much of the Middle East. It's very good on pizza.
76 The freshly squeezed pomegranate juice was delicious.
77 Mounds and mounds of olives - so good!
78 My sister and her co-workers at Omanoot. From left to right: Edoe (co-founder and executive director), Dafna Laskin (social media editor), Jordyn, Orli, Jamie, and Lindsay, Director of Education.