SO MUCH TO SEE AS WE TRAVELED ALONG THE MEDITERRANEAN
We began by traveling to the farthest point north on Israel’s Mediterranean coastline. There we saw the gleaming white cliffs of Rosh Hanikra. We descended by cable car into the underwater grottoes to see the spectacular natural formations. This area borders Lebanon and we prayed for Israel’s borders, safety, and protection.
Rosh Hanikra — means “Head of the Caves” or “Grottos”. These caves or grottos
were created by the crashing of the Mediterrean Sea against the chalk cliffs. In WW
II the British blasted tunnels to build a railroad from Cairo to Istanbul. Later it was blown up by the Israelis to seal off passage to Lebanon during their 1948 War of Independence. It remains sealed to this day. There is no Biblical significance to this site but it certainly is amazing in its unique beauty.
Continuing along the beautiful Mediterranean shore to the Port of Akko, we had an opportunity to see the impressive underground Crusader Halls that were built by the Hospitalers Knights. They contain a complex of six halls, a recently excavated large hall, a dining room, a dungeon and remnants of an ancient Gothic church.
Akko (Port of Acre) is one of the oldest (over 4,500 years) continuously
occupied cities in the world, existing from the time of Joshua dividing the
land among the 12 tribes. It eventually became part of territory of King
David but was given to the King of Tyre by King Solomon for their help in
supplying materials for the Temple in Jerusalem. It’s natural harbor made it
a port of entry for pilgrims during the time of the Crusades wanting to
travel from Europe to Jerusalem. It was the last city held by the Crusaders,
falling to the Mamluks (of Egypt) in AD 1291. In the 1940’s under the
British control of Palestine before it became a Jewish State in 1948 it
became a prison for captured Haganah and Irgun fighters.
Before entering the Crusader complex, we visited a shop and watched the copper-smith fashion a beautiful bracelet.
We walked through the Old City of Acre and saw the Oriental Market and the Acre Port. Acre is a city designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
As we continued south toward Tel Aviv we drove through Haifa, the third largest city in Israel and one of its prettiest. It has Israel’s largest port, a particularly active beach, and is the home of the beautiful gardens of the World Center of the Bahai Faith. The Bahai’s separated from Iran’s Shi’ite Islam in 1844.
At our hotel in Tel Aviv we celebrated with a farewell dinner tonight.