#DOG24 – Day 1

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After months of preparation, planning and prayer, our much anticipated journey to the Holy Land had arrived.

Odette and myself were joined at Cape Town International Airport with 19 other eager pilgrims from Cape Town. Six other pilgrims from the UK and Congo will meet us in Israel.

Monsignor Clifford Stokes will be heading the Pilgrimage in the the Holy Land assisted by Father David Rowles.

pilgrims-at-the-airportAfter almost 20 hours of traveling we Arrived at Ben Gurion Airport with the thermometer greeting us at 35 degrees.

Our Christian Arab team, Gaby, our tour guide and Farris, our driver welcomed us as if they’d known us for years!

We left the airport and travelled along Route 6 passing the Samaria region on the right.

125322e5-662e-45c6-a9b1-2c75213dfed9We witnessed part of separation wall dividing West Bank to the State of Israel which is roughly 700km long.

We had a beautiful “tapas” lunch at Caesarea and inspected the old ruins and palace of Herod. It was amazing to see that even after many centuries of war and weather how a lot of structures were still in place.

odette-by-caesareaWe headed back to our accomadation for the next 3 days, the beautiful and magestical, Mount Beatitudes Guest House. This beautiful retreat is perched high up on the mountain overlooking the Sea of Galilee.

A lovely Carmelite Sister greeted us and showed us to a beautifully prepared dinner. We had a special mass for the pilgrims in a little chapel in the hotel.

I must add that despite being tired and exhausted, it felt like we were at home.

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