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and on we go…

When I got to the pyramids I was in awe, it’s still surreal to think what I’ve seen on TV and in magazines now was right in front of me.

Yes, those are the coach buses we were in….see how ginormous these pyramids are….sure puts things in perspective.

To think Abraham saw these periods, so amazing. If I remember correctly, there are 108 pyramids in Egypt.  Other facts:

  • Population in Egypt is 80M and Cairo 20M. 
  • Moses means “son of water”
  • Most tombs were robbed, King Tut’s was reserved, accidently found in 1922. It’s believed he was buried in 1300BC (therefore was found intact and undisturbed for over 3,000 years) – that’s what made this discovery so huge!
  • Majority of Egypt is desert, approximately 1/3
  • Homes in Cairo go unbuilt for about 3 years.  Government holds off taxes for the first 3 years up to 5 years.  Farm people build when they are not harvesting.  They build the homes to rent out but when the funds run out, they stop construction, that is why there are a lot of homes unbuilt.
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Friend’s site

Hey, you have to check this site out when you have some time.  One of the tour members took some excellent pictures that put mine to shame 🙂 – http://www1.linearconcepts.com/g2/main.php

He even included a map, so you can see where these pics were taken.  Don’t worry, I’ll still be adding my pics…especially the squatter and Stars & Bucks in Bethlehem.

Til later..d

Hello….I plan to post day two and three this weekend but to keep you entertained of what’s to come…here is me coming down off the camel with my Aunt…

Do I look scared….well I was terrifed of falling off the camel, when you’re up on those things…it’s pretty high!  More to come.

Day 1

Today, Friday, March 12, my parents pick me up at 7am to take me to O’Hare for my 9:30am flight on Jet Blue.  I would definitely fly on Jet Blue again, they serve Dunkin Donuts coffee and have satellite TV….how great is that, DD coffee first thing in the morning!

I arrive in New York at JFK 20 minutes ahead of schedule, I’m anxious, nervous, scared, and excited.  I finally stop thinking of work and begin to focus on what is ahead.  This is so different from any other trip I have ever been on, I have absolutely no expectations.  Though I was provided the itinerary ahead of time (click here to view), today is the first day I read through it, there is so much planned for each day.  In two days I’ll be on a camel and looking at the oldest pyramids in the world.  I can hardly believe it.  I’m enjoying every minute of today.   

  

I’m now in the International terminal at JFK and see the famous orange hat, Dr. Dave!  I see Dr. Dave and Margie waiting at the ticket counter at Turkish airlines.  They show me where to go and then I go through security.  When I get to the terminal, I meet some fellow tour members, we grab some lunch and wait for other members.   

As we board, I notice how roomy this flight is and think…10 hours, not too bad.  Didn’t know I was walking through business class, don’t even want to know what first class looked like.  I get to my seat and think, I’m booking business class next time….I did have a hard time sleeping on the plane but I think it had more to do with being anxious and excited for arriving at our destination.  Finally made it to Istanbul:  

Waiting for tickets for our free tour in Istanbul.

Passports are checked, we’ve gone through security, we have our Visas stamped (paid $20) and now we’re off to the free tour offered by Turkish Airlines of Istanbul.  All we need is some serious caffeine to wake us:  

  

As we are sipping on our coffees, we lost two people from the tour…but they were found!  Now it’s time to wait until the tour begins, it’s Noon (4am CST).  

Larry and Agnes Dixon (friends from the Park of the Palms)

Aunt Liz and Larry Dixon

 
Almost 2pm (6am CST) and to our first destination, lunch at Tamara:

Front of the restaurant

Inside the restaurant, we ate on the 3rd floor

Lunch (rice was part of every meal), there was steak, lamb, and ?

Tour guide

Outside of the restaurant

Street restaurant is on

Now it’s off to some of the sights – the green columns in the temple/church were “rescued” from the Temple of Diana(Ephesians) – see pic below (thx Aunt Liz).  There is a total of 15M people in Istanbul.  Here are some of the pictures I took:

  

Hagia Sophia

Blue Mosque - The cascading domes and six slender minarets of the Blue Mosque dominate the skyline of Istanbul. The 17th-century mosque was built by Sultan Ahmet I to rival the Hagia Sophia

This is the church where the pillars are located

  

ceiling in the church (pics don't get the real beauty)

   

 

 

can't erase this pic but it's the top of the pillar

vendors had great shoes!

vendor selling roasted nuts

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Now off to the airport, to wait 5 hours before we take off for Cairo, Egypt.  We should get there around 1:30am (no idea at this point what time that is in CST).  So, what to eat at the airport while waiting:
 
$6 for a cheeseburger!  Or….other places, $7 for a slice of pizza (nah, from Chicago, not going to even try it) or a sandwich for $19.  Hmmmm…I decided to save my money for souvenirs rather than spend on food…good thing I brought my power bar and Cheerio mix.  Until Day Two!

A day and a week!

I’m back! I had a great time in the Middle East traveling to Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, Israel….for the next few weeks I plan to sort my thoughts (a.k.a. notes) and post a day each week of my journey through the Holy Land.  Here are some of  the sites I saw: http://www.insight.org/ministry/events/video-blog/retrospective.html (provided by one of the tour members). 

I took around 1300 pictures…so there’s lots to view, kind of why I thought each week I would post a day of what our tour group did.  With Dr. Dave Reid leading us, we had jammed a lot into one day.

All in all, I hope you enjoy the pictures as much as I enjoyed taking them. 

Last thoughts, two things that come to mind when I think of some of the funnier moments – 1.  I had to squat….you’ll see what that means when the time comes 2. Though coffee wasn’t on each corner, in Bethlehem there was a Stars & Bucks!  Starbucks would be proud 🙂

11 more days…

Yowzers…I’ll be on a plane a week from Friday traveling to Turkey to then connect to Egypt.  Amazing.  First night there, our group will be staying in Egypt, minutes away from the pyramids.  I still can’t believe I’m going on this trip.  To have the opportunity to walk where Jesus has walked….can’t wait!

34 more days….

In just over one month…I’ll be flying overseas – YIKES!!  I really can’t wait.  I’ll be going on a Bible Land tour.  Our guide, Dr. Dave, has been doing this tour for years.  In fact, here is a web site of his tour from 2007: www.linearconcepts.com.

Since my memory isn’t too great, I will be taking lots of pictures and will journal each day.  I plan to then post on my web site for all friends and family members to see.  That way no one feels obligated to go to my house for a “slide show”….you’ll be able to skip through photos at your leisure and read what you want.

I still can’t believe I’m going – to Egypt, Jordan, Israel….I’ll get to climb St. Sinai…to be where Jesus has been…walk where he has, walk through Gesthesame, amazing.

Will be in touch!