Gary and Debbie's Israel Trip 2016 travel blog

Overlooking Haifa

Elijah's cave. No one was brave enough to remove the soda bottle

Dome in the church above the cave

Mass in the crypt

Jeezrel Valley

More of the valley

Sea of Galilee

Late morning and into the afternoon included two stops on Mount Carmel. At the first stop, the view overlooks the harbor of the industrial city Haifa, and to the north, the Lebanon boundary. We are at a Carmelite monastery called Stella Maris. It's built into the side of the mountain and the small church encloses a cave where Elijah was hiding until God gently spoke to him to go forward and preach. The site has historical significance thru the centuries because of its prime location for defense, including Napolean discussing its importance for his invasion.

Next onto a higher peak on the mountain and the second Carmelite monastery at Muhraga, meaning "the fire". This is where the The book of Kings describes the prophet Elijah challenges the false prophets in the area to prove their God. In the story, God burns Elijah's sacrifice even though it's been doused with water, showing the others are false prophets, and subsequently Elijah ends up killing the 450 false prophets.

We had mass in the crypt below the church, and then went to the top of the monastery to see an outstanding view of the Jeezrel valley. The attached pictures don't do justice to the magnificent view. One of the pictures you'll notice a small airport; it's the Israeli Air Force and none of the planes are parked on ground, they are all parked under the ground. The valley has seen many battles over the centuries.

We then left for our stay at the Sea of Galilee, which is 200 meters below sea level. Great view from our window.

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