Tuesday, April 3, 2018

April A to Z Challenge - C is for Camel, Caesarea, and Caesarea Philippi

C is for Caesarea Philippi
Caesarea Philippi was an ancient Roman city located at the southwestern base of Mount Hermon. It was adjacent to a spring, grotto, and related shrines dedicated to the Greek god Pan. Now nearly uninhabited, Caesarea is an archaeological site in the Golan Heights. (Wikipedia)
Caesarea Philippi, also known as Paneas to the Greeks and Romans and Banias (our notes from the travel agency said that Banias is an Arabic corruption of the word Panias) in modern times. Caesarea Philippi was a very lush place feeding the Jordan River her waters and the ancient Greeks said the water flowed from the cave, but Josephus reported that an earthquake altered the area so the waters flowed from underground springs. (source – bible-history.com)
It had rained the entire week before we arrived in Israel and the waters rushed by. Caesarea Philippi is a lovely place. On our visit, the sky was blue and the temperature was just right!
We were able to eat at a little restaurant within walking distance of the ancient city with a choice of all things good – chicken schnitzel (another C!); falafel; and I am pretty sure there was a third choice that day! We were seated outside at little tables by the water.
What is another special thing about Caesarea Philippi?
Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do men say that the Son of man is?” Peter answered for the disciples, declaring, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Matthew 16:13-20
When visiting this location, the question and answer make sense – they were standing there near grottos where other gods were displayed.
Standing near this sheer rock wall was also where Jesus called Peter, “the rock” and gazing up, one can understand this comment.
my roommate standing by the rushing waters
I have no idea if this "live" picture will work
on the blog or not!

sheer rock wall where niches are located - gods would have
been displayed here
also, sheer rock wall - Peter, the rock

C is for Caesarea
Caesarea — not to be confused with Caesarea Philippi in Galilee – was founded by Herod the Great on the site of an ancient fortified town. In 22 BC, with no expense spared, he began building a new city and harbour.
Massive breakwaters gave safe anchorage to 300 ships, a sewage system was flushed by the tide, and a vast hippodrome seated more than 20,000 people at chariot races. Later an amphitheatre was built to present chariot races, gladiatorial combats, animal performances and theatrical events.
(source – seetheholyland.net)
pieces of artwork were beheaded and many destroyed
over the years
Rafi, our tour guide in the white hat, did a great job explaining the history

I came out of the ladies room and found most of our men friends sitting on a bench - doesn't matter where you are in the world . . .women in the bathroom/men waiting outside!

those are original steps in the above picture - the ones at the bottom

the acoustics in that place are amazing - no microphone needed

the Mediterranean Sea is spectacular!

The location in the picture below was where they held chariot races - around and around

pictured below are some of my traveling friends - it certainly was fun traveling with lots of friends. It is hard to travel alone (hubby has not been able to go yet) but on both trips to Israel, I was surrounded by good friends.

C is for Camels
Y’all . . .I could write and write and write and not cover all of the alphabet. I’m actually amazed. I made my list over a month ago and I keep wanting to add to it!
I really wanted to ride a camel on this trip but the only one in our group who rode a camel was the son of our senior pastor.
So . . .I did the next best thing. I had my picture taken with a fake camel! This was on our last night as we were headed back to the airport in Tel Aviv. We had eaten at a restaurant in Joffa and when we came out, lo and behold . . .there was a camel. Forgive the bedraggled appearance. We had been touring all day and were headed toward a LONG journey home.


  1. Sounds like an incredible trip, Lisa! It is hard to imagine not needing a microphone in such a large area. What great photos. You will obviously have to return so you can ride a camel.

  2. Visiting from the A-Z. Great photos and great trip. The universe did not get you a camel ride this time because it's keeping that for the next.

  3. Emily and Nilanjana,
    Thanks so much for visiting and for commenting!! I think you are both right - next time I will ride the camel!

  4. I love the story of Caesarea Philippi with Jesus and Peter. That really helps the visual! Great pictures, too! :)