A Travellerspoint blog

July 2019

Day 20

Hong Kong, Melbourne

sunny 9 °C

Home...how time flies.

An amazing trip and I grateful for the opportunity to have seen so much and to have made new friends.

The flight from Hong Kong was full.

9 Celsius is a bit rough after over 30 for the past 3 weeks.

Hope you have enjoyed the blog as much as I have enjoyed writing it.

Until my next adventure.

Posted by Cruicksie 16:38 Archived in Australia Comments (2)

Day 19


sunny 29 °C

I love travelling, but hate the end of trips and the long flight home...

This morning I woke early and went down to farewell my fellow pilgrims who were flying out late morning to Toronto.

They were not expecting to see me as I had said farewell last night, and so I received a rowdy welcome in the dining hall.

I had a final wander around the market and a long black in the Christian Quarter. The tension between different groups in Jerusalem is palpable.

Back to the hotel to search for a steak restaurant. Having found one 5 minutes away, I headed out at 12:00 pm, to find that they were not ready for lunch until 12:45 pm. Too late for me. Potato chips, a cup of tea and a chocolate bar had to do for lunch.

No photos today.

Much of the food has been too challenging for me to eat and so I have lived on salad for the last two weeks.

The Olive Tree Hotel in Jerusalem is excellent. They gave me a late checkout of 2 pm and I then sat in the hotel bar, reading and watching Netflix. A cab collected me at 6 pm.

Now at Ben Gurion Airport, I have had lamb chops and fries and what I thought was going to be a glass of wine, which turned into a 1/2 bottle of wine.

El Al could not check my bag through to Melbourne so when I get to Hong Kong I will need to collect my luggage, clear customs and check in for my flight home. A little annoying...however, a first world problem.

I plan to write one more entry and so, until then...

Posted by Cruicksie 10:18 Archived in Israel Comments (0)

Day 18

Mount Nebo, Jerusalem

sunny 32 °C

Today was our last day together.

My room at the Crowne Plaza was like a chimney sweep and I had not slept well the night before, so with Joel’s help I changed rooms (it took some effort). A king size bed and a view over the Dead Sea were rough to take...

The day before I had managed to get a massive and painful blister on my foot, so I could not join in the fun of being covered in mud and washing off in the Dead Sea. I had a lot of fun watching the others and taking photographs.

It was 32 degrees at 10:00 am - coming home is going to be rough.

I have now been to the lowest point on earth - photographic evidence proves this.

Our main event for the day was a trip to Mount Nebo, which is 800 metres above sea level. On a clear day, you can see Jericho and Jerusalem from Mount Nebo.

It was on Mount Nebo where Moses saw the promised land.

Nancy shared a devotion about Moses being satisfied to be a servant of God, which is what we are all called to be.

The scripture in Hebrews came to mind:

‘Faith is the substance of things not seen.’

As I stood on Mount Nebo, I could imagine God saying to Moses, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant’. My prayer is that He will say that to me one day.

We headed back to Jerusalem and after dinner played games until about 10:00 pm.

I said goodbye to everybody (they all leave early in the morning and my flight is much later) and headed to bed.

It has been a wonderful trip and I will read the scriptures very differently from now on. It has also been great to meet new friends.

My long journey home starts tomorrow.

Posted by Cruicksie 21:37 Archived in Israel Comments (0)

Day 17


sunny 31 °C

We are staying at the Dead Sea, which is 400 metres below sea level.

It was 30 degrees when we left the hotel at 7:36 am. Again, I am loving the sun! It is going to be rough going home to winter.

Petra is a World Heritage Site and it was just amazing! Travelling always makes me feel incredibly privileged and blessed. Many people struggle to make ends meet and I have had the privilege of visiting sites that I have read about over the years.

Petra did not disappoint! It was phenomenal.

On our way to Petra we could see Mt Hor, which is where Aaron, brother of Moses is buried.

Petra has 5 different names:
- Petra - in Greek - means the Rock
- Sallah - in Aramaic - means Rock
- Wadi Musa - the valley of Moses
- Rose Red City
- The Lost City

Petra was inhabited by the Nabateans in the 3rd and 4th Century before Christ.

The Romans conquered Petra in the 2nd century after Christ.

Petra was carved into the rock by the Nabateans with metal tools.

During the Byzantine era some Christians lived at Petra.

Following this, it was inhabited by Muslims and was a pilgrim station.

After the 749 earthquake, Petra was abandoned.

From the 1500’s until 1983, it was inhabited by the Bedouins. The Bedouin’s did not allow strangers or visitors into Petra.

It was known as the Lost City until 1812. A Swiss explorer uncovered Petra in 1812. In 1932 the Department of Antiquities excavated the site.

In 1983 UNESCO declared Petra as a World Heritage Site. At this point, the Bedouins left.

Herod Antippa’s wife (Herod Antippa be-headed John the Baptist) was a Nabatean from Petra.

The theatre at Petra is carved into the rock.

When we got to the Treasury, which is the most well known structure, I was just amazed that I was actually standing there. Who would have thought...a similar experience to Machu Picchu.

All day, I have had the words of ‘We bow down’ running through my mind:

‘We bow down
And confess
You are Lord
In this place
You are all I need
It’s your face
I seek
In the presence of your light
We bow down.’

As I walked through the canyons on the way down to the city, I was aware of God’s creation and felt like bowing down in worship.

When we got to the Treasury, I decided to ride a camel for $5 US. It was like the paparazzi were in town. I don’t think I have been photographed that much since China last year. Our whole group were excited and took my photo.

I wore my thongs yesterday, which was probably not my smartest move. This morning I decided to put my new sandals on...definitely a smart move! Although, I got some sand and small stones caught between the sole of my left foot and the sandal and ended up with a massive (very painful) blister. This resulted in a horse ride back to the visitor centre. The cost of the horse ride is included in the entry fee to Petra, but the expectation is that you pay a tip of $5 US. I was grateful that the horse was there.

It is a 4 hour drive from our hotel to Petra and we are about 45 minutes into the journey back from Petra to the Dead Sea.

It has been really great to meet new friends who are all hassling me to visit Canada. Maybe next year.

It has been weird travelling without my blog writing side kick, but hopefully my effort has been comparable.

Posted by Cruicksie 05:04 Archived in Jordan Comments (0)

Day 16

From Israel to Jordan

sunny 39 °C

We left Jerusalem at 8:00 am. I was awake just after 5:00 am and so got up to finalise packing.

The drive to the Jordanian border was only about 45 minutes.

Getting through did not seem overly complicated. Local guides are a God send in any country, but particularly in the Middle East.

Once inside Jordan we headed to Jerash. A Decapolis City. There are 10 Decapolis Cities, 9 of them are in Jordan.

There were 45,000 people who lived in Jaresh.

There was a earthquake in 749 AD and the place was abandoned. It was rediscovered in 1890.

It is believed that only 30% of the ancient city has been uncovered and 70% remains underground.

In 128-129 AD an arch was built to celebrate the visit of Hadrian.

In the shopping area there is a wobbling column built on purpose, as a warning system.

There are 1.5 million refugees from Syria in Jordan.

In our way to Jaresh, we crossed the Jabbouk River (Genesis 32:22). This is where Jacob camped and wrestled with an angel, and he was told by the angel, you will no longer be known as Jacob, you will now be known as Israel.

I have loved considering Old Testament history as well as New Testament history on this trip.

Over the last few days I have seen multiple mosaics of the loaves and fish and I have been reminded of the fact that God is Jehovah Jireh. My provider. The still small voice continues to speak in resounding ways!

I was not feeling 100% well earlier, but after some ginger for an upset stomach and potato chips (they are safe) for lunch, I am feeling much better.

We have arrived at the Crowne Plaza for 2 nights. It is lovely and after a shower, I am feeling very refreshed!

Petra tomorrow - super exciting!

Until then...

Posted by Cruicksie 08:18 Archived in Jordan Comments (0)

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