Our next stop was on the way to Jericho. There is a little outpost near there where Muslims believe Moses is buried. We stopped briefly. The picture below is of a mosque there. This place today is a kind of drug rehab. center.
Jericho is under the control of the Palestinian Authority so once again our Jewish guide was dropped off as he is not permitted to enter this region. It is to me a sad commentary about the political realities today. In Jericho we saw the famous sycamore tree that is reputed to be 2000 years old. Was this the one that Zacheus climbed up? We will never know. Here is a picture of it.
We concluded our day and our tour of Israel by relaxing in our hotel in Jerusalem. The Olive Tree has a nice website for anyone wishing to see more but here is one photo taken of the inside of this very comfortable hotel. This is the room where we took most of our meals.
And so, our tour came to an end! One more reminder of what life in Israel is like is that our bus was stopped at another checkpoint at the entrance to the airport. An armed Israeli soldier boarded the bus, took a careful look at each of us, and then waved us on. Just another routine day in Israel. Saying goodbye to our wonderful guide, Salo was difficult. He told us when we arrived that we were his "family". By the time we left, he was part of our family and a great reason for the success of our tour.
Another reason for a successful tour was that each person in our group fit in well with the others. It is important to have a certain kind of chemistry and we certainly had that. Thanks to Andonians, McRae, Johnstones, Penner, Rowe, Peters, Sharpnacks and Lehmans. You were great!
Fortunately for us all, the flights both coming and going were not entirely full so we had room to spread out a little. After 11 and 1/2 hours of flying, we landed in New York. Shortly we all scattered to our various homes. Sue and I were very pleased to be able to secure a flight to San Francisco and then Redding. By 2 PM Calif. time on Sunday we were home once again.
It was a spectacular trip for everyone. Various reunions are planned and rumors abound of another tour to some exciting location somewhere in the world. Stay tuned! You never know!