Cairo, Eilat, Ein Gedi, Jerusalem

I will write about everything since the last time I wrote (which was the first day in Cairo, a Thursday last week).



We visited the Museum of Egyptain History (it's not called that, but that is what it is). It was interresting. We also visited the Coptic erea of Cairo and went to the Hanging Chruch (it's called that because there is nothing underneath it).


We drove to Isreal with a bus. First our driver broke down and a passenger drove. Next we switched into another bus. This bus broke down. We switched back into the bus with our sick driver. Next we switched to another bus, and that one got us all the way there. We went to Eilat and swam in the Red Sea.


We stayed in The Shelter Hostel, they have a Bible Study every day. A few Jews, but mostly tourists attend. They have a minister from America.


We got our rental car and drove to Ein Gedi. We stopped in Timna Park where we saw a reconstruction of the Tabernacle. There where also lots of natural formations like arches and pillars. It was very fun to climb those things.


We started with a swim in the Dead Sea. You float no matter what you do, the feeling is funny. Next we went to the Ein Gedi Park. We had a nice walk and lots of swims (because it is really hot here). There are 4 springs in the park, the David Spring was very long with about 6 swimming places. After walking through a dessert in 40 degrees, it's nice to swim.


We went to the park early and stayed there the whole day. We walked a lot more than the previous day. We went up the cliffs to the source of the David spring and passed 2 other springs on the way and swam. In the afternoon we drove to Jerusalem.


We went into the old city and walked around it. There are many small streets and shops line the roads. We also went to the Garden Tomb, which is an old tomb in a garden, a place like the one Jesus would have been buried in.


We walled around half of the old city wall built by Suleman about 500 years ago to stop another Crusade. I went to the Great Synagogue with my mum to look around, it was a large place. The way they worship is interresting, with a lot of movement like standing, bowing, and turning around.


We walked around the second half of the wall. We were planning to go to the beach close to Tel Aviv, but the carpark was closed beause it is Shabbat (Jewish Sabbath).


Crossing the border wasn't as big an affair as it sometimes seems to be. It was very quiet, we were basically the only persons. The only odd thing was that customs asks you what religion you are. And then we were in Eilat, known as one of the way stations of the Israelites. It's either about here, or an Arab village in Jordan, slightly more south.

We felt very sweaty after a day in the bus, so went first by taxi to the Shelter hostel, and then we walked down to the beach to have a swim. It was dark by now, but you could still make out that the water was very clear. Next day was Sunday. No churches here. There was a Bible study done by a Presbyterian pastor from the States. This was actually very sound. He talked aboud baptism by the Spirit and that, when asked if you had been baptised by the Spirit, this was code language for: have you spoken in tongues?

But he then want through all verses in the Bible, seven in total, which talked about baptism by the Spirit. Five of them are prophetic (i.e. it would happen in the future: Pentecost), one is historic: it had happened, and one was teaching on the subject: every believer is baptised by the Spirit when reborn. What believers should seek instead is being filled by the Spirit.

We had some interesting meetings with local people. We met a Jew who was the only one of a family, with wife and children very hostile.

On Sunday evening I read some parts from John Flavel's "Mystery of providence".

On Monday morning we woke up very early. We wanted to be in the Red Sea before sun rise. So at 6am I woke up the kids. Only Dieuwe didn't want to come, but both Auke and AnneRoos went with me and Ida. And we managed to be in the water before sun rise.

No photo of that of course, as we were in the water! Eilat has various beaches, but the main one is fairly small, and I suppose extremely busy during the day. This is looking West, the small sandy beach at this location is to the South, left of this picture.

This is the beach, taken a bit further back.

Then back to the hotel were we had breakfast. This is 07:34am in the morning. The sun rises quite fast here and it's already getting very hot. Temperatures are about 36℃ at this time of year. Amazingly hot.

After breakfast I went with AnneRoos to pickup our rental. This was a bit of a search as our booking said Shalom Plaza Hotel, but this appeared to have been renamed to Sea beach hotel. We have a very nice car, a brand-new Ford, fairly large, and comfortable. I also needed a new sim card for my USB stick. Got a Cellcom use-as-much-as-you-want per month one for just 150 shekels. Unfortunately this appeared not to work in my laptop when we went back to the hostel. I went back to the guy who sold me the card, and he suspected a sim lock. In Engedi I had internet access to confirm this, and this appeared the case. Bummer. I've requested a sim unlock code from Vodafone, which they supposedly will send in a few days. In the mean-time we just have poor internet access unfortunately.

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