Day 8, drive to Bethany, town of Lazarus, walked down 25 steps to cave of Lazarus tomb.
Pentecost Sunday, had mass by the River Jordan. Had symbolic baptism at the River Jordan baptismal site.
Drive to Qumran where Dead Sea scrolls were found. Proceed to Masada. Ascend by cable car to the fortress, to see excavation, Herod's palaces, the synagogue, bath house etc.
Day 9, Monday 10th June, set off for Church of Nativity in Bethlehem. Visited birthplace of Jesus in the cave and St Jerome's grotto. Walked to Milk Grotto and drove to Shepherd's Field and sang carols in the church.
Day 10, Tues 11 June. As I journeyed today and the next 2 days, my role play in the Annual Melbourne Passion play came to live while I traced the events and actual places.
Headed for Church of Flagellation for mass and then to the Chapel of Condemnation where Jesus took the cross. Walked to Pool of Bethesda on the way to the birthplace of Mary below St Anne's Church.
Walked along Via Dolorosa to follow the way of the cross and continued the last 4 stations inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre where Jesus was crucified and buried. Saw Rock of Golgotha, Anointing Stone and Tomb of Jesus.
After lunch, proceeded to Mt of Olives to visit Church of Ascension and Pater Noster Church where Jesus taught the Lord's prayer.
Walked along Palm Sunday Rd to Gethsemane Gardens and visited Dominus Flevit Church and Church of All Nations.
Next, walked to Mary's tomb below St Anne's, St Joachim's and St Joseph's tombs.
Day 11, Wed 12 June, on the way to Samaria, visited Mt Gerizim, the Holy mountain of the Samaritans. Watched video showing controversies of Jews and the Samaritans. Looked over Mt Gerizim and Mt Ebal between Shechem, in which shoutings of blessings and curses were hauled at each nation. Saw the 12 stones outside representing the 12 tribes.
Drove to Nablus to visit Church of Jacob's Well above the cave where the well is located. Continued to Sebastia to see the ruins of King Herod's palace and tomb of John the Baptist. Special lunch eating Makloba, a rice dish, at Samaria Restaurant. Mass held at hotel meeting room and after dinner attended a spectacular light and sound show at Tower of David. Adjourned to the Western Wall aka as the Wailing Wall, the most holy site of the Jews.
Day 12, Thurs 13th June, proceed to Mt Zion for mass at Upper Room/Cenacle, where Jesus established the Eucharist and also where the apostles and Mother Mary gathered on the day of Pentecost. Walked down to King David's tomb which was partitioned for men on one side and women on the other. Also visited the church of Dormizion and church of St Peter Gallicantu in the Kidron Valley, for rosary. Visited Caiaphas's house to go down to the sacred pit where Jesus was imprisoned for one day. In a crevic, we saw an imprint of the face of Our Lord. After lunch at 7 Arches Hotel, proceeded to Israeli Museum to view model of 2nd Jerusalem Temple and original Dead Sea Scrolls inside the building. Headed to Abu Gosh the place of Emmaus where the Ark of the Covenant remained for a long time. Statue of Our Lady carrying the Ark of the Covenant and Jesus can be seen on the roof top of the Notre Dame Church.
Day 13, Fri 14 June, free day. After breakfast headed for Church of the Holy Sepulchre for confession and mass in one of the chapels. Walked thru the streets of Bethlehem and shopped for souvenirs.
Went to Shepherd's Field for our Rosary. Lunched at Ruth's Restaurant followed by shopping in Old City of Jerusalem.
Dinner in hotel after which bid farewell to Jose who was leaving early for Portugal.
Day 14, Saturday 15 June, home sweet home.
Early morning mass before breakfast and check out.
Coach to cross border leaving Israel for Amman, capital of Jordan.
Lunch at Taksim Turkish restaurant and then head for Amman airport, flying to Dubai/Singapore/Melbourne.
Farewell fellow pilgrims, it's been an enriching and fulfilling spiritual experience on this journey with all of you. Grateful thanks to Fr Richard and all you beautiful people who have been so helpful and compassionate without whom I would not have made it through this tough pilgrimage. Parting is such sweet sorrow so l pray that we may meet again by the grace of the good Lord.