The Israel trip included travel by ship from Italy to Israel, with stops along the way, plus two weeks in the country, at an all-inclusive price that was barely believable. I hopped on board, as did several other fellow IES students.
When going into the city for the first time, we were pleased to find that the weather was mild and the trees were green. It was a pleasure to trade the Austrian winter for these new surroundings.
|Dwelling in East Jerusalem (formerly part of Jordan), Feb. 1968|
|Looking to the Walled City from East Jerusalem, Feb. 1968|
|Eastern Wall of Jerusalem, Temple Mount and Dome of the Rock in the Middle, Feb. 1968|
|View of War Damage and Dome of the Rock from Within the Walled City, Feb. 1968|
|Sign showing location of former frontier on road to|
Golan Heights, Feb. 1968
|To Damascus with Love, on the Road to|
Golan Heights, Feb. 1968
|Viewing Northern Israel from the Top of a Syrian Bunker; Guide is in front; |
IES students Winnie (light hair, side view), Mike Ramaker (beside her), and
Pat Hurley (sun glasses facing camera) can be seen
|View of the Sea of Galilee from the Golan Heights|
|Service at the Ruins of an Old Church by the Sea of Galilee, Feb. 1968|
|Dome of the Rock, Feb. 1968|
|Market in Bethlehem, Feb. 1968|
|The Trail up to the Top of Masada, Feb. 1968|
|The Buildings and Fortifications on Masada|
|View of the Dead Sea from Masada, Feb. 1968|
After a couple of days to float in the warm Gulf waters, we headed back to Haifa for the trip back to Vienna.
The trip to Israel left some strong impressions. Some of them came from having spent so many hours as a kid in Sunday school and church hearing stories from the Bible. It was exciting to see the places whose names I had heard so often: Jerusalem, Sea of Galilee, Bethlehem, Nazareth, Mount of Olives, Jericho, etc.
Other impressions were of the state of Israel. It was a surprisingly small country and much of it was made up of an inhospitable desert. It was hard to believe that a country with so little land and so few resources, surrounded by hostile neighbors, had been so successful.
I was surprised that Israel had such a distinctly modern and Western feel, and the differences between the places we visited that had been part of Israel since its creation and the parts that had been occupied seven months earlier were stark. Visiting the occupied areas was stepping back in time.
As we were headed back to Vienna, on the day I turned 21, I thought to myself how much I had enjoyed visiting Israel, what a great opportunity it had been for me to travel there, and how much I had learned from the trip. Even now, more that 45 years later, I still feel the same.
(Note: I took all of the photographs except for the two that I am in.)