As many of you know, Mark and I went to the north of Israel for five days earlier in February. We had been planning this trip for a while as our "gift" to each other, so we were very excited about it. Because I took so many pictures, I am going to do a place-by-place recap of the trip over a number of posts. So this will be the first of many posts, however, Blogger only lets me upload two pictures at a time, so it takes forever to do a post now.
We left on a Sunday morning. Our good friend Audra spent the night with us on Satuday night at our apartment on what I fondly call "her bed" (our sofa), because we like to have her around. We had stayed up until some crazy hour of the morning, so we were beat when we had to wake up again by 6:30 to get the rental car. It was POURING rain when we left, and we drove along the main highway, through Tel Aviv and on towards Caesarea. Our main goal was to hit the coast on the first day. We arrived in Caesarea just as there was a break in the rain, which was perfect for pictures. We still wore our rain gear, and by the time we left it was pouring again, so it was good that I had a big rain jacket to cover my camera! I was especially excited to see Caesarea because it is on the coast (which I love), and there are a lot of visible ruins and remains there, which isn't the case with some other "archaeological sites" in Israel.
We stopped on a beach down from the ruins first, where you can see the factory towers down the way. It was very windy there, and the wind was whipping waves and spray inland, so that is probably why we got even wetter.
I had fun spinning donuts or brodies in the sand in our little Hyundai Getz. I asked Mark if he wanted to drive, but he didn't at all, so I had lots of fun driving the whole trip. I love driving. I miss driving. I miss my Maxima. Here is a video of me spinning in the car. Don't tell Avis. I think Mark mostly got the dashboard in the video anyways :) Anways, back to our trip...
For a short history, I am going to use Todd Bolen's BiblePlaces summary interspersed with my pictures of Caesarea:
"Caesarea Maritima is also known as “Caesarea as near Sebastos,” Caesarea of Straton, Caesarea of Palestine, Caesarea Palaestinae, Colonia Prima Flavia Augusta Caesariensis, Herodian Caesarea, Horvat Qesari, Kaisariyeh, Kessaria, “Metropolis of the province Syria Palaestina,” Migdal Shorshon, Qaisariya, Qaisariyeh, Qaysariyah, Qesari, Qisri, Qisrin, Strato's Tower, Straton's Caesarea, Straton's Tower, Turris Stratonis"
Herod the Great also constructed a theater with a seating capacity of 3500. According to Josephus, this is where the death of Herod Agrippa occurred, as recounted in Acts 12. The theater was covered with a skin covering (vellum), and visitors probably brought cushions with them to soften the stone seats."
Josephus called this a "most magnificent palace" that Herod the Great built on a promontory jutting out into the waters of Caesarea. The pool in the center was nearly Olympic in size, and was filled with fresh water. A statue once stood in the center. Paul may have been imprisoned on the grounds of this palace (Acts 23:35)."
This site was insignificant until Herod the Great began to develop it into a magnificent harbor befitting his kingdom. The harbor was built using materials that would allow the concrete to harden underwater. The three-acre harbor would accommodate 300 ships, much larger than the modern harbor existing today."
The lack of fresh water at Herod's new city required a lengthy aqueduct to bring water from springs at the base of Mt. Carmel nearly ten miles away. In order that the water would flow by the pull of gravity, the aqueduct was built on arches and the gradient was carefully measured. Later Hadrian and the Crusaders would attach additional channels to Herod's aqueduct."
At some point near the other end of the harbor, my hat fell out of the pocket of my rain jacket, and I didn't realize it until we got to the parking lot. Our jeans were already soaked all the way through from the rain and and the spray, and I hadn't been able to see through my glasses for quite some time. We started retracing our steps, and Mark ran ahead and found my hat. My hero :) After Caesarea, we tried to get to Dor to see other ruins there, but we must have missed the turn off. We found it the next day, but that is another story for another post. We went into Haifa after Caesarea, and I will post pictures of our evening and dinner on the next blog.
As always, you can use my BiblePlaces link on the left side of my site to get to more links, resources, and info on Caesarea.