Continuing with Day 4 of excerpts from my February 2000 Jubilee year Holy Land pilgrimage journal.
Day 4 – Friday, 2/18/00 Tiberias to Jerusalem via Jericho
The day begins with a journey to Haifa and Mass at Our Lady of Mount Carmel. I have the first reading here and we have a beautiful view of the Mediterranean and Haifa. Afterwards, a long journey to Jericho takes us to the desert regions and a new climate. Most profound on this day is our journey from Jericho to Jerusalem traveling the Old Jericho Road. The Old Jericho Road is narrow and winds its way through rocky mountains. We stop mid-way for photo opportunities and I pick up a rock to bring home. We have a view of St. George’s Monastery which is built into the side of the mountain. We pass the Good Samaritan Inn on the way. I can now appreciate how blessed the person was to see someone come by and willing to help after he’d been robbed and beaten.
My description of riding the Old Jericho Road lacks the sheer terror I felt at times — the terror brought on by a teetering tour bus. My window was on the right side and the mountain side was to our left. Looking out my window and down — it was just down — as far down as I could see down the mountain side. There was no shoulder on the road. I was afraid to breathe. We looked down into a canyon. On a far away cliff side, our guide pointed out St. George’s Monastery. The photo below is a close-up. On a long shot, well, you’d never see it — except for the little blue specks of the domes. If you click the source link under the text below, you will see another picture taken at a long distance.
A brief description of St. George’s Monastery and the area we were passing through….
The sixth-century cliff-hanging complex, with its ancient chapel and gardens, is still inhabited by a few Greek Orthodox monks. It is reached by a pedestrian bridge across the Kelt River canyon, which many imagine to be Psalm 23’s Valley of the Shadow, and where shepherds still watch over their flocks, just as Ezekiel 34 and John 10:1-16 describe.
The valley parallels the old Roman road to Jericho, the backdrop for the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:29-37). Source link….