Pastor Dame's Group
Below you will find some information pertaining to your group that we wanted to make handy for you to access anytime and anywhere.
Tour Leader, Tour Guide, and Driver
Pastor Dames is known as the Tour Leader for tour with Rabea Khashiboun as our Tour Guide in Israel and Reda Labib as out Tour Guide in Egypt. Rabea and Pastor Dames will sit across from each other at the front of the bus so they can work together. Rabea will bring his extensive knowledge of the Bible and the Holy Land to share with us as you would expect.
Our Drivers will be someone who will dazzle us with their maneuvering of our bus and getting us to places on time. They'll be providing bottles of water accessible at the front of the bus for historically $1 each. Please get as much water as you need getting on or off the bus. But never leave your seat while the bus is moving or the driver may have a heart attack and drive us all off the road. 😀
The last point to share is how we all need to stick together as a group. The dining room managers in each of the hotels will be asking you what group you are with when you arrive for breakfast and dinner.
The answer should be the Pastor Dames Group. Sometimes they want Journeys Unlimited but there may be another Journeys group in the same hotel so hopefully we'll be looking for Pastor Dames.
Usually the dining room will have the same area saved for our group. In that case, you'll look like you know where you're going the next time you visit the dining room so the manager won't try to assist you. Be aware that sometimes they change where your group will sit.
The most important aspect of sticking together is when we're touring at the sites. Many places will have street vendors or shop owners trying to get your attention for that thing that looks perfect for what you need. Please pass them up. You'll have time for shopping. Also at sites you might be distracted to staying behind the group for a closer view or picture. Try not to do this.
There's been groups where consistently everyone is waiting for the same two or three people. This isn't fair to everyone else standing and waiting for everyone. But in case you should get separated and we can't find you, know the name of the hotel to give a taxi for us to meet you at the end of the day.
Finally, it's never too late to review this website's page found under the "Passenger"menu selection called "Early Preparation...." or simply by going to the connection below.
Rabea Khashiboun, Israel Tour Guide
Rabea has proven himself a highly knowledgeable and skilled Christian Tour Guide who works very hard for the group. Born to a Christian Orthodox family in Cana in north Israel, and considered the 14th generation in his family. He has been guiding for over 10 years. I have guided a full range of tours to Israel, but his specialty is the pilgrim and the use of the Bible for understanding the Holy Land.
Reda Labib, Egypt Tour Guide
Reda is a Coptic Christian who has guided tours in Egypt for decades. He speaks clearly and knowledgable about the history of Egypt with a strong knowledge of the Bible. He loves Egypt so much that he moved back after a short residence in the USA.
Harry Welton, Journeys Representative
I'm the Journeys Unlimited Representative who is most grateful to be a part of your group. I've had the distinct privilege of accompanying Pastor Dames Group in 2016 and having visited NDBFC on two occasions, I know first hand how this church is made up of so many wonderful Christians. Due to my wife's illness, I will only be with the group for a short time in Israel but present for almost the entire Egypt portion.
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Hotels - Click on Links
March 14 - 17
March 17 - 22
March 22 -23
March 23 - 24
March 24 - 26
Day of Leisure Activities
Below is a list of activities you may wish to consider on your Day of Leisure which is Day 8 on your itinerary. To be honest, most of these activities are not "Leisurely" but are worth the effort depending on how much energy you have left.
In almost all these cases you will need to take a taxi with your small group. The hotel will call one for you and usually be able to tell you about how much it will cost to go where you're interested.
These sites are popular enough the cab driver will understand where you're going and how to get there. But when you want to return by cab to your hotel, then you should have the address of your hotel in addition to the name of the hotel as he may not know your notel.
David's Citadel vs. The City of David
These are two very important sites that are easy to get confused by the similarity of their names and they are as follows:
"David's Citadel" is just inside the Jaffe Gate so on the western side of the Old City vs. "The City of David" which is just outside of the Dung Gate on the southeastern side of the Old City.
Jerusalem's Citadel, known as the “Tower of David”, is a historical and archaeological asset of international significance. The Tower is a medieval fortress that is located near the Jaffa Gate, the historical entrance to the Old City and has been the symbol for the city of Jerusalem for generations.
It is a museum that is so interesting to visit and walk through all the different areas. Calling it "David's" Citadel is not correct in that it was built by King Herod 1,000 years after King David as one of Herod's 9 palaces. Visit their website to see their hours of operation and entrance fees.
City of David
This is one of the most spectacular discoveries of all time in Jerusalem. The City of David has only been uncovered in recent years and was unknown for hundreds of years before. This is the site of David's Palace and the walls and tunnels of Hezekiah and just within the last couple decades, the Pool of Siloam. It is across the street just outside the Dung Gate and a short walk to the east. Visit their comfortable Welcome Center and investigate a possible tour or walk down the many steps to the bottom. Once you're in the area of the Pool of Siloam, you can pay a taxi a couple dollars to take you back to the top.
Yad Vashem (Holocaust Museum)
Yad Vashem is Israel's official memorial to the victims of the Holocaust. It is dedicated to preserving the memory of the Jews who were murdered; honoring Jews who fought against their Nazi oppressors oppressors and Gentiles who selflessly aided Jews in need; and researching the phenomenon of the Holocaust in particular and genocide in general, with the aim of avoiding such events in the future.
Admission has been free in the past but you'll want to rent a headset for a guided tour which is a reasonable charge.
The Ramparts Walk in the Old City of Jerusalem is a gem hidden from locals and tourists alike. Hard to find, the Ramparts Walk is one of the most rewarding activities in terms of history, beauty and a greater sense of the Old City as a whole.
I love this activity but it involves a lot walking and going up and down steps. You want your taxi to drop you off at the "Jaffe Gate" and as you enter that gate, look on your left side for the start of a series of small shops. Ask someone in that vicinity where you can buy tickets for the Rampart Walk. They'll point to the shop where It costs just a few dollars.
There's a "Northern" walk and a "Southern" walk. You want the Southern route. The views are spectacular and you'll end up at the "Dung Gate" where you can get a taxi to the hotel.
Mahane Yehuda Market
The Machane Yehuda Market, however, represents the heart of Jerusalem, nowadays and in the foreseeable future. In a unique way, Machane Yehuda integrates the old and the new. A bustling marketplace and a neighborhood, it intertwines food, drinks, shopping, bars and restaurants. Despite being a touristic destination, the market has maintained its most important characteristic: it remains authentic – as can be sensed by all the flavors and aromas, seen in its colorfulness and heard in the traders' interaction with the crowds.