Local time at Horbat Omrit, Israel

Monday, May 26, 2008

Day 9

Caesarea Maritima was super. A harbour built almost from scratch over the course of 12 years by Herod the Great to honour Augustus.

We looked first at the temple to Augustus but this is in far worse condition than óur'temple at Omrit, and in fact I wasn't able to sort out the stones of the original structure from those of the later Byzantine building.

After the temple, we walked out along the breakwater to look back at the town. This gave a magnificent view across the the harbour of white buildings, dark green grass and palm trees all set off by the yellow sand of the hippodrome. Classic Mediterranean!

Later, we walked along through the hippodrome trying to imagine what it must have been like in Roman times to sit up in the stands and watch the chariot races against a background of the sea and its cooling breezes. Almost adjoining the hippodrome is Herod's palace with its swimming pool set into the rocks of the shore. Fantastic place.

After Caesarea, looked at the aqueduct which brought fresh water from the mountains into the town and then drove on to Haifa. This is a city which has expanded very much since the 60s when I was last there. we drove in past offices of Microsoft, Intel and other American hight tech organizations.

At the University visited the Hecht Museum and look at a set of exhibits relating to the Jewish Rebelliuon and its suppression by the Romans. Impressive.

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