Israel: A Land Like No Other

Photography and article by Jose Morales

 Believers in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre kneel at The Stone of Anointing, where Jesus' body is said to have been laid upon before his burial. Guild Magazine - Copyright 2018

Believers in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre kneel at The Stone of Anointing, where Jesus' body is said to have been laid upon before his burial. Guild Magazine - Copyright 2018

Nestled on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, Israel is a land where the new meets the old, the East meets the West, and the religious meet the non-religious. Under the political and religious turmoil many have come to characterize with the area, there is a land that offers a travel experience like no other. 

The land of Israel is visited by millions of people yearly, with religion being one of the main motivations behind these visits. Jerusalem is the land most sacred to three of the main religions of the world: Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. Even though you do not have to be religious to appreciate everything this magnificent city has to offer, visiting the many religious sites of Jerusalem is key to understanding its historical significance. Furthermore, its location between the East and the West has made Jerusalem one of the most important trade cities for millennia. As a trade city, Jerusalem continues to be a melting pot of cultures, and this can be best appreciated when walking through its many narrow streets and markets. 

Traveling within Israel is fairly easy, and you can visit many key sites within a couple of days. A quick ride from Jerusalem will lead you to the Dead Sea region. Here, you can visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Masada; an ancient fortress located on a plateau overlooking the Dead Sea. After, a short drive will place you at the shores of the Dead Sea. It is important to remember two things when visiting these sites. First, hydration is key due to the high temperatures. Second, when visiting the Dead Sea, it is best to do so with someone who has knowledge of the area. Due to the quickly receding waters, sinkholes have appeared all throughout the area, and continue to appear without warning. Nevertheless, do not let this deter you from a quick dip in the waters of the sea, and to smear yourself in its famous mud.

The region of the Sea of Galilee is also a must-visit when in Israel. Besides being a sacred, historic site, the area is also popular as a resort destination. From here, you may also visit the Jordan River; another site of historical significance in Israel. Here, it is truly mesmerizing to witness the power of faith and belief as thousands of people visit the river to be baptized in its waters. 

Arriving from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv after a short drive will produce a sense of culture shock. In contrast to Jerusalem, Tel Aviv is characterized by a more relaxed atmosphere. Located on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, Tel Aviv is a major center of culture and entertainment in Israel. With a thriving nightlife, Tel Aviv has become the “it” destination for partying and fun. It is a city famous for its world-class restaurants, museums, thriving economy, and its spirit of inclusiveness, and acceptance.

Whichever your reason to visit Israel might be, it is a trip you should not hesitate to make. A visit to Israel will offer you an exhilarating experience, whether your reasons are religious, cultural, for entertainment or adventure. Israel is truly the trip of a lifetime. -GM

 Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Guild Magazine - Copyright 2018

Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Guild Magazine - Copyright 2018

 Sights of Jerusalem. Guild Magazine - Copyright 2018

Sights of Jerusalem. Guild Magazine - Copyright 2018

 Sights of Jerusalem.Guild Magazine - Copyright 2018

Sights of Jerusalem.Guild Magazine - Copyright 2018

 Church of the Annunciation. Built on the site where allegedly Mary was visited by archangel St. Gabriel, and her pregnancy was announced. Guild Magazine - Copyright 2018

Church of the Annunciation. Built on the site where allegedly Mary was visited by archangel St. Gabriel, and her pregnancy was announced. Guild Magazine - Copyright 2018

 Church of the Multiplication. Built on the site where allegedly Jesus performed the miracle of the five loaves and two fishes to feed 5000 people. Guild Magazine - Copyright 2018

Church of the Multiplication. Built on the site where allegedly Jesus performed the miracle of the five loaves and two fishes to feed 5000 people. Guild Magazine - Copyright 2018

 Believers from all over the world visit the Jordan River to be baptized in the same waters where Jesus was allegedly baptized. Guild Magazine - Copyright 2018

Believers from all over the world visit the Jordan River to be baptized in the same waters where Jesus was allegedly baptized. Guild Magazine - Copyright 2018

 The serene Sea of Galilee is also a popular vacationing spot where people flock to refresh from the scorching heat.  Guild Magazine - Copyright 2018

The serene Sea of Galilee is also a popular vacationing spot where people flock to refresh from the scorching heat.  Guild Magazine - Copyright 2018

 The Dead Sea is now a natural site in peril due to the many companies working in the area to market its famous mud to people. The process used by these companies have caused dangerous sinkholes all around. Guild Magazine - Copyright 2018

The Dead Sea is now a natural site in peril due to the many companies working in the area to market its famous mud to people. The process used by these companies have caused dangerous sinkholes all around. Guild Magazine - Copyright 2018

 View of the Dead Sea from the Unesco site, Masala. Guild Magazine - Copyright 2018

View of the Dead Sea from the Unesco site, Masala. Guild Magazine - Copyright 2018

 Masala is a natural fortress in the Dead Sea region with a history dating back to the Roman Empire. When visiting this archeological site, hydration is one of the main things to keep in mind! Guild Magazine - Copyright 2018

Masala is a natural fortress in the Dead Sea region with a history dating back to the Roman Empire. When visiting this archeological site, hydration is one of the main things to keep in mind! Guild Magazine - Copyright 2018

 The Mahane Yehuda Market outside the walls of Jerusalem is a must-visit when in the Holy City. Guild Magazine - Copyright 2018

The Mahane Yehuda Market outside the walls of Jerusalem is a must-visit when in the Holy City. Guild Magazine - Copyright 2018

 Sights of Jerusalem. Guild Magazine - Copyright 2018

Sights of Jerusalem. Guild Magazine - Copyright 2018

 Soldier walking through the Mahane Yehuda Market. the Guild Magazine - Copyright 2018

Soldier walking through the Mahane Yehuda Market. the Guild Magazine - Copyright 2018

 The land of Israel is as rich in history as it is in spices. Being a historic trade point between Asia, and Europe, Israel is a chef's dream! Guild Magazine - Copyright 2018

The land of Israel is as rich in history as it is in spices. Being a historic trade point between Asia, and Europe, Israel is a chef's dream! Guild Magazine - Copyright 2018

 Halva is an ancient dessert traditional to the Middle East. Guild Magazine - Copyright 2018

Halva is an ancient dessert traditional to the Middle East. Guild Magazine - Copyright 2018

 Tea, anyone? It is very easy to get lost in the aromas of Jerusalem. Guild Magazine - Copyright 2018

Tea, anyone? It is very easy to get lost in the aromas of Jerusalem. Guild Magazine - Copyright 2018

Equipment 

Camera: Nikon D850

Lenses: Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G ED; Nikon 50 mm f/1.4G

TravelLuis Dejesus