Netanya: Travel Recovery Day, Reception

This is day 2 with Ecclesia Houston on a Breaking Bread Journeys tour of the holy land. I won’t write much today as it was basically a free day with the group taking it easy to recover from travel and jet lag. We enjoyed a small reception for the entire group to meet each other where we also met Christina Samara, co-owner of Breaking Bread Journeys.

We then enjoyed a group dinner at an outdoor cafe nearby the hotel. The views of the Meditteranean Sea from Netanya are breathtaking; we enjoyed walks on the beach, explored more of the town (there are cats everywhere, so I had to include a token cat-portrait impression or two), and took in yet another gorgeous sunset. The weather has been absolutely perfect. The official tour kicks off tomorrow bright and early. Here are some photos from the day. I could not decide on my favorite sunset shots, so I’m just throwing all of them on here– hope you enjoy!

Ecclesia with Breaking Bread Journeys: Arrival Day / Tel Aviv

I’m here with a group from Ecclesia Houston led by Pastor Chris Seay and Breaking Bread Journeys on a not-your-average tour of the holy land. Breaking Bread Journeys is the first joint Palestinian-Israeli tour company; they aim to build bridges by “breaking bread.” As you follow along, I’ll take you with us to many places the average tourists do not visit, such as Nablus in the West Bank. But not to worry, we’ll be visiting some of the usual spots as well. However, thanks to Breaking Bread’s desire to take their groups on a “local’s view” of the holy land, even the most usual spots will be revealed in unique fashion. And of course, as their name implies, much our of touring is woven around the dining table as we taste various cuisines and hear from the locals who prepare the meals.

Today the group arrived a bit tattered from the transatlantic journey, but they were back in full force in no time. Before we officially gathered for our first event, I had the chance to walk down to the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and grab a few shots before the weather turned quite stormy.


We started the evening with a cocktail reception at which we heard from the founders of Breaking Bread Journeys, Elisa and Christina.


We then made our way to Cafe Jessica for dinner, the food was delicious and the service was fantastic. Chris shared with the group a little about what to expect in the days ahead.


After dinner, we walked back to the hotel and Chris presented us with special gifts he encouraged us to wear as a mark of our pilgrimage to the holy land. He explained that it’s a tradition which has been practiced for centuries by pilgrims making their way to this special land.