As we depart Tel Aviv, travelling along the Mediterranean coast we pass the modern towns of Herzliya and Netanya and stop at ancient Caesarea.
Built by Herod and dedicated to the Roman Emperor, Caesar, it had every luxury to be found in a Roman city. The magnificent theatre, well preserved by the sea sand which covered it through the centuries it was not in use, has been restored and is in use throughout the summer. Alongside it is the partially preserved hippodrome. Above the port, specially constructed to serve the many ships carrying the treasures of the east, brought across the desert by Nabatean caravans, to Rome, are the remains of the Roman temple.
Virtually abandoned for centuries Caesarea gained a new burst of life during the Crusader period before sinking into oblivion. The gateway, moat and walls are well-preserved.
As we pass through Haifa we make a brief stop to admire the gold topped Bahai shrine surrounded by the well-groomed gardens and the breathtaking view of the bay and port area.
Continuing northwards we stop at Rosh HaNikra and take the cable car down to the spectacular grottoes and marvel at nature as we walk through caverns forged by the pounding waves.
Our final stop is at Acre (Acco). The largest of the Crusader cities in the Land of Israel, Acre is well preserved and we cannot fail to be impressed as we see the enormous columns and stroll from chamber to chamber. Even the public toilet has survived!
The walls and the moat, restored and rebuilt by El Jazzar at the end of the 18th century withstood the attempt of Napoleon Bonaparte to conquer the city and forced him to return from whence he came. Atop of the Crusader remains is the Turkish prison, with the gallows later used during the British Mandate to hang Jews opposed to the British policy limiting Jewish immigration from Europe after WWII.