12
Jul
2014

Caesarea Israel #throughglass

I’m currently in Israel as a part of a technology and tech trade mission run by the Australia Israel Chamber of Commerce. Today is Shabbat — the Sabbath — so we took the opportunity to do some sightseeing before getting  down to business tomorrow.

We headed north to Caesarea, which was originally built by King Herod (yes, he of nativity story fame) and now has some very impressive ruins located right on the shores of the Med.

Our first stop was at the Aqueduct, which was originally built in 37BC, but as the population increased and with it, the need for clean water, they added a second identical one right alongside the first.

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Nowadays, the arches form a great shady option for Israelis having a day at the beach. With today’s temperature set to reach 37 degrees Celsius, there was  no shortage of people there by 10am.
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From there, we moved on to the ruins, where we saw this amazing theatre, which is in use again now.
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Our tour guide gave us a beautiful illustration of the acoustics, highlighting what an incredible experience a performance here would be.

Somewhat childishly though, one of my favorite things was that Herod had built in vomit rooms where those who had overindulged in their wine and grapes could duck out for a quick chunder so as not to miss too much of the performance. This is kindly illustrated here by my beautiful travel companion, Catriona Wallace.
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Herod’s Palace was conveniently located by the theatre and  includrf his very own pool (originally filled with fresh water from the aquaduct), which can still be clearly identified today.
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If he popped out the other side of his palace, he went straight to his racetrack arena, where you could all too easily imagine the chariots flying around the course while the crowds cheered.
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It was an incredible trip back to ancient times. I have to say, while initially it did seem more than a little incongruous to be walking around such ancient history with Glass, as I looked at the innovation and foresight used in the construction and development, it suddenly seemed strangely appropriate….

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