Author Archives: janvank

“At the center of the square …”

As we explored the Dutch community of Haarlem yesterday, we took a wandering walking tour through the historic city center. We enjoyed several stops at local bakeries, were amazed and blessed with the many pleasant lanes where “green-fingered” residents make … Continue reading

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Following the Footsteps of Jesus

Tomorrow Gerry and I leave Alaska for a two-week tour of Israel and Jordan, meeting our tour leader, Jeff Weima (http://www.jeffweima.com/p/new-tour-to-israel-jordan-following-in.html) and the other members of our group in Tel Aviv on Thursday. We will find our way there from … Continue reading

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… and now it’s time to say “Good-bye”…

We began “The Gospel Comes to Italy” in the south twelve days ago, exploring sites with direct connections to the time before and during Christ’s birth. As we traveled north, we also moved ahead in time, first remembering Paul’s journey … Continue reading

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Roadtrip to Ravenna

What comes to mind when you hear the Italian city-name Ravenna? My first thought before today was that I must have read it in some Shakespeare drama, but that’s not so. Instead, I learned that it has been a city since … Continue reading

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An Amazing Day

The Birthplace of the Renaissance, City of Lilies, the Athens of the Middle Ages — all these nicknames apply to Florence, Italy. After touring this city all day, viewing its treasures, I can support all the superlative things said about … Continue reading

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When the Saints …

Throughout our visit to Italy, we have stepped into many a basilica, church or cathedral dedicated to one saint or another: St. Andrew, St. Paul, St. Peter, St. Clair, and more. Today, however, according to our guide Annie, we met … Continue reading

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Visiting the Vatican

This entire business of the Vatican’s 108 acres of land in the middle of Rome being a separate country is all rather mysterious and unusual, don’t you think? Even though our group may have been a bit unclear of what … Continue reading

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The Proper Forum …

If you are a fan of really old things, our stroll through the ancient city of Rome would have been right up your alley. Beginning at the Colloseum and continuing down the Via Sacre in the Roman Forum, we viewed … Continue reading

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Pedestrianism

Today, we walked …. and we walked …. and we walked. We fully tested William Bingley’s claim that “Pedestrianism is the most useful mode of travel, if health and strength are not wanting.” We’ll see what our health and strength have … Continue reading

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Along the Appian Way

Monique warned us about Monday morning traffic, so the stop-and-go trip from Hotel Forum to the downtown Naples National Archaeological Museum was not a surprise. It was completely worth it, however, as the museum houses amazing relics unearthed from once-buried Pompeii … Continue reading

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