Last month, I spent a couple of weeks traveling around Israel doing book research for End of Days, ARKANE #9. You can watch a video specifically of Jerusalem's Old City here. The video below is a montage from the whole trip. You can watch it below or here on YouTube and there are notes underneath.
Some highlights from Israel, November 2016
The video starts in Tel Aviv, in the old port of Jaffa, famous for Simon the Tanner's house, and the fabled port where Jonah left for Nineveh and was eaten by the whale. It was beautiful weather on the Mediterranean and I enjoyed working on the balcony in the warm!
We headed north to Galilee and visited Megiddo, the Biblical Armageddon, famous because 26 cities were built and destroyed there. A tunnel dug to a nearby cistern kept the inhabitants in fresh water when they were under siege, and the city's lives are vividly recorded in The Source by James Michener, probably the book that has influenced my writing the most.
After a quick visit to Capernaum on the Sea of Galilee, we went to the Church of Multiplication, which I loved for its translucent alabaster windows. Gorgeous!
Then on to Nazareth for the modern Church of the Annunciation, full of amazing modern art and wonderful architecture. I was thrilled to find a stained glass window of the brazen serpent on a rod [00:55] and the verse from John 3:14 in Latin, translated as “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up.” I use this verse in End of Days to reference a particular stained glass window in Salisbury Cathedral, so it was fantastic synchronicity to find it here.
We crossed over to the West Bank to visit the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, where we visited the cave where tradition holds that Mary gave birth. The church was under (much needed) restoration for the first time in 600 years but you could seek glimpses of the mosaics under the scaffolding. That night, I enjoyed some Cotes de Bethlehem red wine …
We headed out to the desert to visit Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. Then up Masada, the ancient fort that eventually fell to the Romans, but not before the last remaining Jewish rebel committed suicide. Better to die than spend a life in captivity. Freedom before slavery. A place that still inspires many. You can still see the outlines of the huge Roman encampments below on the desert floor.
A quick dip in the super-buoyant Dead Sea (as featured in Gates of Hell!) and then onto Jerusalem. There are just a few pictures here, including a windy moment on the Mount of Olives looking towards the Temple Mount, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the 4th century cistern of St Helena (which I use in End of Days), the Jewish Quarter and the Western Wall. You can also join me for a more substantial video of a walk around the Old City of Jerusalem here.
Then the starkly beautiful Negev Desert. It was an amazing trip and much of it enriches End of Days and provides a backdrop to other books in the ARKANE series.
You can see all the pictures from the Israel trip here on Flickr.
Check out End of Days, available for pre-order now and coming in ebook, print and audiobook in Jan 2017.