Aug 15

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August 15, 2000

Mt. Sinai and Eliat


Pacific Coast

In Country










4:00 PM


Up at 2:00 am for 3-hr climb to summit of Mt. Sinai to see sunrise.  Visit St. Catherine’s Monastery. Eliat on the Red Sea.


2:00 AM





6:00 AM?

Crowne Plaza Eliat

4:00 PM?


St. Catherine’s Monas­tery was founded in 527 AD on the tradi­tion­al site where Moses spoke with the Burning Bush.  The Mon­as­tery has been occu­pied ever since, though I believe the Bush went out briefly during the Nixon ad­mini­stra­tion.  [The ar­row identi­fies the only entry avail­able for the first cen­tu­ries; a pul­ley sys­tem was offered to friends, and hot oil to others.  Today, (we) wussy visitors use a small ground-level door below it.]

√  Here is a 3-minute video about the monastery.



(Left) Rock steps leading to the Gate of Confession, all a part of the ascent up Mt. Sinai.

(Below) Chapel of the Holy Trinity on the summit.




After our early-morning climb to the summit to witness sunrise, below is our vista reward.  Gooseflesh, eh?  If you’re reading this, your name is probably one I’ll be whispering into that still air.  It’s so close to His ear, I’m sure He’ll hear.

Here are internet views of the summit and Chapel.

√ A 30-second video just after sunrise is here.

Post trip note:  Although it was a bit harrowing to be on camel-back in a moonless night climb with flashlit glimpses of the sheer drop just inches from the trail, this was a trip highlight.  One of the most moving moments of the entire trip, as envisioned in the pre-trip note above this picture, was whispering the names of family and friends in a prayer as the sun rose.  To stand where a real-life Moses might have stood, looking into a glorious sunrise unchanged since he might have seen it, and to whisper to my Creator the names of the people I care most about in life…well, those few tear-filled moments alone were worth the $10k.







Then back north to Eliat, Israel’s narrow access to the Red Sea.  Its Under­water Observa­tory views are second only to those divers see.

√ Check here for views of Eliat.

Crowne Plaza Eliat

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