31st December 2000

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Retrace Holy steps in Holy Land

Today, we conclude the final segment of The Sunday Times Superlink Triple Win which gave our readers the opportunity to win a fabulous tour of the Holy Land, weekend packages to Bangkok and Singapore as well as attractive gift packs. We thank all those who participated in this travel promotion programme. The lucky winner of this final segment can soon enjoy the Holy Land tour, which includes hotel accommodation and sightseeing with the compliments of Superlink Travels and air travel, courtesy of Royal Jordanian.

Superlink Travels, one of the largest outbound travel agents in the country, has much experience, having conducted no less than ninety tours to the Holy Land to date, with eight tours each year. Superlink was the only outbound travel agent in Sri Lanka to win the Award of Excellence from the Government and Tourism Ministry of the State of Israel. Royal Jordanian is the airline used for the Holy Land Tour.

"It is our intention and commitment to serve every pilgrim by giving you more value for your money", says Rodney Koelmeyer, Chairman/Managing Director, Superlink Travels. "Superlink will guide you to the Holy Land and ensure that every pilgrim visits all places of religious significance, since we do not want you to miss out on any".

The first step of the tour is the arrival at the Queen Alia International Airport, in Amman known in biblical terms as Rabbath Amman, by Royal Jordanian. After lunch at a luxury restaurant in Amman, they leave via the border crossing for Jerusalem.

Jerusalem, 'The Holy City', with many names, is the only city in the world considered sacred by Jews, Christians and Muslims. The day's programme includes several places of interest. Temple Mount, according to Jewish tradition, serves as the foundation of the universe. It is also believed to be the place where Abraham prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac. The Dome of the Rock, a beautiful Islamic shrine. The Western Wall also known as the Wailing Wall. The Golden Gate, where Jesus made his triumphant entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday and St. Stephen's Gate, where St. Stephen was stoned. The Pool of Bethseda, where the crippled man was healed after 38 years and the Church of St. Anne, on the site of the birthplace of Virgin Mary.

On the next day, a tour of Bethlehem, which includes the Church of the Nativity, Church of St. Catherine, where midnight mass is celebrated, the Milk Grotto, Shepherds Fields, Ein Karem and the Basilica of the Visitation will surely be overwhelming.

A panoramic view of the Old City can be enjoyed from the Mount of Olives. The tour on its fourth day, covers several churches which commemorate important events in the life of Jesus Christ. In the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus spent the night before his betrayal, pilgrims spend some time in meditation.

In the centre of the Christian Quarter in the north western part of the Old City stands the church of the Holy Sepulchre. It lies on the path known as the 'Via Dolorosa' or the 'Way of the Cross'. It is surrounded by churches, monasteries and various institutions and hostels for pilgrims.

The sixth day of the tour includes a visit to Tiberias, a boat ride across the Sea of Galilee to Capernaum known as the second home of Jesus. Here you can see the ancient Synagogue, the site of St. Peter's House, and other churches as well as the Mount of beatitudes, where Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount.

A visit to a Kibbutz run by a community, the next day, should be interesting as well as the ancient boat dating back 2000 years, used during the time of Jesus. After restoration, the boat is now on display with the permission of the Israel antiquities Authority. Nazareth, where Jesus spent most of his life has several important churches and shrines to visit. A drive to Mount Tabor, where the Transfiguration took place, and the Jordan River, where Jesus was baptised is ischeduled for the afternoon. A cable car ride to mount Carmel Stella Maris, a visit to the cave of Elijah the Prophet and Muhraqah, a drive through the Judean Desert to Jericho, the oldest city in the world are some highlights of the next day's programme before departure to Jordan.

The final day is spent sightseeing around Amman, visiting Madaba famous for its mosaics, the Tomb of Moses at Mt. Nebo and the Dead Sea. Those who wish to could arrange to stay on longer in Jordan to visit other interesting places there such as Jerash, Petra and Aqaba.

Royal Jordanian Airlines

Royal Jordanian Airlines presently operates two Airbus A 310 flights weekly between Colombo and Amman, Jordan, departing on Thursdays and Saturdays. The two class operation Crown Class and Economy has a capacity for 200 passengers and six tons of cargo.

The efficient Amman hub offers convenient inter-continental connections to more than 45 major cities in the Middle East, Europe, North America, North Africa, the Indian subcontinent and the Far East.

One of the Airline's major selling points is being able to offer the fastest connections to New York, U.S.A., permitting passengers to spend less time at airports and more time vacationing or attending to their work.

The modern Queen Alia airport in Amman, the 'home hub' of Royal Jordanian Airlines, has become an increasingly popular transit point for world travellers and international air freight. Serving more than five million passengers a year, plans for expanding capacity to ten million passengers are now in progress.

The modern airfreight terminal moves freight smoothly through 17,000 square metres of warehouses, equipped with cold storage and deep freezer facilities, an 80 cubic metre safe for valuable goods and a separate facility for fresh fruits and vegetables.

From reservations to storage, through customs and delivery, all cargo services are handled through CHARMS, the fully automated in-house system. CHARMS allows continuous monitoring of the status and progress of freight through every point of the system.

Royal Jordanian Airlines has appointed Skycare (Pvt) Ltd., a member of the Expolanka Group of Companies as their new General Sales Agents for passenger and cargo sales in Sri Lanka. The new offices are located at No. 40A, Cumaratunga Munidasa Mawatha, Colombo 3.

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