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B + 20 : Give Caesar what is Caesar's

Last day on the boat today - tomorrow morning the trip is officially over. The Carpe Diem V has to return to Turkey which will take about 2 1/2 days non-stop sailing.

But we can still visit Caesarea today. We originally planned to stop there on the way down to Tel Aviv but there was not good place to anchor overnight. We are better off in the marina and thus take a small van drive an hour north. Caesarea was Palestine's capital under Roman rule. It was built by King Herod - yes the guy who ordered the killing of all male babies when he heard that a Jewish King was born on Christmas Eve.

Herod built Caesarea to please his Roman masters. It was from the very beginning a Roman town built with Roman technology. Not only was it named after Caesar, it also had a central temple devoted to the Goddess of Rome and Emperor Augustus. The large harbour was built with Roman cement - so solid that it survived for hundreds of years. Caesarea with its 125'000 inhabitants became quickly the centre of commerce and government.

Statue of a Roman noble man in his formal toga - who stole my head?

The rebuilt theatre sits today 15'000 people - it was as big as the giant theatre in Syracuse albeit its ranks are much steeper

The ruins of Herod's palace - now partially inundated - who does not like a seaside villa?

The remains of the old light house to the left - the Hippodrome is to the right

Entrance to the far smaller medieval town which the Crusaders built with the stones of ancient Caesarea

The minaret was built for the Bosnian refugees who arrived here in the 19th century

Remains of Herod's artificial harbour which was built with giant blocks of concrete - whilst mostly eroded above the water line they are still pretty intact below

The Christian Knights built giant walls to defend the town - in the end it did not help - the Mamelukes took the town in 1265. We could not find any signs of Venetian Merchants here but know from written records that Caesarea was one of the ports they visited

Back in Tel Aviv we took the Carpe Diem V out of the marina one final time - this time for cruising and a quick dip in the sea

Many Israeli had the same idea.

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