The Jerusalem cross
Well this is the day we have been waiting for, the main reason for coming on this trip, to visit the Holy Land and we were not disappointed.
Our first stop was Mt. Olives, even though it was very hazy this morning, we had a nice overview of Old Jerusalem.
The Golden gate of Jerusalem
Basilica of the Agony
Garden of Gethsemane and its 2000 yr old olive trees
Mt Zion and King David’s Tomb, there is a men and women’s entrance to the tomb and surprisingly enough men had to cover their heads not women.
We are now entering the old city of Jerusalem through the Jaffa gate through the Christian Quarter on our way to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, we followed part of the Via Dolorosa(Way of the Cross ) and the stations of the cross.
Church of the Holy Sepulcher
The tomb of Jesus
now on the Jewish Quarter in side the Old City
The Western Wall also known as the Wailing Wall inside the Jewish Quarters
We arrived in Jerusalem on Friday and that means at 6p.m. starts the Sabbath and continues until 6p.m. Saturday evening, a lot of the shops starting closing early around noon to start preparing for the Sabbath. Traffic was very light and after noon local bus service stopped and in the evening all train services stop.
It is amazing to me that all of these religious sects Christian, Jews , Muslims are all located in the Old City such a small area and most of the time seem to make it work and respect each other. I was really nervous about coming to this part of the world with all the conflict. I expected to see a lot of military and police presence but that wasn’t the case here, actually it seemed quite safe. We were told by our guide not to worry as they had defense missiles if they did happen to be attacked. I did not really think much about any of this while touring around though, seeing all of these sacred places and following in the footsteps of Christ has to be one of the most special moments in my life., I really cannot not explain it in words.
It has been a very long day about a 9 hour tour today so after arriving back to the ship we had dinner and called it a night, another long tour scheduled for tomorrow in Haifa.