Day 7: Today we are in the Old City of Jerusalem, we walked through the Gate of the Lion and went to Bethesda (John 5:1-19), not far from here we went to the Church of Saint Anne’s, a true example of Romanesque Architecture. We rested here for a while and worshipped. We weren’t able to do all the Stations of the cross, but we were able to visit the place where Jesus was mocked by the Soldiers and placed lots for his garments, at the Convent of the Sisters of Zion.
We walked the Via Dolorosa (the way of sorrows) before visiting the Church of the Holy Sepulcher where according to some scholars, where Golgotha was. It has of course been turned into a church with many people coming and going, kissing stones and crossing themselves. Travis waited in line to touch the stone that held up the cross, that was his emotional moment on the trip. Sadly, I felt more people where merely worshipping the space instead of God.
Then we walked through the Islamic Bazaar and headed to a falafel stand for lunch, of course. And ice cream. 🙂
After our lunch we went to the City of David which is outside the Old City of Jerusalem to walk Hezekiah’s Tunnel well actually it was the Canninite Tunnel as Hezekiah’s is flooded with 2.5 feet of water, which was VERY narrow and the ceiling was VERY low. (i am a claustrophobic) From there we visited the site of the Upper Room and King David’s tomb. The upper room was closed off in the 12 century and kept mostly original. King David’s Tomb was divided in two, a separate space for men and women like the Wailing Wall.
Day 8: We had a choice today: sleep in or get up early and visit the Temple Mount. We were up early and didn’t want to miss the opportunity. We saw the exterior of the dome of the rock, and walk in the courtyard of the temple. We also saw the interior of the Eastern gate, which the Muslims filled in because it was prophesied that the Messiah would come through that gate. (He did)
Once everyone else was up, we then went to the Garden Tomb, which looks more like what Golgotha ought to have looked like. Some scholars believe this is the actual place instead of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. This location is run by a British Non Profit group, so naturally our guide was British and very enthusiastic. After visiting a tomb and seeing the garden we commemorated our own priesthood by serving communion to one another. We then returned to the Old City of Jerusalem, Herod’s Quarter, the Wailing Wall and did some shopping in the Armenian Quarter.
Day 9: We return to America.