Sunday, July 24, 2011

El Quds

So this past weekend we headed for the Holy City.

The border crossing was quite an experience we took a taxi then a bus then stood in 3 diferent lines only to repeat the process on the other side. Meanwhile we were asked to show our passports, walk through metal detectors, and answer questions as tothe nature of our visit.

But once all that was over we were able to really enjoy Jerusalem. We spent our first night in the old city in a quaint little hostel off Mark's St. we walked through the Muslim quarter and the Armenian Quarter exploring the souks and restaurants. Later in the evening we went to Ben Yahuda St. to check out the nightlife. We found a cool outdoor cafe where we people watched and sang to some american music :)

The next day we visited a conservative Jewish neighborhood and also took a tour of the old city. One of the coolest things we did while in Jerusalem was to visit the Wailing Wall on Friday evening (Sabbath). People were dancing, singing and of course praying at the wall. Families brought their children and it was cool to see such a vibrant community come together to worship.

We also took a tour of the Mount of Olives which included the garden of Gethsemene. the olive trees int he garden are over a thousand years old and the church next to the garden (The Church of All Nations) is built to emulate the story of Jesus in the Garden. Inside it is dark with small windows in the ceiling to look like stars, the columns are tree like and there is a beautiful mosaic depicting Jesus in prayer in the garden on the night before he died.

More to come...

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