Saturday, September 30, 2023

2023 Israel/Egypt/Jordan - Day #4 - Old City of Jerusalem

Old City of Jerusalem

One Ancient City. Three Major Religions.

Immerse yourself in one of the world’s holiest cities.

Begin with a drive to Jaffa Gate, entrance to the Old City. Continue to the Citadel (known as the “Tower of David”), where you can browse the Jerusalem Museum. After, walk to the Muslim Quarter and Bethesda, site of an ancient reservoir of healing. Stop at the Church of St. Anne, birthplace of Mary, and the Church of the Flagellation, where Jesus was flogged before his crucifixion. Trace the Via Dolorosa next, passing the Stations of the Cross and arriving at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. After lunch, walk to the Jewish Quarter and see the First Temple Wall before viewing the Temple Mount, Dome of the Rock and Western, or Wailing, Wall. Learn more about the excavations of the First Temple and Southern Wall at the Davidson Center and Jerusalem Archaeological Park. Note that this tour requires two miles of walking.
I was up about 5 am... We met the Gainsleys and Mark and Evelyn in the dining room just after 7 am.

After some confusion between the bus driver and the guide, the excursion started at the Loin Gate. The first stop was Bethesda, also known as Bethsaida, is an ancient reservoir. It is mentioned in the Gospel of John, where Jesus heals a man who has been lame for 38 years.

The second stop was the Church of St. Anne: the birth place of Mary. The Church of Saint Anne is a Romanesque church located in the Muslim Quarter. It is dedicated to Anne and Joachim, the parents of the Virgin Mary. The church was built by the Crusaders in the 12th century on the site where Anne and Joachim are believed to have lived. it is one of the best-preserved Crusader churches in Jerusalem.

From there we started up the Via Dolorosa. This is the street that Jesus traveled carrying the cross. Along the way, we passed the stations of the cross.

The third stop was the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. This is where it is believed that Jesus Christ was crucified, buried, and resurrected.

On fourth stop, we wandered through the Citadel (known as the “Tower of David”) and the Museum of the History of Jerusalem. The Tower of David is an ancient citadel located near the Jaffa Gate entrance.

We had a pita for lunch at the Panoramic Golden City Restaurant and Cafe roof.

The fifth stop was the Last Supper Room, also known as the Cenacle. It is located on Mount Zion just outside the Old City walls. It is believed to be the place where Jesus and his disciples ate their last meal together before his crucifixion.

The sixth stop was the tomb of King David. It consists of a small room with an empty tomb in the center.

The last stop for the day was the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu. Jesus was kept prisoner here on the night before his cruxification. It is also where Peter denied knowing Jesus three times before the rooster crowed.

Although it was split up differently than the original descriptions of the excursions for the first two days, we covered almost everything in the list. The only thing I felt like I missed and would have like to have seen was the Shepherd's Field in Bethlehem.

For dinner, Mark, Evelyn, the Gainsleys, Sharon and I walked to Cloves Restaurant for dinner. We had two very interesting starters; one was fried kubbeh and I need to figure the other one. I had seafood pasta for an entree, while Sharon had eggplant moosaka.

We finished the day with a nightcap at the hotel garden bar. Sharon and I crashed hard about 10:45 pm.

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