Saturday, January 8, 2011

Christmas in Jerusalem and Bethlehem

Many thanks to the Jews... You can't find amazing things like this in Jordan.

After crossing from Aqaba into Eilat, we had a few hours to explore. We came across a produce market / flea market where we bought some dried fruit for our trip.

Jerusalem was a surreal place to be. So much history, and so many questions. This mosaic was added to the Holy Sepulcher (the church on the site of Jesus' crucifixion and tomb) for a visit by the Pope.

Right before I entered the tomb of Jesus. Not sure if I should smile, or look somber, so that face is a cross between the two. You duck through two small doorways and then get about 25 seconds to kneel at the tomb before a clapping monk sends you on your way. "Enough praying for you!"

The Arab quarter of the Old City. The walls of the Old City surround an Arab quarter, a Christian quarter, and a Jewish quarter, as well as incredible sites like the Holy Sepulcher, the Western (Wailing) Wall, the Temple Mount, and the Dome of the Rock.

The Western Wall, and the Dome of the Rock in the background.

The Jewish cemetery on the Olive Mount. This is said to be where God will come at the end of days, so the Jews buried here wanted to be the first in line to join him.

View from a tear-shaped chapel on the Olive Mount.


Bethlehem on Christmas Eve.

Our hotel at the Jaffa Gate of the Old City. We were in the room on the second floor to the right (both big windows). The room had three beds on the first floor and two beds on the loft, as well as two bathrooms. Good deal for $30 a night.

Near the site of the Last Supper.

Inside the Church of the Dormition. This is where the Virgin Mary is said to have lived and ascended to heaven.

Overseeing Mary's tomb.

1 comment:

  1. These photos are wonderful! You are having so many amazing adventures, and learning so much! (I know I keep writing the same thing, but I can't help it.)