Thursday, April 10, 2008

Day 9 in Israel

Another very full and exciting day! Most of it was spent in the city of Jerusalem and specifically within the old city. We began at Temple Mount and the picture you see of all of us was taken in front of the Dome of the Rock. Unlike the past, this site is now closed. It is part of the game that is constantly going on here politically between the two factions.

From this point we continued through the winding lanes of the Arabic Quarter visiting about 7 of the Via Dolorosa locations. We also walked through the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. For most of us this site is discouraging. We are not among those in the Christian community that derive inspiration and religous fervor by venerating and bowing before dead objects of stone and wood. This is made even more true when we discover that no one can really be dogmatic that this site or that one is indeed the "very" spot where Jesus walked, performed a miracle, or whatever. We prefer to simply say that we are in the neighborhood. The narrow lanes and alleys are filled with commercial enterprises all competing for the attention and the wallets of tourists.

After lunch we visited Gethsemane and spent time in the Church of All Nations and observing the many olive trees dating back potentially to the days of Jesus

A favorite spot of mine is the Mount of Olives. We drove up to the Seven Arches Hotel area where in the past we have stayed, but this time only took time for a photo op. You see a photo of Hugo and Bernice Lehmann, the newlyweds on our tour taken from this vantage point.

It is likely that after tonight we will not have internet access. Unfortunately that will mean the end of my posting to this blog. We have two days left here. Tomorrow we plan to continue our visit to the Old City and conclude our day with a walk through Hezekiah's tunnel. On Saturday we are scheduled to spend some time in Jericho. Our flight back to New York is scheduled to leave late in the evening of Saturday, arriving in New York around 5:30 AM on Sunday. Shortly after that, if all goes well we should be in our home areas once again. The exception are the Peters. Al and Lydia continue from here to Cairo, and then Jordan, before flying back to their home in Abbotsford, BC. It has been a memorable time here. I have been very pleased to see how well we have all gotten along with each other. We are all fairly similar in age, background, theological convictions, and so on. That certainly helps. We are currently staying in the Olive Tree Hotel in Jerusalem. This hotel has a nice website you can check out if you wish.

We are all looking forward to seeing friends and family again.

1 comment:

info said...

Enjoy your last 2 days and remember that you can rest when you get home! Had a great day with Omi yesterday and was happy to show her the blog. She loved hearing the details of the trip. Mom, please get a hold of me when you get to New York (text). Guess what? We're going to the Wiggles tomorrow!Love, Cynthia