Bright beautiful morning to explore one of the most unique and important cities in the world. We drove up to the Mount of Olives for this spectacular view of the Old City and its surroundings.
A detail as we entered through the Jaffa Gate. Jerusalem is high and dry and makes blue skies ultra-blue. Tradition has it that King Solomon built the great temple, Jesus was crucified and Muhammad visited on his Night Journey.
…and into the Christian Quarter to follow the ancient Via Dolorosa and Stations of the Cross to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the traditional site of the Crucifixion. Here with our tour guide, Ophir, an ex Israeli Army Major and lawyer. He loves the life of illuminating people about his beloved country…and it shows.
After roaming through the Muslim and Armenian Quarters we came to the Western Wall, the closest place to the house of God as believed by Jews world-wide. It is an extremely moving place. The stones felt unnaturally warm to my hands and forehead. Truly a place to find your core.
We walked around to the archeological museum to get a better idea of the history of the place; a time-line of 5,000 years, two temples and numerous conflicts and re-buildings. The actual temples were many feet below the current wall.
We spent the rest of the afternoon exploring more of the Old City. After all it is a one square kilometer living city with four or five thousand residents, shops and life. A little shopping, a little bargaining and a step across the street, literally, to an ultra-modern mall. We walk back to the hotel for an hour of rest, dinner at another much better than expected restaurant, and rest for another early day to Masada and the Dead Sea.