Yesterday we went to the Mount of Olives for a fantastic view over the city and also several churches (Pater Noster, the Russian Church of Mary Magdelene, Dominus Flevit, Church of the Ascencion, Church of all Nations). We also walked through the old Jewish Cemetary. Then we walked the Via Dolorosa and visited the stations of the cross, ending of course at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. From there we did the Ramparts Walk – a walk on the walls of Jerusalem.
This morning we visited the Dome of the Rock and the Temple Mount (Al-Aqsa Mosque). Non-Muslims aren’t allowed in to either, but it is a truly beautiful building from the outside anyhow.
Next we wandered through the Jewish Quarter and visited several old synogogues before seeing the Burnt House. The ruins of a priest’s house burnt down in 70 AD when the Romans sacked Jerusalem. It sounds cool, doesn’t it? It’s not. 30 min later, and $12 poorer we made our escape and went to the Israel Museum. Only to find it’s closed for renovations… We did manage to see the Shrine of the Book – where the Dead Sea Scrolls are. The sculpture garden was also open.From there we went to the Hadassah Medical Center to see the Chagall windows – gorgeous. 12 stained glass windows depicting the 12 tribes of Israel. There was a multimedia presentation, available in several languages, to explain the windows. Awesome. Then we went to Yad V’Shem – the Holocaust memorial museum.
Many tears later we walked through the neighbouring Mount Herzl cemetery, and saw the graves of Golda Meir, Yizhak and Leah Rabin, and Herzl himself. Herzl was an Austrian journalist who campaigned for the creation of a Jewish state in the late 1800’s. Finally we found our way on the bus back to the old city (thanks Mom and Dad – 6 years of Hebrew school means you can ask the guy which bus and which side of the street!).Then we did a little shopping (very few of the shops are open past 6 – sigh…Although the shopping here has been very disappointing. Tel Aviv was MUCH better. Here it’s a lot of Indian junk) and now we are finally on our way out to dinner.