June 3, 2018

Day 8: The Southern Steps, The Temple Mount, the Via Dolorosa and Bethlehem

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It’s the end. Well, for some of us! I was talking with someone this morning at breakfast and they asked if I was going to Jordan. I said that I wasn’t, and told them they had to continue the blog for me – not officially, but for themselves.


So, if you’re going to Jordan, continue this blog! You wont regret it a month from now, or a year, or a decade!


But anyways, what about today? Today was a perfect way to end our Israel experience.




We started immediately at the Southern Steps. These are the ancient steps that we can be 100% sure that Jesus walked on, since they were the steps up to the temple in Jerusalem in Jesus’ time. All 150 of us sang Amazing Grace on those steps. I hope you won’t forget.


We then went somewhere completely new to me – the Temple Mount. This is an extremely tense (not necessarily violent) area that relates to the Orthodox Jews and Muslims. Most likely the area in which the ancient Jewish temple resided, we walked across the long platform where we found two ancient Muslim buildings – one being the popular Dome of the Rock (the one with all the gold on it). It’s interesting to know that secular Jews are free to roam about in there (after they go through security like everyone else), but an Orthodox Jew must be escorted by a guard the entire time.


We then exited the Temple Mount and started on the Via Dolorosa, following the different stations of the cross. We eventually found ourselves at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Multiple faith groups (Catholic, Armenian, Greek Orthodox, etc.) have access and property in this church, and they all don’t get along super well. Anyways, this is the site that’s believed to be the area in which Jesus died and was buried.


After that, we got out of Old Jerusalem and made our way to a little town (actually quite large) in the West Bank – Bethlehem. There we bought some olive wood, ate some shawarma, and then made our way to the Church of the Nativity. This is a majorly popular site since it claims the cave in which Jesus was born. We waited in line for a while – but I’m not complaining! We just had to wait for the Armenian Christians to finish their prayers.


But, like I said, we’re done! At least the Israel experience. It’s been a joy to have travelled with you all – especially bus number 2! You’ll never forget this trip, so I hope your time was well spent and enjoyed.


Thanks to you, the other staff, Andrew, John, Phil, the guides, and the bus drivers for all their help/skills as well.


Until next time!



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