I left the hostel around 9 am, I talked to one of my hostel mates for awhile before leaving. I was hoping I gave myself enough time to get something at the corner bakery and make it to the Jaffa Gate before the tour began. I stopped at the bakery, got a few pastries, went to the ATM, then had about 15 minutes to make it to the tour's meeting point. I walked quickly down Jaffa street towards the gate, checking the time on my cell phone from time to time. I made it to the meeting point 2 minutes before the tour was scheduled to start, plenty of time to get my ticket, these tours rarely leave exactly at the scheduled time.
Our tour began outside the walls of Jerusalem's Old City, our tour guide pointed out that the view outside the old gates was once the desert, now it is Western Jerusalem, with trees, buildings, etc. Our guide gave us background on the area, I cannot remember it all, so I will not try to recount all of what he said. After the background information, we went to the Church of the Eternal Dormition, where it is believed Mary fell into an eternal sleep. I had already seen this church on my own, the guide provided the historical information, so it was not a waste of time returning to the same place.
|Lynnae at Dormition Abbey|
From Dormition Abbey we went to the statue of Kind David, the tour guide asked who the man holding the harp was, I said King David, I had already visited the site, I knew the answer. Also, our tour guide had asked earlier why we did not answer his questions, I responded, because we don't know the answer, everyone in the group laughed. I figured since the guide wanted participation, if I knew the answers, I would answer. Our guide also forgot the word for sling shot when talking about the story of David and Goliath, I told him, he gave me a high five. We visited Kind David's tomb and the Room of the Last Supper, our guide explained nobody knows if these are the real locations, but it is about faith.
|Woman praying at Kind David's Tomb|
|Rock believed to have been on hill where Jesus was Crucified|
|Lynnae touching Rock where it is believe Jesus laid after Crucifixion|
|Lynnae at Tomb where Jesus was Resurrected|
|Station of the Cross|
|Station of the Cross where believe Jesus touched his hand after stumbling|
After walking the Via Dolorosa, we went to lunch. We had a meal of hummus, falafel, many other spreads, I cannot remember the names and pita, a typical Israel meal, I have had often. Today's falafel at Abu Shukri restaurant, was the best I have had yet, the mint lemonade was outstanding too. The Temple Mount was our destination after lunch, our tour guide wanted to get in line early, he expected long lines.
|Lynnae at Lunch|
|Lynnae in front of the Dome of the Rock|
|Lynnae in front of Al-Aqsa Mosque|
Our tour guide gave us free time to take pictures atop the Temple Mount, I took some more, the Islamic Police did not approach me and demand I return to my group, I was no near the mosque anymore either. Non-Muslims are not allowed to enter the Dome of the Rock, it is Muslim controlled and only they can enter. The surrounding area is beautiful with a great view of the Mount of Olives. As 2:30 pm approached, our group reassembled and left the Temple Mount.
|Mount of Olives|
After the tour, I went to buy tickets for the tunnel tour beneath the Western Wall. The tickets were sold out for today, I will go on the tour tomorrow at 9 am, I may go to the Israel Museum afterwards depends on the time, I have a flight to catch tomorrow night. I walked to the cemetery with Oskar Schindler's Grave after I bought a ticket for the tunnel tour, the cemetery was closed, I may go back tomorrow, I have not yet decided.
I walked back to my hostel after going to the cemetery with Oskar Schindler's grave, I did not do anymore sightseeing today. I relaxed in the hostel, did laundry and went out for pizza with one of my hostel mates this evening.
|Entrance to Cemetery with Oskar Schindler's Grave|
Day 2 Back in Jerusalem Photo Album