The next day I was at it again on Abraham’s “Best of the West Bank” tour. Our first stop was Bethleham and the separation wall. It was a very heavy tour. A lot of conflict, even for such a beautiful city the underlying tension was there. We explored the church of the Nativity. It was beautiful but very crowded and I got a bit annoyed at all the tourists focusing so much on getting a good photo and not really paying attention to where they were. Because of that, I decided not to take any photos in the ‘holy’ places and really just appreciate where I was.
We stopped for fresh falafel and drove to Jericho. We got to explore Old Jericho. The cable car was being used for military training so we got to see some military guys get lowered from the cable car to the ground. When they were done, we took the cable car up to a monestary on the mount on temptation.
From there we went to Ramalla for dinner, then had some time to explore. I found a bookstore and spent the whole time there! On our way back there was a rode closure (we didn’t know why) so we changed course, but made it back to Jerusalem with no problems.
Holy City Tour
I stopped at the Garden Tomb, a site that some Christians believe to be the location of the tomb where Jesus’ body was laid. It was a beautiful, peaceful garden. Not too crowded. It was a very nice place to be.
I took the holy city tour which led us through the church of the holy sepulcher (where the rest of Christians think Jesus’ body was laid), the Western Wall, and the Temple Mount. The church was SO crowded! I didn’t get the same good vibes that I did at the Garden Tomb. Just saying. From there we saw the little western wall (a part of the wall that is less exposed and less well known) then lined up about 45 minutes early to go to the temple mount. The Dome of the Rock is stunning! Most of the men on the tour had to buy scarves because they were wearing shorts.
Meet the Orthodox Jews
My last day in Jerusalem, I went on a tour guided by an orthodox Jewish woman to see a little bit deeper into the lives of orthodox Jews and to ask any questions. It was really interesting to get a bit of an inside view of their lives. We also stopped at a Jewish bakery. Its like I had never had a bagel before, they were so good!