On March 1, we left Phoenix for an overnight flight to Israel. My fellow travelers were Lynn, Ellen, and Bobbie. We arrived on March 2 and are staying at the Prima Royale hotel in Jerusalem. Our Gate One tour starts the next morning.
March 3, we took our first tour of Jerusalem. Our tour guide was Simon. We took the bus to the Walled City. There are five gates to enter and we entered at the Zion gate. The city is divided into four sections: Jewish, Christian, Muslim, and Armenian. Jerusalem has been in existence for 5000 years.
The Zion gate is very narrow but cars go through it and a lot of tourists.
Narrow walkways and beautiful stone buildings.
The room of the Last Supper is above King David's tomb.
The room of the last supper -
Simon explained the "Mezusa" which hangs outside the doors and protects the home.
King David's tomb above the walls.
Simon and his Muslim friend.
King David's tomb.
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is built where Jesus's cross was placed.
Entrance to Holy Sepulchre -
Pictures in the Holy Sepulchre
Long lines of worshippers.
The Western wall again.
Ellen with head on the stone that was in front of Jesus's tomb.
We walked Via Dolorosa where Jesus walked when he was carrying the cross. On this route was the fourteen steps of the crucification. Notice the V on the round disk.
This was one of the 14 steps where Jesus leaned against the wall.
Via Dolorosa as it looks today.
Next stop was the Western Wall or 'Wailing Wall' as it is called in the US.
Lynn and I split a beer.
Lynn and Ellen at the wall.
I'm touching the wall in the 'women's ' section.
Lynn, me, Bobbie, and Ellen at the wall.
Next we went for a swim in the Dead Sea.
In the afternoon we went into Palestine to Bethlehem. Our Gate One tour guide could not go into Palestine so we got a new guide.
Entrance to the Church of the Nativity, birthplace of Jesus. Ellen is coming through the door.
The church is being restored.
The place where the manager was has a beautiful star in the floor.
We went to the ancient Roman fortress, Masada, located on top of a hill. This was built by Herod and used when the Romans were fighting the Jews in 73-74 CE. A gondola took us up to the top.
Where the famous Christmas Eve service in Bethlehem is held.
Returning through the gates to Jerusalem from Palestine
March 4, we left Jerusalem for a day trip. First stop was at a sea level marker. We were all very impressed with this young man doing presses on the marker.
We didn't walk out to Herod's palace, but it looked like it was a beautiful home with great views of the Dead Sea.
I was sick this day but managed to make it thru the day.
You can't swim; you just lay back and the minerals in the water keep you floating.
David, in our group, opted for the mud bath.
This is the lowest place in the world with the lowest bar.
March 5, we did another in depth tour of the Jewish quarter of the walled city.
It was a beautiful day and this friendly Jewish guy sang to us.
The Tempe mount is in the Muslim section. We could not enter this section. This is the Dome of the rock.
We walked through the excavation area of the Davidson center, Jerusalem's archeological park.
The staircase to the Temple Mount: me, Bobbie, Lynn, Barb, and Elln. This entrance to the Temple Mount has been bricked over.
In the afternoon we toured the newer sections of Jerusalem, starting with the modern Jerusalem museum that had a replica of town of Jerusalem during Jesus time.
We went into the building that housed the Dead Sea Scrolls, which we could not take pictures, and the Nano bible, smallest bible in the world written on a chip the size of a sugar grain.
The Holocaust museum was very moving. We had only an hour and we could have stayed all day.
Outside the holocaust museum was a museum dedicated to the 1.5 million children killed during the Holocaust.
Here is our Gate one tour group at dinner. Clockwise: Asha and father, Dan, Ellen, Lynn, Bobbie, Jim and Leanne, Jamie and her mother, Betty, Barb, me, David and Alexis, bus driver Yudi.