Jerusalem Day 2

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It’s wonderful that our Hostel provides breakfast starting at 6:45 am. We have 8:00 am Western Wall Tunnel Tour tickets that we are rushing to. We arrived 3 minutes late and they were already well into the tour. It was nice booking the first tour of the day as it gets us out and going before the crowds. So our tour consisted of only 4 of us. Typically there are around 35 people on the tour.

Since our tour was such a small group our guide took us to special places and gave us more information. It is amazing how much further down the wall goes than what is at ground level today. Every time the city was destroyed it was rebuilt on top of the former city rubble.

We got to go the part of the wall that is the closest to the Holy of Holies. Only women are allowed in the tunnel to this spot. As the wall is divided into separate sections. So this is where we placed our prayer to God. It was special that we got to experience this.

On the tour we got to walk where Jesus once walked. It was the actual roads that existed during King Herod’s rule. We got to see where women went to collect their water many years ago also.

With it being a holiday it was also a huge Bar Mitzvah day. I was fun watching so many boys celebrate with their families. Our plane over was full of an entire family going to Jerusalem to celebrate.

Afterwards we went up to the Temple Mount. There is only one entrance for non Muslims to enter and it has very short time periods that it is open. Today it is open from 7:30-10 and 12:30-1:30. You must first pass through a security checkpoint. They will confiscate any religious items that you may have. The missionaries the night before forgot and had to hide their Bible and go back for it later. Then you walk over an ugly bridge that enters the Temple Mount where another set of Muslim security check you. These guys just told us to hurry as we only had 10 minutes. So we did and I was way in front of Sierra who yelled out to me. So I turned around agitated and asked her what the problem was. Only to find her crying and being harassed by the head of the Muslim Security from Jordan who guard the Temple Mount (armed with only a white polo shirt). Sierra had forgotten to remove her Star of David necklace. We were told visiting hours were over and we must leave. I said I have 10 minutes and want to take my photos. He said I couldn’t because I didn’t have my head covered. I said I have a scarf and could cover. He said times up we must leave. At that same time a German group walked up to the Dome so I said why isn’t their time up? So he kicked every tourist off temple mount at that moment and asked me if I was happy now that everyone had to leave. So we left.

We then went to Mt. Zion where we visited King David’s tomb and the room that Christ had his last supper in. Afterwards we walked to the location (now a church, every site from Christendom is now a church) where Peter denied Christ. There are roosters pointing the way.

Then it was time to line up again to see the Dome. This time the security guys at all the check points knew who we were and asked if we were really going to try to go up again. Of course I told them, why wouldn’t I. So we were harassed and made to jump through hoops. My shawl was too lace this time, so I put my jacket on. Whatever they said I had a solution. Sierra’s sweater was too open in the front so I safety pinned it closed. Then an Orthodox Jewish family decided to go up with Armed guards, they are forbidden to approach the Dome but can go onto the Temple Mount. It upsets the Muslims greatly as they yell at them the entire time. Thankfully diverting the attention from us to them. We got our photos and got out of there.

We then walked around the different quarters of the old city, wanting to visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. We found it to be closed for the feet washing mass. So we went to the Tower of David Museum and enjoyed the views along with the exhibits on the story of Jerusalem.

Afterwards we were tired. So we walked back to our room rested then walked to the market to try an awesome pasta place that was recommended. To end our long day.

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