Jerusalem Travel Blog› entry 75 of 81 › view all entries
While Virginia and Scott went to the National Museum, and Richard to Tel Aviv to meet a friend, I spent the day touring Jerusalem with Dave. His Catholic-school upbringing helped enlighten me to many of the events that took place in the ancient city. In the Jewish Quarter, we found the Western Wall, also called the Wailing Wall, where hundreds of Jews stood in prayer, mourning the destruction of the First Temple. Rock stairs led us to the top of Mount Mariah, where those First and Second Temples once stood. In their place stood the eight-sided Dome of the Rock, also known as the Mosque of Omar. The brilliant, golden domed, turquoise tiled mosque dominated the Old City skyline. We entered to have a look at the Sacred Rock; the spot from which Mohammed ascended to heaven according to the Moslems; where Abraham prepared for his sacrifice of Isaac according to the Jews; and according to the Christians of the Middle Ages, the center of the world and marked as such on Medieval maps.
We left the Old City to climb more rocky steps to Mount Zion and the black-domed temple containing the Tomb of David; sacred to both Jews and Moslems. We entered the building and, on an upper floor found the Cenacle where, according to the Gospel of Mark, the Last Supper took place.
Dave and I followed Via Dolorosa to the Church of Flagellation where Jesus Christ was condemned and given the crown of thorns. We entered the Church of the Holy Sepulchre to see the spot where he was crucified, the rock upon which his body was prepared for Jewish burial, and the tomb in which he was once buried. A piece of rock that had been moved on his resurrection was also on display.
Richard returned from Tel Aviv with his best friend Steve, Virginia's brother. After studies in England, Steve was on his way back to Australia and toted a fifth of Scotch whiskey. We all toasted acquaintances and milestones in our room at the youth hostel.