The day was started off bright and early with a trip to Jerusalem. We began by riding up the side of Mount Scopus, stopping near the top at a University where we were able to peer over the edge and have an amazing overall view of The Old City. Our very informative guide, Miri Levenberg, told us about the various landmarks, and architecture that lay within the walls. The brightest thing to catch your eye is the Dome of the Rock.
The golden dome on top of the aqua blue tiled building glistens in the sun, you can’t help but center your gaze on it. We were told the story of the beginning when King David began to settle. From the ruins left, you can see that he did not begin to build the city in what is now the center. This is because the spot in which he began to build was the place, at the time, that held the city’s only source of running water. His son later established the temple where the city’s center is currently located.
When driving the bus a bit further, we found a nice view of the Arab side and the desert. From this view we were able to see, from afar, the location of the Dead Sea as well as Jericho.
Moving into the city, we stopped at Mt. Olives and visited the Church of Gethsemani, the place where Jesus was betrayed the night before his suffering. This church is located a stone’s throw away from the tomb of the Virgin Mary, where she fell asleep and ascended to heaven.
Our next stop of the trip was the Israel Museum. Here we were able to see the remnants of 9 of the dead sea scrolls as well as a copy of the entire scroll which is located centrally in the museum.
When we began to discover The Old City a bit more, we passed through alley ways of a local market and enjoyed fresh made Hummus at an authentic restaurant. We later went to see the Tomb of Jesus and ended the trip with a visit to the West Wall.
Overall, the trip to Jerusalem was a once in a lifetime experience that I will never forget. It is always interesting to see the differences in values between cultures. Visiting the Old City also gave me the opportunity to flex my creativity muscles. I have been studying photography as part of my second degree at Pace University, and Jerusalem offers many amazing sites just waiting to be captured on camera.