Monday, April 11, 2016

2016 Grand World Voyage, Day 96, Ashdod, Israel (Part 1 of 2)

Ann and Cathy & I had an early departure from the ship and a long ride to Jerusalem when we finally reached the Mount of Olives. This vantage point gave a great panoramic view of the holy city. On our way to the Old City, we stopped for a photo at the Ab-Shalom Tomb and the Church of Mary Magdalene...what a marvelous view! We had a jam packed day of visiting Jerusalem's most famous holy sites located inside the Old City walls.  Our itinerary included; the Western Wall or the Wailing Wall, Temple Mount, Dome of the Rock or Al-Aqsa Mosque, Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Hurva Synagogue, Zion Gate and the Via Dolorosa pilgrimage known as the walk of sorrow the route Jesus took to his crucifixion on Mount Calvary.  We certainly had pretty good coverage of Israel and all the ethnic quarters... We walked with our guide from site to site exploring narrow winding alleyways of the Old City....the Armenian, Jewish, Christian and Muslim sections has its own ambiance and vibe.  As practically every stone of the old city has a story, this is the place to get familiar with the history, theology and archaeology.  We went off the beaten path to the Austrian Hospice (hotel) to one of the best rooftop views in the city.  Today was a wonderful experience...had a falafel for lunch and I visited a few places for the first time which by the way is unusual for me as I have been to Jerusalem many times. What a wonderful way to spend my birthday today!   After a great day touring Jerusalem I enjoyed spending the evening having dinner with wonderful friends. 


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