Tuesday, March 18 – Day 10
It was a great free day, with perfect weather once again! Most of the group walked towards the Old City together at 8:30 a.m., while others enjoyed a relaxing morning at the hotel. As a group, we saw a few extra sites, including two sites on “Mt. Zion” – the Upper Room and Oscar Schindler’s tomb. We also saw from a distance the traditional “House of Caiaphas” / “Peter Gallicantu Church” (where Jesus was bound by the Jewish High Priest and Peter denied Jesus)
Next, we entered the Old City through the Zion’s Gate and walked to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. This church preserves the possible area of both Christ’s crucifixion and burial. While this site most likely is at least the area of Christ’s death and resurrection, it is hard to see through all the “religiosity” of the site itself.
Other experiences included on this free day were: Shoreshim (a conversation with Moshe, an Orthodox Jew), rampart walk (along the tops of the Turkish walls), and shopping. We returned to the hotel in time for those who are returning home tonight to load their luggage on the bus. Together we drove a short distance to the “Olives & Loaves” restaurant. It was a very nice “last supper” for the group. Upon finishing, Shlomo accompanied 19 of the group to the airport for their flight home. Of the rest of us traveling into Jordan tomorrow, some visited the King David Hotel (to see the signatures of famous dignitaries / people on the floor), and Herod’s family tomb (complete with a rolling stone). Some even stopped at the old RR station for ice cream.
It was a great day to explore on our own here in Jerusalem!
Wednesday, March 19 – Day 11
For the rest of the group, we cross the Allenby Bridge into Jordan. We hope to see Mt. Nebo, Medeba, and Machaerus. We then drive down to Petra for overnight.