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Holy Land Day 9

Underway at 0800.  We have a good group in terms of everyone showing on time.  Tardiness can be aggravating on bus tours.

We entered Jerusalem on foot from the north. We walked to the Pools of Bethesda.  Also a church in the area where Mary might have been born if she was born in Jerusalem.  Not convinced.  Then a lengthly walk though the area of the Antonio Fortress.  I was surprised at how big the footprint was.

Then up the Via Del Rosa and the stations of the cross.  Busy, narrow streets; lots of vendors.  To the Church of the Holy Sepulchral, representing the site of the Cruxifixtion.  It was crowded but we got to see what we wanted. To me the slab of stone where Jesus was laid and anointed for burial was more spiritual than the site of the cross.   Free restrooms.  Yes.

Good lunch on a rooftop restaurant.  

The Western Wall next and inspection of the area of the southern wall which is being recovered.  The area is impressive.  Doesn’t take much imagination to see the disciples teaching on the steps or thinking of Jesus passing in to raise havoc with the money changers.

We walked the entire day - about 5 miles in total.  Mei Mei’s knee is giving her trouble but she has done very well.

We visit the Garden Tomb tomorrow.  Our flight out is tomorrow night.  It has been whirlwind trip.  We won’t miss the 6:30 wake ups and look forward to being able to drink water freely and use the bathroom whenever.  

We saw some students being stopped and having their back packs searched this morning.  The tour guide was not happy and he got sympathy from the group.  Somehow the issue of suicide bombers and explosives in backpacks was over looked.  It is clear to me that the security issues will dominate the political resolution to the situation here.  However badly the palestinians are treated, the threat to the survival of Israel must be achieved.

aa© Robert Graham 2012