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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Jerusalem, Israel

Feb 17, 2010 - The Old City of Jerusalem

Today we went to Old Jerusalem. We started at the Southern Wall and saw some of the excavations. We walked to the Western Wall (some people call it the Wailing Wall). It is also called the Kotel. The men and the women have to go to separate places on the wall (the men get the bigger side – no fair). It is a tradition to go up to the wall and pray. People will often write prayers or wishes down on pieces of paper (this can include something like wishing to pass a spelling test) and then they will stuff them into the cracks of the wall. After...

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Nov 5, 2009 - Ashdod (Jerusalem)

Okay after yesterday’s long day, today seems like it is going to be another long difficult walking day. I tried to change the trip to an easier driving trip, but no changes were possible. Today the tour is supposed to go to Jerusalem and Bethlehem (which I think should be called Palestine). Wow, Wow, Wow. I don’t think I can write enough words to do this day’s experience justice. The city of Jerusalem is amazing. I cannot believe that Muslims, Jews, and Christians all live in “peace and harmony” in this one small place in the world. All...

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Jun 2, 2009 - Day 8 - Jerusalem

Our first stop today was the Temple Mount. We passed through a security checkpoint where they do not allow you to carry a Bible. There was a stack of Bibles in different languages that were confiscated. The situation on the Mount is preserved by a “status-quo” agreement between the Muslims who control the site and the Israelis who have autonomy in Jerusalem. The Muslims control who has access to the site but the Israelis provide security and enforce the Muslims’ decision. The area under the golden dome of the Dome of the Rock is off limits...

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Jun 1, 2009 - Day 7 - Jerusalem

Today we went to Bethlehem which is pretty amazing considering the obstacles for a Christian pilgrim to do so. There are two cities in Israel where Arab Palestinians are allowed to have autonomy: Jericho and Bethlehem. Our Jewish driver and guide were not allowed to join us into the city so we had to swap buses and pick up a new guide. I admit to being nervous about entering an Arab controlled town but immediately our guide Gabriella let us know that she was a Christian that lived in Bethlehem. That certainly made me feel like a wimp. The...

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May 31, 2009 - Day 6 - Jerusalem

Today we left our hotel and headed to the Mount of Olives. We spent a few moments taking pictures from the top of the mount and observed all the tombs around the Kidron Valley that separates the Mount of Olives from the old city of Jerusalem. Those entombed there are oriented so that their feet face the Temple Mount and thus will be able to rise from their graves and march directly into the city. The mountain is over two miles long so there are many churches claiming to be the site of Jesus’ ascension into Heaven, depending on the flavor of...

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May 30, 2009 - Day 5 - Jerusalem

To get to Jerusalem from the Dead Sea you have to make a 3500 foot climb in elevation which explains why from any direction you always “go up” to Jerusalem. Pilgrims from all over the world make trips to Jerusalem and the city is set on a hill that is lower than all the other hills around it. The lowness of the city makes it impossible to see the city from a great distance. Pilgrims would anticipate the first glimpse of the city and the excitement would build and build until finally the city comes into view. That was our experience as we...

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Apr 23, 2009 - Jerusalem & Bethlehem

Today we arrived at Ashdod, in Israel. Last night I was notified that I had been "randomly" selected for an interview with Isrial immigration at 8 am today. I was getting ready and they started calling my name over the ships PA at 7:30 for me to report to the purser's desk. When I got there, they were grilling one of the other "randomly" selected passengers. I was actually looking forward to hearing what they were after. Anyway it was my turn and they asked for my passport. They saw I had other passports and wanted to know why. Well I came...

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Apr 12, 2009 - Next Year in Jerusalem

After a nice, relaxing trip to Cyprus, I was ready to dive back in the deep end that is Israel. Excited to live out every Jew’s dream, I headed to the Holy Land to celebrate Passover. The holiday helps us commemorate our ancestors’ exodus from Egypt, and our release from slavery. It is celebrated over the course of a traditional dinner, known as a “Seder,” which ends with the words “next year in Jerusalem.” This was my year. My flight arrived quite late at night, and thankfully I found a shuttle that took me right into the Old City of...

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Apr 2, 2009 - Israel: Getting to Know the Holy Land

I returned from Argentina after a red eye flight that landed at 6am, and had a full day in New York City before my departure that evening. My family was able to meet up with me, and I enjoyed seeing my Mom, grandma, and brother at cousin Jessica’s place. The twins, Isa and Camilla, are getting so big- they’re walking around, dancing, and even pointing to the right body parts when a song calls them out. We had a great day full of good food and even better company, and with my batteries recharged, I was ready to hit the road again. This time,...

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Mar 31, 2009 - Last Trip Entry - Old Jerusalem

Well friends, this is the last entry in our travel log since tomorrow morning we check out of the Olive Tree Hotel before our journey to the Garden Tomb where we'll celebrate Holy Communion before lunch and then have a free afternoon. Half of our group won't head for Tel Aviv tomorrow...instead, their trip continues on to Cairo and a visit to the pyramids of Egypt! Someone else will have to take over this blog since Mrs. Dawn is heading home tomorrow! Today was another day we will never forget. Mike led us through an extensive tour of Old...

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Mar 29, 2009 - Important Details from Ein Gedi Visit / Late March In Israel - Our 4th Week

Notes for this entry - this is not a finished entry, so please excuse its sketchiness if you're reading in this form First, a Section on the People We Met in Ein Gedi - The 3 French-Speaking Women - Jeannine Abselem from Paris, Jeanine from Switzerland, and Danielle Sbarro and her mari from Paris Note: Then tell the following in reversed order of printing below so days follow time sequentially. Sunday - Museum of the Seam / Tomb of Prophet Samuel, Sheep, Mahane Yehuda Saturday - Bethlehem and Wallaja - Saleh and his Family Bethlehem,...

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Mar 28, 2009 - Jerusalem the Golden

What a great day! Here are the highlights of what we did and saw today: - Left our hotel in Tiberias - destination, Jerusalem - Passed the border of Jordan and saw the Jordanian flag just to the east - Saw Mt. Gilboa, site of the Philistine battle with the Israelites where King Saul "became hopeless" as our guide, Mike, likes to say, and fell on his sword to kill himself - Visited Beit She'an, which was the only Roman Decapolis (one of 10 major cities of Rome) west of the Jordan River. Our walking tour allowed us to see so many...

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