Return to the Old City and the Search for Zion

This morning I try to sleep in, since I started to develop kind of a cold last night and didn’t sleep well. Today I was even debating whether or not to go out of the hotel, but I did eventually drag myself out and made my way back to the Old City. I was actually looking for Zion and I saw it, but I didn’t get to climb it. I am going to try again tomorrow. Usually I am really good with orientation and directions, but the maps of Jerusalem are just flat out wrong. You follow the street where it should lead you, but all the sudden you are standing in front of a wall and can’t go any further. It’s really annoying. This led me astray in the Jewish Quarter today, where I received unwelcoming looks from lots of Jewish children. For every kilometer you walk, you’ll have to walk 2-3 back in order to get where you want to go. Because of this, I didn’t make it onto the temple mount today, as was my plan. Oh well. Maybe tomorrow. At any rate, here is Zion:

Since I couldn’t make it to Zion and the Kidron Valley and the other sites that I sought this morning, I redid some of what we saw on the tour in a little more detail. I went back to the Western Wall (where I have a tour booked tomorrow evening in the tunnels below it) and had some quiet time there, before doing a bit of shopping in the Muslim Quarter (they will do their best to rob you; see below). After that I wandered around to no avail looking for the Church of the Holy Sepulcher again. Once I finally found it, I went in again to see the sights personally, but didn’t take any pictures, since I don’t really find that necessary. It was much nicer this time and there were fewer crowds. So, I took my time there. After that, I headed back to the hotel to take it easy for the rest of the day, as I still am not feeling especially good. I may try to find a supermarket and a pharmacy. Plus I need to find a bank, one that actually has an ATM. This is something that we apparently take for granted…that you can access your money at a bank. It is also next to impossible to find practical stores here. You can buy junk, anything made of silver or gold, but nothing to eat. Maybe that’s why they’re healthier here.

There was one picture that I had to take today. It is a follow-up to the picture of the impression of Jesus’ hand in the wall. At the site of the crucifixion, you can see part of the rock of Golgotha. In this rock, there is a large crack, which they attribute to the blood of Christ, which fell on the rock and then split it. Combined with the impression of his hand in the wall as shown the other day, and the Russian Orthodox Church where they have his footprint engraved in stone from the Ascension, one gets an incredibly violent picture of the prince of peace. I mean, the man broke stone all the time by touching it. That sounds kind of suspicious for someone so moved by love and peace. Just something to think about I suppose.

Well, I am about to sign off for the day and maybe take a look around if I can find a grocery store and a pharmacy somewhere in the vicinity. Maybe I’ll be able to publish more tomorrow, but we’ll just have to see…

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