Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Israel: Days 5 & 6

I realized I have to share the rest of my trip with you!

We had our opening performance on our 5th day in Jerusalem. It nearly sold out! We were so afraid we would have a tiny audience. And they LOVED it! So many audience members stayed to talk to the actors. It was just what they needed. We also had several Canadians in the audience. So cool. 

We also did some more sight seeing before our performance that day. We drove to the top of the Mount of Olives. Saw The Church of the Ascension that is said Jesus ascended to Heaven from. We couldn't go in, but I took a few photos of the outside. That was neat. 

Church of the Ascension

The best part of the day and now a super close second to The Dead Sea was visiting the Garden of Gethsemane and the Church of all Nations where it is said that Jesus and his disciples prayed before the night of his crucifixion.The church is stunningly beautiful and the outside courtyard's trees are said to be 2000+ years old: the silent witnesses to Judas' betrayal of Jesus. 

Garden of Gethsemane next to the Church of All Nations

Inside the Church of All Nations

I am not a religious person, but there was something quite remarkable about this place. It is the holiest place I have ever felt and been in my entire life. Thinking about it brings tears to my eyes. Sitting in that church filled me with something and I cried. I just couldn't help myself. I don't know what it was...I just don't know...That is a very special place on earth. 

We also walked around the Old City some more.

We visited the Austrian Hospice, had apple strudel and coffee. Yum!!! Maybe the best coffee I've ever had. 

The floor in the Austrian Hospice

Inside the Austrian Hospice restaurant

And I saw the Wailing Wall. I have to say I was a little under-whelmed. 

The Wailing Wall

It was so touristy. Maybe it's because I'm not Jewish...but it was just a little un-impressive...oh well...Gotta see that Wailing Wall if you visit Jerusalem right?  

Passover and Easter made the city CRAZY! It took us almost 2 hours to return our rental car. So many closed streets right now and they change every hour! Religion rules over everything here. It's nuts. We were so glad to get rid of that car...

The next day Graham and I visited The Dome of the Rock in the Muslim quarter in the Old City. Getting there was a bit of a chore. We only knew one way in and had to walk through the courtyard by the Wailing Wall to get in. Because of Passover there were thousands of Jews praying. It was shoulder to shoulder people. 

We walked through that crowd...ugh.

Graham was hesitating...but I said: "We walked all this way to see the Dome. We're pushing through this crowd". So I grabbed his hand, held my purse tight to my body, hugged the we made our way through the crowd. 

As Graham and I walked into the muslim quarter there were some men sitting there. They asked me to cover up. I asked if I should cover my head or my arms, they said arms. Graham asked if he should take off his hat. They said: "We don't care, do what you want" lol! That says so much doesn't it?!
 There were a lot of places we couldn't stand or touch or go into in this section of the Old City. And there were a lot of guards with guns walking around, it was a bit unsettling.

Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount

Non-Muslims are only allowed in the Muslim quarter in the morning from 8-11am. It was very beautiful. More Byzantinian archetecture. Although the Dome has undergone several upgrades over the last few millennia...I just don't the know the details. It beautiful though.

The muslim quarter was so much quieter than the Wailing Wall. Fewer people. We could hear the Jewish prayers being broadcast...Jerusalem...where so many religions's just so strange and surreal. 

That night we had another performance. We had another great show! 

The Boys hard at work! 

It was the best show the guys have had yet! One of the young (my age maybe) Israeli ushers told me with tears in his eyes that he sympathized with the Gentile character and assured me that all Israelis did not hate Palestinians. I was speechless. We also had many former Winnipeggers who now call Israel their home in the audience! One family drove over an hour into Jerusalem to see the show! What a small world we live in! :)

After the show we went to the American Colony Hotel for drinks and some food. Beautiful hotel! One of the nicest in Jerusalem apparently. I had local beer, two Tom Collins and Shrimp Falafel with Tahini! OMG! So good! Trying to think how to replicate the shrimp at home. 

Cellar Bar in the American Colony Hotel

I had one more day in Israel. I'll share it with you in the next few days! Then it's back to our regularly scheduled program! 


1 comment:

  1. Wonderful shots and great to read about yr exciting trip Lisa! Thanks so much. J


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