Day 8 of Our Pilgrimage In Israel

This morning, we went back to the Western Wall. We saw a huge crowd this time and were told that they were having the rite of passage ceremony.

This scene was so different from what we saw the other day.

After that, we recached Temple Mount.

Dome of the Rock at Temple Mount. There are too many resources on the internet about this place so I don’t think I need to write any here. 😛
Around Temple Mount
For those who have read my previous blogs, you should know I like food. 😀 This is what the street vendors sell. I didn’t try any of them though. But I think the ice cream was ordered by one of my groupmates. So, I am not the only one who’s interested in food in the group. 😉

Food is neutral. Everyone likes to eat.

Food is not neutral. Everyone has different tastes.

Food is neutral. Everyone needs it regardless of the taste.

So, the conclusion is, food is neutral 😊 … as long as we take away our perception.

The Israel Museum

We arrived at Israel Museum.

Among us, there were some teachers. I don’t know what they taught at school. The museum displayed many ancient artefacts. To avoid damaging any of them, we were not allowed to take any photos with a flash and the lights inside were also very dim. That means we couldn’t take any photos. After we got in, some of the teachers said seriously (and, I think, rhetorically), ‘why is it so dark here? To create a mysterious atmosphere?’

I made sure I kept a reasonable ‘social’ distance from them. 😀

I know. I sound so mean. 😀

Map of Jerusalem at the time of the second temple
St. John Ba Harim
It means in English, ‘Blessed be the Lord, God of Israel, because He has visited us and wrought redemption for His people’.
Church of Saint John the Baptist, Ein Karem, Jerusalem
Cave of John the Baptist’s birth
The exterior of Church of the Visitation
Statue of the Visitation at Church of the Visitation
A painting of the visitation inside the church. Actually, I had a very similar experience. I went to visit my friend in France when she was pregnant. The difference was I wasn’t pregnant. 😀
The door of the church
The altar

We spent a much longer time in the Church of the Visitation not because we were told more stories about Virgin Mary and her visitation but because a solo traveller asked our priest for help.

After we visited the church and as we were leaving, we saw a guy with some cuts and bruises on his face. He was wandering outside the church. When I saw him, he was wiping his face and checking if he was still bleeding. Most of us didn’t know what was happening. It was a big group so messages tended to pass on among us quite slowly. What we knew was our priest invited him to join us. Out of curiosity, I asked the traveller. He explained, ‘The taxi driver kicked me out of the taxi.’ As we continued our conversation, I got to know that it was his first time to travel solo. And then he started asking me if I was from the same place as he was. I think I knew why he got that treatment. He might be too quick in telling people where he was from. One should know that some countries may not be particularly popular in the Middle East. Some experienced travellers also know this so they either pretend that they are from another country or they choose not to reveal where they are from to avoid trouble. He might have said something about his own country which enraged the taxi driver. While it was not right to attack other people, as a solo traveller, he needed to be aware of his own safety too. Anyway, he got on our bus and left at our next stop. He still had a long way to go. His final destination was Singapore. I hope he safely arrived.

At night, a small group of us went out with the organiser of this pilgrimage and the priest. We went uphill and took some pictures. This is one of them. 🙂

Jerusalem at night

30 July 2009

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