Jerusalem, walking in the old city

In shops in Jerusalem we saw a T-shirt with the slogan: "I walked my feet of in Jerusalem." And that's what we did. Jerusalem is best explored on foot, so we explored the old city on foot. Did we walk a lot!

On Thursday September 10 we started walking through the old city. We started at the Jaffa (Joppa) gate

Jerusalem is a large sprawling city. But its centre is the old city. The old city is divided into four quarters: Jewish, Armenian, Christian and Muslim. This is taken somewhere in the Jewish quarters.

At the "temple" wall:

The Via Dolorosa is in the old city as well. Supposedly the place where Simon of Cyrene was compelled to take over the cross. On the left you just see a portion of a cross that a large group of South Americans Catholics, our guess, were carrying around.

Catholics and their churches are everywhere in this city.

The old city is very interesting. All narrow streets. This is one of the bigger ones, just enough for one car;

One of the pools of Bethesda:

The Damascus gate, from inside the old city. This is the gate Paul went through to go Damascus.

And the Damascus gate from the outside.

According to travel books this is the most holiest place for Christianity: the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. This is the supposed site of Golgotha. No hill can be seen anymore. The church on top of it is shared between the Greek Orthodox Church, the pope, the Eastern Orthodox the Armenian Apostolic and perhaps others.

The church inside was extremely nice, but the idolatry was just expelling us. People were kissing the supposed stone of anointing (where Joseph of Arimathea prepared the body of Jesus) etc. etc. Very sad.

So we went back to a place we were earlier, but which was closed between 12pm and 2pm: a hill that actually looks like Golgotha, and might have some similarities to what things actually looked like 2,000 years ago. But first a stop for some refreshing drinks, to get some new energy. I asked for a beer. As it was the Ramadan, it would upset the Muslims too much to see me drink beer, so I was asked to sit in the back of the store, and got the beer in a Pepsi bottle. The guy selling this was an Armenian...

The kids got banana with mango with some insistence from the shop owner. They actually liked it!

So we went to the Garden Tomb, located outside the current city walls, and it has a hill which looked like a skull as well. Currently only the eyes and the nose are visible.

There's also a tomb which is somewhat like tombs from that time.

The door is normally open, but we closed it so we could take this picture.

There's even a picture of a stone like they might have had in those times. The stone for Jesus' grave was probably larger and heavier than this one.

To be honest, I think the site of the church of the Holy Sepulchre is probably the site, but it doesn't look like anything of 2,000 years ago. But this site has some credentials, and certainly looks much more like things were 2,000 years ago.

And then it was time to go home, and take care of my blisters.