We began the day with a visit to Masada – the southernmost Dead Sea palace of Herod the Great. I should say three palaces – he had one on each level of the mountain. We then drove to the Negev Desert to a Bedouin camp where we rode camels, learned about the Bedouin culture, and shared lunch with them. Our final stop was the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.
Tomorrow, our adventure will begin with a magnificent view of the Old City from the Mount of Olives. After that we will walk down to the Kidron Valley and enter the Garden of Gethsemane – the Church of All Nations – where we will view the Basilica of Agony. In this area we will find the oldest olive trees in the Holy Land, which date back to ancient times.
We then continue along the Kidron Valley, where we will view the Tomb of Zachariah as well as the Tomb of Absalom (King David’s son). Next we enter the Old City via the Dung Gate and proceed to the Wailing Wall. The Wailing Wall is a remnant of Solomon’s Temple–and the holiest Jewish site–and we will have the opportunity to touch its ancient stones.
We will ascend the Temple Mount for a view of the dome of the Rock. Then we will continue to the famous Tunnels from the Hasmoni era and out to the Via Dolorosa and the Arab Market–the Shulk–with its hundreds of stores selling many types of artifacts. We conclude the day with a visit to the Holy Sepulchre which is the largest Church in Jerusalem.