Saturday, June 30, 2012

July 30: Jerusalem

We knew the guest house was close to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, so we stumbled along a path that took us that direction.  When we thought we might be lost, a kind man asked us what we were looking for.  When we told him, he said, "Twenty meters up and on the right!"  From start to finish we had probably only traveled for about 40 minutes before arriving where we will call home for the next nine days.

Once we went inside, we bumped into our friends from Wofford who were on their way out.  We set a time to meet up later and moved out of their way as they left to travel the stations of the cross of the Via Dolorosa.  After they left, we sat down for about three minutes before Chad Spigel, our area supervisor, Jim Bucko, and Brian Cussens, a square supervisor, popped in to visit.  We talked for a bit before deciding to head to lunch at one of the many surrounding restaurants. 

The Old city of Jerusalem is small and very compact.  The streets stretch about four to five people in breadth, with each side covered with small stores ranging from candy shops to the latest shoes.  The streets are cobbled and span on and on and on in every direction.

After lunch, we swung by the Western Wall, a holy site in Judaism that marks the retaining wall built to support the Second Temple (when it was remodeled by Herod the Great).  We then spent the afternoon exploring the sites until we met up with our Wofford friends to venture out of the Old City to meet up with some of the dig crew from Horvat Kur.

It has been a busy and long day.  I did not take any pictures today (we weren't alowed to at the Western Wall because today was Shabbat), but I will take plenty tomorrow and try to add a few.  We are waking up bright and early tomorrow morning to attend Latin Mass at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre at 6:30 a.m.