First of all, I should say that “quarter” is a bit misleading today. There are people of each religion in each of the quarters (Jewish, Christian, Armenian, Muslim). Our touring today did have a Christian emphasis, though.
Having walked the entire tour today, it is quite obvious we didn’t really need the bus yesterday. We started out at the Jaffe Gate, and walked on the ramparts. Our tour guide pointed to different parts of the wall and told us how old they were – in the thousands, not hundreds as we’re used to.
The ramparts were great, except if you have a fear of heights. The main event was a quick tour of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Was that place ever busy! People of all races and religions were there to see area where Jesus was crucified. Some were lighting candles, others were getting in line to touch the stone that was used to kill him. Really quite a pilgrimage for many.
We had some lunch, returned to the hotel, and are getting ready for dinner and some time on Ben Yehuda Street.
“Why are you here,” asked the woman at Passport Control. I gave her the short answer (the longer answer can be found in a few of my previous posts, which I can’t easily figure out how to link to with this app). She was asking for security reasons, but in terms of why I am in Israel, it is a pretty good philosophical question. “Because I was invited” doesn’t seem like the best answer. Nor does “because everyone told me I’d love it and have a great time.” As I write this at some dark hour, the answer seems to be, “because who doesn’t love jet lag?”
In all seriousness, I’m not sure I really have an answer. So if you continue to read this blog, you will probably find out along with me. There are a few things I am certain of, though. While I do want to keep in touch with everyone back home, and I do want to take pictures, write personal journal and blog entries, I also know from previous experience that I don’t want to spend too much time tied to my technology. Screens take away from the experience.