Jerusalem and the Dead Sea

Ivan, Lil Dave and I had breakfast at the buffet before leaving the boat early on October 20, 2011.  We got on the Guided Tours Israel tour bus at 8 am.  Everybody in the group arrived and we left at 8:30 am.

Our tour was a Christian tour going to Jerusalem and the Dead Sea.  Our guide was a funny Jewish guy – can’t remember his name at all.  Our guide gave each of us a piece of paper to write a wish on.  Later on, we’d be placing our wish on the Western Wall (Wailing Wall). 

We were driven to Old City Jerusalem.  Our first stop was a bagel stand.  Ivan and I didn’t hesitate to get a big bagel and a falafel.

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The bagel was heavenly while the falafel was really dry.  It was definitely the best bagel I’ve ever had.

We stopped at Parliament and the Christian Quarter.  The Church of the Holy Sepulchre was beautiful inside.  This site is where Jesus was crucified.  It was hard to take pictures at the The Altar of the Crucifixion. 

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This was a big line to touch under the table.  I spent most of the time taking pictures while the guide talked.  The only bad thing about tours is that there’s not much time for pictures since there’s so much to see. 

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The architecture and artwork were great.

We stopped at The Stone of Anointing – the spot where Jesus was prepared for burial. 

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People stick their possessions on it for good luck and make a prayer.  I put my wish on the stone for luck as our guide suggested.

A nice treat was stopping while two little boys made us fresh pomegranate juice.  It was tasty!

The group went to many places like the Jewish Quarter and the Muslim Quarter.  We went to the rooftop of the Austrian Hospice.  You can actually stay here right in Jerusalem.  The view was lovely from the top.

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Our last stop in the Old City was the Western Wall (Wailing Wall).  There’s a men and a women’s section.

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Ivan, Lil Dave and I parted ways.  The women have to cover their knees and their shoulders.  The men have to cover their head – free Yarmulkes were given out.  There was lots of women praying against the wall.  It took a few minutes to find a spot to put my wish in the wall.  The cracks are really small and already filled with papers in them.

It was time to head back to the bus.  Our bus driver couldn’t pick us up at our location since the road was blocked.  The group had to walk to the bus. 

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We got to see the City of David and Mount of Olives.  Mount of Olives is a graveyard that faces Jerusalem.  Our guide said it costs 1 million dollars to be buried there.

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We drove to the Dead Sea.

We got an hour and a half to spend at the Dead Sea.  It feels weird floating in the water.

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I was walking  in the mud, but you have to be careful coz the mud is slippery and you can fall since there’s a change in height of the mud.  The mud has minerals which is really good for the skin. 

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Ivan, Lil Dave and I covered ourselves in the mud to get the free benefits.  It started hurting my face so I tried to take it off with the water.

This was a great tour.

We got back on the Norwegian Jade cruise ship.  Ivan and I went to the jacuzzi to relax.  Later on, we chilled in the room.

It was time to get dinner.  Lil Dave went off to get lots of bananas at the buffet.  We stopped at the dining room.  Ivan and I each got a tasty tortilla soup.  We shared a crab cake.  We each got the eggplant parmesan which was only okay.

We didn’t go to the show since it was a boring singer.  We went back to the room to watch a few episodes of Luther.

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