Next we went to see Bethesda. This is the area where the story of the angel would come down and stir up the waters of a pool and the first sick person to get in the pool would be healed.
Below are a few pics of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. This is one of the churches that I mentioned earlier. The Catholic church built this over the site they believe where Christ was crucified and also buried near by. This pic below is what they believe to be the rock that they laid his body on in the tomb.
Here is the area they believed He was crucified at.
And here is a structure they built around the tomb that he was buried in. It was all very hard to picture. Good thing it doesn't really matter where it all happened, just that it did and He is no longer in there!
And onto lunch. This is a local dish called a Falafel. It's a pita with balls of fried chickpeas, some fresh veggies and some sauce on it. It was actually pretty good!
Paul and I riding a camel!!
Our trip to the Dead Sea. I don't have any floating pics, because someone else took them while we were both in the water. It was pretty cool though!
The Dead Sea mud spa!
This is the Western Wall of the temple at the archaeological dig site. This part of the wall and road way are all original to the time of Christ. This was one of the neatest things for me personally.
This is one of the booths that would have been where the vendors were selling animals for sacrifices outside of the temple.
This is the view of Jerusalem from the top of the Mount of Olives. This was the other really awesome site to see. This is the spot that Jesus ascended into heaven, and the spot that He is to return back to earth. It was pretty humbling to be standing on the same ground as that.
This is the second site that is thought to be Golgotha, the place of the skull. There is debate as to the actual location. The pics of these rocks below show how the rocks look like the face of a skull and Road to Damascus runs right by it.
Here is the proposed site of the tomb of Jesus, but again, no one is really sure.
We took a day trip into the West Bank, one of the 2 Palestinian territories in Israel. The next 4 pics are of the wall that separates the people inside the West Bank, from those on the outside. It was actually very hard to see and made me sad for the majority of the Palestinian people who are literally jailed inside those walls.
This is The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, built over the cave where Mary gave birth to Christ.
This is the spot that traditions say Mary laid Jesus after He was born.
if you look really hard at the top of the church, you can see a red "yard art" angel hanging from the cross, one similar to what you might see in someone's yard at Christmas time.....
and here are 2 crosses on top of the church with lightbulbs to light them up, yes, lightbulbs. i am horrible, i will stop knocking the decorations now.
This is the field where they think the sheppards were watching their sheep when the angel appeared to them to tell them Christ was born.
And here we are at our very last stop, Jericho.
They believe the fallen walls of Jericho are in this excavated area. I had trouble seeing them, so I am not really able to point them out, but it was neat enough to know that we were in the same area.
Here are a few of the group, Eric, Phil, Paul and Mac.