I haven’t been blogging much lately but it’s not because I don’t have anything to say, it’s just that I’ve been busy travelling. Here are some bullet points of the past days:
*Howard broke his arm yesterday while at the beginning of giving me a tour of Jerusalem. His wife Tali was nice enough to continue the tour while he was getting his arm in a sling.
*I went to Palestine today. Think about that. It isn’t even officially a country like almost every other place on earth and I now count it as country 44 I have visited.
*While I was in Palestine only a few hours, I went to Bethlehem and visited the Church of the Nativity, the traditional place where Jesus was born. The church was built in the 4th century, 300 years after his death but this is the the longest continuously used Church in the world. The smell of incense was intense and you could feel so much history and sanctity there, making even people like me who are not religious feel something. I also bought some souvenirs there, including a small Nargileh, or Turkish water pipe. I got some apple tobacco to go with it. It’s not something I will use often but even if it is mostly for show, I am proud of that posession I have yet to even get back safely to Germany.
*After returning from Bethlehem, I made it to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the holiest site in Christianity. It was also built in the 4th century, more than a millenium before Columbus discovered the New World, on the spot where Jesus was supposedly crucified. It was hard to fathom where you were but you could sense that a lot had happened there.
*Earlier this morning I was also on the Temple Mount above the Western Wall, one of the holiest sites in Islam. You walk around and read about conquering armies from the 7th century. It is also considered to be the “center of the world”, though I would suspect that New York, in some ways, has taken that spot for the non-religious side of life.
*So, in a 24 hour period I visited the holiest site to Jews and Christians and they are only about 300 meters from each other. God(s) has/have a sense of humor, do(es)n’t (t)he(y)?
*Tomorrow I am off to Tel Aviv for one last night. I also have all of Friday in Tel Aviv so that should be plenty of time to do all I want to do. I would like to spend more time here and may even spend the morning in the Old City of Jerusalem only because it has the most energy of any place I have visited so far. The other possibility is to stop somewhere in between but I’ll have to do some reading in the Lonely Planet tonight. I also need to journal some more tonight.
*My camera seems to have broken. the light meter doesn’t work anymore. This happened outside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. It could be a sign but I am going to try and get it fixed before I give up on her.