So after India, I’m heading to the holiest of all Holy Places: JERUSALEM.
Did you know all of the three major religions (Christianity, Judaism, Islam) are actually spin-offs of one another? They all come from the same root, Abraham! In essence, here’s the differences:
– Christians believe a saviour has come and his name is Jesus.
– Jews believe a saviour will come one of these days, and it’s not Jesus (he’s just a prophet, as far as they’re concerned)
– Islam believes that Muhhamed is the last prophet, and restored the original Abraham religion
In any case, all of them believe that Jerusalem is a truly valuable place. Given it’s cultural importance, and seeing that this was a non-visa country, I could NOT resist visiting for my round the world trip!
I have a more open schedule here compared to India, given that I’ll just be staying in Jerusalem.
One place I don’t want to miss is the most significant place for all three Abrahamic Religions: the Dome of the Rock, considered as “the most contested real estate on earth”. How so?
– Islamic scholars believe this is where the prophet Muhammed rose to heaven. For a time Islams faced here when they prayed, later changed to Mecca.
– Jewish tradition says this is where Abraham went to sacrifice Isaac before the angel stopped him. The Foundation Stone is here, which Judaism believes connects Heaven & Earth.
– Christians believe Constantine set up his first church here, leading to the rise of Roman Catholicism. And yes, it was in Jerusalem that Jesus himself walked and preached and eventually crucified
There’s also a rumour that the REAL Ark of the Covenant was buried. Either way, how can you not miss this place?
Other important places worth visiting are the Wailing Wall, The Mount of Olives, The Holocaust Museum, The Garden of Gethsamane, and so on and so forth. I think I won’t run out of things to check out in Jerusalem. I was actually panning to visit Tel Aviv too but Jerusalem was just too rich a place not to stay longer. Maybe I can go to Tel Aviv next time.
In addition to Jerusalem, I plan to take a trip to the infamous Dead Sea! The Dead Sea is the densest sea in the world, where you can actually float unassisted. It’s also hear where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. But did you know there’s way way more to discover about it? Here’s a list: http://twistedsifter.com/2012/06/10-things-you-didnt-know-about-the-dead-sea/. The Dead Sea is apparently only about an hour away from Jerusalem, so it looks like it’s worth the trip.
To make things simple I’ll be staying in one place, it’s called Abraham Hostel. Going a bit budget so I have more to spend to tour. It’s only 500 meters away from Old Jerusalem (just about a 5 minute walk) , and it’s also a tour operator. One of the things I’m looking forward to is their Market Cooking Tour where we go to a local market to buy Jerusalem food stuff which we’ll then cook and have a feast in the evening! Good out-of-the-way not-the-usual-touristy thing event.
Anyway, I’ll be in Israel for 4 days, and looks like I’ll have a ball here…. at last that’s the plan. We’ll see how the actual experience goes. After Israel I’m off to one of the biggest stops in my trip: KENYA! I’ll tell you more about it later.