Israel
West Jerusalem

Here you’ll find travel reports about West Jerusalem. Discover travel destinations in Israel of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

8 travelers at this place:

  • Day4

    Third Day of Touring

    March 2 in Israel

    This morning we loaded up our luggage and headed for Jerusalem. Our first stop was Qumran. There we saw the archaeological site of the Jewish sect called the Essenes. They are assumed to be the ones who wrote the Scrolls. We also saw one of the caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found.

    From Qumran we headed for a restuarant in Jericho. After lunch we visited the Jericho ruins. We saw a portion of a wall and a part of a watchtower. These ruins overlook present-day Jericho.

    Then we returned to the bus and headed for Jerusalem. We drove to the Mount of Olives where we took a group picture (our group consisted of the 43 people on our bus - the Blue Bus). From there we walked down to a place where we could see the walled city of Jerusalem. Our guide, Victor, pointed out many of the Biblical landmarks like the places where Jesus was then to be judged, firstgth Jews and later by Pontus Pilot. Victori provided both the history, the current state other sites and the Scripture.

    Then we continued down to the Garden of Gethsemane. The name comes from Gat + Shemanim which means rOlive Oil Press. It was actually a grotto. Next to the garden is a church.

    It is hard to explain what I felt when I arrived in Jerusalem and later saw the Garden of Gethsemane. I was in Jerusalem!! I am looking forward to visiting all the places Jesus walked.

    From Gethsemane we headed to the hotel. The Olive Tree Hotel is very nice. At this hotel Janie & Pat are in the room next to us.
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  • Day5

    The Nativity of Our Lord

    March 10, 2017 in Israel

    We have arrived in Bethlehem. Here we took another scenic walk up to Manger Square, which stands in front of the Church of the Nativity. This basilica is considered to be the oldest continuously operating Christian church in the world. As we entered the church, we proceeded down to the Grotto of the Nativity, which marks the spot of our Savior's birth. But Neath the altar, there is a silver star and a Latin inscription that states: HIC DE VIRGINE MARIA JESUS CHRISTIS NATUS (Here Jesus Christ was born of the Virgin Mary). After our group was able to all touch the star, we sang Christmas songs to celebrate his birth. We then celebrated a Christmas Mass in this sacred place, a neighboring Grotto, named after St. Jerome. He was one of the pivotal figures in the history of the preservation and transmission of the Bible. The celebration of Christmas will forever be changed for me after today's celebration. Very moving.Read more

  • Day5

    Fourth Day of Touring

    March 3 in Israel

    Today was a very full day with lots of walking. Marian & I headed down to breakfast at 6am. I think the food and selections are better here at the Olive Tree Hotel.

    Our first stop was a shop where high quality olive wood products are made and sold in Bethlehem. They also sell jewelry there. Although everything was of high quality, it was also expensive even with the 15% to 25% discount. I ended up buying two small olive wood necklaces (w/o chains). The two cost me $2. I think we spent well over an hour there. I would have liked to have spent more time at the sights.

    Our next step was the Church of the Nativity. Currently the church is in the midst of major restorations. During the restorations Some mosaics on the walls were discovered. These mosaics are made of gold leaf and small fragments of glass called tessera. The ones we could see were beautiful. The line to see the place where Jesus was born was very long and moved very slowly (it took us almost an hour to get through the line). The long wait and jostling was beginning to wear on everyone's nerves. But then you were seeing and touching the spot and nothing else mattered. It was a deeply emotional experience for all of us on our bus. Many of the people were brought to tears. Although I didn't cry, I was surprised at how deeply I was affected. After that are looked at some more of the restoration.

    From there we went to lunch and then went to the Shepherd's field where the shepherds heard the good news of Jesus' birth. There is a church on the property. Visiting these two sites will broaden how I experience Christmas and the images that will come to mind when I think about the birth of Christ.

    From there we drove to Mt. Zion to see the Upper Room and the house of Caiaphas. The original building that housed the upper room was destroyed. It was replaced by another church. The original upper and the house of Caiaphas were in the same area. Jesus would have walked down the same path to get to the Garden of Gethsemane freely that he walked backup in chains. In Caiaphas' house we saw the jail Jesus was lowered into before he appeared before Pilot.

    When we returned to the hotel, we had a little more than 15 minutes to change cloths legit ready to leave for our dinnerina Christian home. There was a long line to get on the elevator. I thought it would be quicker to take the stairs. It was quicker to take the stairs, but since we are on the 8th floor, it was anything but easy. Marian switched to an elevator on the 4th floor, but stubborn me continued onto the 8th floor.

    109 members of the tour had dinner with 22 families. Marian, Pat, Janie and I had dinner together with one of the families. The dinner with the family was a wonderful experience. We met the wife, mother, 2 daughters (one married and one engaged), a son-in-law, a frience and the granddaughter. The food was very good and the conversation very informative. The family is a Christian Palestinian family. It was enlightening to hear them describe life for them. I really enjoyed this dinner experience.

    All in all the day was great. I just wish I had not felt so rushed to get to the dinner.
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  • Day6

    Fifth Day of Touring

    March 4 in Israel

    Today was a more leisurely day. The weather was a bit warmer today. We were about 10 or 20 minutes late heading out, but traffic was light, so were able to make good time. I really enjoyed Masada. We took a cable car to the top. Masada, based on the ruins, is an impressive place. And the history of Masada is just as impressive. It was a bit crowded, but most of the groups tried to give each other room.

    After lunch (a Falafel sandwich for me) we headed for the Dead Sea. We got into the Dead Sea on a public beach. Pat and Janie decided to pass on floating on the Dead Sea, but they kept our backpacks. Janice took some pictures. Marian & I decided to skip spreading mud on our body. The area we floated in was not very deep, so it was easier to start floating. Joyce, one of the women on my bus, was afraid of the water, but didn't want to miss the experience of floating in the Dead Sea. I told her I would hold her hand and not let go until she was floating. It only took a minute for her to float and she was so excited when she felt herself floating. We were all whooping and cheering and laughing when she started floating. We all stayed in the Dead Sea for about an hour. After showering and getting dressed we headed back for dinner.

    Yesterday we got our group pictures. Marian and I have been working to match the photos in the group picture with the names onlitare received in our travel packet.

    Tomorrow we tour Jerusalem. I am looking forward to seeing the city where so much in Scripture took place.
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  • Day8

    Sixth Day of Touring

    March 6 in Israel

    Today we visited sites within the old city of Jerusalem. Our first step was the archaeological site of the Pool of Bethesda We walked the Via Dolorosa. The road of the Via Dolores is very narrow. There are shops along the road which a reminder that except for the products the road is very much the way it was when Jesus walled the roads. There were also cars on the road. It is not really what goes world have encountered, but He would have encountered donkies.

    The last site on the Via Dolorasa is the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. When we got to their to see the tomb, our guide, Victor, asked if we wanted to stand in line for an hour. The answer was a resounding "yes!". Seeing the tomb and all that went before His death was very moving. The remainder of Lent and Easter will be different for me this year.

    After lunch we went to the Western Wall (also known as the Wailing Wall). I did not know before that there are separate sections for men and women. We were invited to write out a prayer and put it in a crevices in the wall (which I did). Twice a year the prayers are gathered up and buried in the Mount of Olives.

    After dinner we attended the Sound and Light Show at the Tower of David. It is a celebration of the Jewish history and the Jewish Temple done through sound and images projected on the walls of the Jewish Museum. The show presents the history from 1006 BCE to the present It was very impressive.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

West Jerusalem, Westjerusalem, Vestjerusalem, מערב ירושלים, Vest-Jerusalem, Västra Jerusalem

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