Jerusalem

We had the opportunity to tag along with my husband on one of his work trips to Israel.  This was his 4th or 5th time going, but our 1st.  We flew out on the same day but on different airlines.  Baby Girl and I flew El Al, which is an Israeli airlines and he flew Lufthansa.  I have to say that I have never been questioned so much before getting on a flight.  I was questioned before I even got to the counter to drop my bags.  Not that it’s a bad thing, I certainly understand the extra security.  It was a weird feeling though to be so heavily scrutinized.

This was my first time flying alone with my daughter.  Once I got to my gate, I was getting everything organized and I decided I had better change her diaper before getting on the plane.  I opened my diaper bag to find…1 diaper.  Mom fail!  I had only one diaper to last me 4+ hours until I could get to my checked baggage where the rest of the diapers were.  Not going to lie, I was panicking a little.  Luckily I spotted another mom with a baby and asked her for some extras.  Thank goodness for her!

The flight wasn’t too bad, but it was definitely a challenge.  Little lady had passed the age of just sleeping calmly for the whole flight.  She was more active and had more difficulty falling asleep.  I was trying to keep her asleep while I had my meal.  One wrong kick and my food would’ve gone everywhere.

I was able to easily meet up with Hubby (who was upgraded to first class on his flight) once we arrived in Tel Aviv.  From there, he took care of the rental car and got us to our hotel.

All ready to go!

The next morning we set out early to Jerusalem, about an hour away from Tel Aviv.  As we neared the city and started getting out of the car, it was hard for me not to notice the very heavy police and military presence.  I remember asking a few times if this was normal, to which Hubby assured me it was.  It had a double feeling of safety and concern.  They are there being vigilant and making sure nothing does happen, but it is a little unnerving when you aren’t used to it.

Our first stop was the Western Wall, or Wailing Wall as it is also known.  This is considered the most holy site of the Jewish faith.  It is the remaining outer wall of the Second Temple which housed the Temple Mount.  Where the Temple used to be is now the Dome of the Rock, a Mosque.  This site is considered very sacred by more than one religion, and it is easy to start to see why there has been so much conflict here.

We took a tour of the Western Wall tunnels.  For me it was really helpful to get more background on the history of the building and amazing to see something constructed so long ago.

After our tour it was time for a little bit of lunch.  It was shawarma and hummus for everyone!  This little lady really enjoyed it!

After lunch we marched up to the top of this tower to get some views over the city.

Dome of the Rock from the tower

 We also shopped through the markets.  Here we are checking out hand carved olive wood.

Last stop of the day was the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.  For Christians, this church holds an extremely holy site.  Inside is thought to be where the crucifixion of Jesus Christ took place.  Of course the church was built after and did not exist at the actual time.

This is a picture of where the cross would have been placed in the ground.
Mosaic inside the church.

There is a small shrine built within the church that is supposed to be the site where Jesus was entombed for three days.  However we overheard a tour guide talking about how the actual site was this tiny hole in the wall off to the side.

Possibly Jesus’ tomb?

This is on the upper floor of the church and is where Jesus’ body would’ve been physically on the cross.

 It’s hard to express the feeling you get visiting a place like this.  For everyone it would be different and obviously it depends on what your beliefs are.  For me the weight and importance of this location was surreal.  It’s hard to believe I was really in the place of Jesus’ crucifixion and burial.  I am so thankful I had the chance to visit, and reflect.

Jerusalem is at the center of three major world religions.  Each faith has some extremely holy sites in the area.  Even if you are not a follower of any of them, it is interesting to see the convergence of these faiths in one place.  There is so much history as well, a day was not enough to do the city justice.  However, we made the most of our day and were able to see some amazing things.  Hubby was our guide for the day, and we were lucky he had visited before so he could show us around!  Thanks Honey, you were a great tour guide!