Jerusalem for Everyone
1 Day to Jerusalem
We start at the Desert viewpoint on Mount Scopus, looking over the Judean desert, Jordan Valley, West Bank and the northern tip of the Dead Sea, understanding how the unique topography of Israel has shaped its history, as well as the current political situation.
We drive shortly to Mount of Olives panoramic lookout over the Old City of Jerusalem, listening to the famous Ika's lecture – 2,600 years of history in 26 minutes (!).
After taking some breathtaking pictures at the lookout, we drive or walk down the slopes of Mount of Olives to "the Garden of Gethsemane", where Jesus was betrayed and captured on the last night of his life. Here, overlooking Judgment Valley, we discuss the historical background of Jesus and the roots of the Messianic idea in early Judaism that later evolved into Christianity as a separate religion.
We drive shortly around the walls of the Old City to Jaffa Gate and walk into the Old City.
We walk through the Christian Quarter and may take a break coffee & cake in a traditional local coffee shop. Then, we visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, where Jesus is thought to have been executed buried and resurrected. Then we walk through the Marketplace (Suq, Bazaar) and part of theVia Dolorosa (Pathway of Agony, The 14 Stations of the Cross), the Muslim Quarter and then to theWestern (Wailing) Wall.
We walk back and cross the Jewish Quarter to meet our car/bus and drive back to the hotel.
2 Days to Jerusalem
We start at the desert viewpoint on Mount Scopus, looking over to the Judean desert, Jordan Valley, West Bank and the northern tip of the Dead Sea, understanding how the unique topography of Israel has shaped its history, as well as the current political situation.
We drive shortly to Mount of Olives panoramic lookout over the Old City of Jerusalem, getting the famous "Ika's lecture" – 2,600 years of history in 26 minutes"(!). After taking some unavoidable pictures at the lookout, we drive or walk down the slopes of Mount of Olives to The Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus was betrayed and captured at the last night of his life. Here, overlookingJudgment Valley, we discuss the historical background of Jesus and the roots of the Messianic idea in early Judaism that later on had evolved to Christianity as a separate religion.
Then we walk down and cross Judgment Valley (the biblical Kidron valley), stop by Absalom tomband other ancient Jewish monumental mausoleums, walk up and enter into the site called The City of David.
Here we may watch a short 3D narrated documentary about "Where it had all begun". It is one of the most impressive archeological sites in the world, mostly underground in water cisterns and sewage canals, most of which has been unearthed in the recent few years. The dramatic climax of the 2.5-3 hours excursion will be at the end of it – stepping out from under the ground right by the Western Wall, under Robinson's Arch! Then we explore rest of the archeological park by the western and southern walls of Temple Mount. We may as well visit the interesting small museum there at theDavidson Center.
After that we visit the Wailing Wall to touch, pray and leave a note with a wish at the holiest place for the Jewish people.
Drive back to the hotel.
Start our day by walking into the Old City to the entrance to Temple Mount, nearby the Wailing Wall, to visit the platform on top of which stand The Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqssa Mosque. In the last few years non-Muslims cannot visit the inside of the 2 impressive mosques so it's only strolling aroundTemple Mount, appreciating the site on top of which once stood the Temple, the holiest Jewish place, now the third holiest place in the world for Muslims. No wonder this is such a sensitive place, religiously and politically.
We leave Temple Mount and walk through the Muslim Quarter and part of the Via Dolorosa to TheChurch of the Holy Sepulcher, where Jesus is thought to have been executed, buried and resurrected.
We continue strolling through the allies of the Old City, crossing the Jewish quarter and its 1,500 years old Cardo, the main artery of every ancient Roman city.
After a lunch break we drive to the Museum of Israel to see the famous miniature model of Jerusalem in the 2nd Temple period and the Shrine of the Book, dedicated to the Dead Sea Scrollsand other biblical manuscripts. Continue exploring the other magnificent sections of the museum until closing time.