Day 1 … Mount of Olives, Garden of Gethsemie and Church of John the Baptist…

Bloody hell is this still the first full day???

Alarm call 7am, busy day ahead after a good nights sleep …. breakfast was, well how can i say it … err interesting … so much, actually too much choice … pepper seemed to be the common denominator it was on most things … oh and eggs lots of eggs.

Nipped up to the room to pick laptop up to stick in the hotel safe … Sally-Ann took the stairs … I couldnt be bothered, took the lift which stopped with a sickening crunch between two floors, manic pressing of buttons brought no joy so picked up the in-lift phone to ring reception … they didnt seem too concerned … 20 seconds later all the lights went out for about 1 minute (seemed like ages) while they “rebooted” the lift …. still managed to get my favourite seat in the bus though …

Our driver kept me suitably entertained on the journey up to the top of the Mount of Olives with more manic gesturing, horn hooting and last minute overtakes.

Reached the top just after 8.30 and the heat was rising … made more pleasureable by a cool breeze, went into the cave where Jesus (and many others who couldnt afford accommodation) stayed on the journey into Jerusalem and then followed the Palm Sunday route down the side of the Mount … glad i was going down not up.

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Cave on top of the Mount of Olives

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This guy was just standing here …. bless his furry face!

Half way down the Mount I did get asked if I wanted to sell Sally-Ann? I have to say I did enquire what was he willing to pay and he pulled out a stack of dollars easily $1000 … I was tempted of course always being on the look out for a deal but the show stopper was the number of camels to be thrown in …. a couple of camels and I might be writing a different story!

Lasting image from the day was really the rows of graves on the side of the Mount that stretch as far as the eye can see … we cant see our dead but with Jerusalem built on a rock there’s no digging down, every grave is on the surface …. stunning sight …

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Graves as far as the eye can see ….

At the bottom of the Mount we went into the Garden of Gethsemenie … to see it in reality was fantastic including the 2000 year old olive trees … truly beautiful …

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The Garden …

Lunch was at the Church of Scotland’s guest house on the West side of the city, great food and not a haggis in sight!! Before heading further out of town to visit the church in the village of John the Baptist … beautiful building … very Greek with its tiled walls and loads of icons.

… hotel, Food, couple of beers, blog and then bed … 6.30 start in the morning for a hectic day inside the old walled city … I’ve been pre-warned its hot, busy and mad … no point in apologising to the crowds its make a space time!!!

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