Last night we heard lots of gun fire and sirens. Not certain what it was about but lots of it. Today the soldiers, complete with bullet proof vests, hand grenades, and loaded automatic weapons with guns in belts, were everywhere. No lack of fire arms here. The Temple Mount was open for a few hours and along the way the soldiers had their bullet proof full body shields and helmets too. Of course we went through another security check. We were on the Temple Mount for over an hour and everything was quiet, but they were sure prepared for whatever happened. A definite culture change from Satellite Beach! Anyway, one has to wonder what all the fuss is about. When we toured the underground tunnels of the Western Wall, we learned a great deal. In short, any story you remember from the Bible, Torah, or Koran happened on the “foundation rock” which is now marked by the Muslim, Dome of the Rock. Adam was conceived there, Cain slew Abel, both Jewish temples were built there, and then Mohammad flew to heaven and was given the Koran. So, every religion wants the Holy of Holies as the rock is called. The Western Wall is the closest to the rock so hence why it is most holy. Jesus was tempted by the devil there too. Again, I was shocked at how close everything is. I don’t know why I always thought we were talking long distances. I guess it makes sense because they walked everywhere they went. Solomon’s temple was there and then came Herod. Herod’s temple was the most lavish and funded by the Romans so there was money to burn and Herod was quite the architect.
The underground tunnels were fascinating and we exited in the Muslim Quarter. We were told we could shop if we wanted, but there would be guards ahead and behind us – guns of course. We stuck close to the group and did not shop. Back through more security and we finally were back in the Jewish Quarter.
If you saw the picture of the upper room, site of the Last Supper, I don’t know whether you were as surprised as I was. I always envisioned some poor attic like place. It was very fancy, complete with art work.
Well, Jerusalem is certainly geared toward the vegetarian. I haven’t yet seen a menu with even chicken much less beef. I knew pork was out. There is fish and lots and lots of salads. I’m starving!