After breakfast at the Olive Tree Hotel we traveled beyond the Kidron Valley and we were able to look back over the valley and see this view of the Old City. It was breathtaking. We first visited the Jewish cemetery overlooking the Kidron Valley.
We walked down to the Dominus Flevit Church which marks Jesus’ weeping over the city where we had a brief time of reflection. We went to the Garden of Gethsemane where there were Olive Trees that stood there long before even the time of Christ.
Next to the existing garden was the Church of All Nations which was built in 1924 around the rock over which Jesus agonized.
We left Jerusalem and went to Bethlehem. Where we went to the Church of the Nativity and St. Catharine’s. The church is administered jointly by Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Armenian Apostolic and the Syriac orthodox churches and there are often fights over its use and maintenance.
Sadly, for those of us visiting, much of the church is under renovation which changed the experience.
Visitors to this church are not the only people who seek Jesus. Two thousand years go there were Shepherds in the fields near Bethlehem that hear the news of a child born in a manger. The visitation of these shepherd is remembered with a chapel and preservation of the fields around it.
We also visited the Herodium which is a remarkable archaeological site and then we went to a shop that makes a sells olive wood carvings.