After being well rested and filled his belly with levivot – the traditional Hanukkah pancakes, the little meerkat had strolled out for the promised Jerusalem grand tour.
Jerusalem is a focal point for many of the events of the Old and the New Testament and the Quran, Making it holy to the three monotheist religions.
Here on Mount Moriah lies the Foundation Stone, the spot from where the world was created, Abraham tried to sacrifice his son, and King David had built the Temple, twice destroyed, leaving only one wall still standing to the present day. In the same spot today stands a Muslim mosque, dominating the skyline of Jerusalem with its golden dome.
Jerusalem is a city that has more that 5000 years of history. In some places you can see a modern highway near the 5000 year's excavations of the king David's city. You can walk in the path that Jesus had walked in his way to the Crucifixion, and sometimes you can even step in the same cobblestones that he stepped on. You can walk the "Cardo" the Roman market road, in which present day tourist's traps are built in the same spot as there Roman predecessors 2000 years ago.
Our tour will take us to some of the important religious and tourist sites of the ancient part of the city . In the small area, surrounded by the city wall built in the 16th over foundations that are thousands years old, is cramped with archeological excavations, layers upon layers of history and some of the most important religious sites of the world.
Our tour has began in the Jaffa Gate, one of the seven gates leading to the old city of Jerusalem. To get a better view, that little meerkat had climbed over a tree to watch the view.
After entering the Jaffa Gate we walked in the colorful market and Treasure was very impressed with all the colorful items, the big pitchers of pomegranate juice and the carved nativity scenes (I'm so sorry that I didn't photograph one with Treasure).
A little turn has brought us to on of the most important streets in the Old City – Via Dolorosa ("Way of Sorrow") the path Jesus had walked in his way to the Crucifixion. Every few meters there is a monastery or a church marking on of the stations of the Cross. Unfortunately, the overcast skies didn't allow good photo.
Our next stop was the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, venerated as Golgotha, where Jesus was crucified, and is said to also contain the place where Jesus was buried and resurected.
Just inside the entrance is The Stone of Anointing, which tradition claims to be the spot where Jesus' body was prepared for burial. Treasure had awed of the inormous building and joined the many pilgrims kissing the holy stone and them waited patiently in the long line of visitors to the entrance to the tomb itself.
After visiting the Christian part of Old Jerusalem, Treasure headed to the Wailing Wall or the Western Wall (in Hebrew we call it simply "HaKotel" – THE WALL). The only remain the Temple, once built on the mountain top, the wailing wall is a part of it's western wall.
According the Jewish belief, God is always present here, listening to the prayers of the blievers, which leave them in a little notes, put inside the cracks in the wall.
Treasure had joined the many people, that came to celebrate Hanukkah. Of course he didn't miss the oportunity to speak with God directly and put his little note in the Kotel and to say some songs from Psalms.
In the evening, Treasure had joined me to Meorot – a science fiction convention: fans of science fiction and fantasy gathered from all over Isarel to speak about their favorite books. Treasure was very exited to see all the people having fun.
He also tried the con's shirt (Nifty, check the dalek and cyberman on the shirt, this is especially for you!).
My friends were very exited to see the oversees guest. We had some famous guests over the years such as Neil Gaiman and Orson Scott Card and Larry Niven. However, I believe that Treasure was the cutest of them all and he got a lot of loving all around.
Treasure got a photo opp with Vered Tochterman, a leading Israeli writer, editor and translator and from our fiesty con manager Dr. Keren Landsman, that even climbed on a chair to show him closely the model of the space telescope "Hubble". No doubt, the little meerkat was a perfect companion for this con.
In the morning, Treasure had cudlled in his sleeping bag and went to celebrate Chrismas with 5erg in Estonia. Good Luck and hope to hear from you soon!
2 weeks ago