|View of Jerusalem from the Church of Dominus Flevit|
We had a very early start, leaving our hotel at 8am. Today was the opportunity to visit some of the key Christian sites in Jerusalem. Thankfully, it was a warm sunny day, with little wind and blue skies – perfect.
We were to follow the route Jesus took on Palm Sunday when he entered Jerusalem to the adoration of the crowds. We drove to the top of the Mount of Olives, to the Church of the Ascension. Then we set off walking down the steep road towards the kidron valley, stopping off at the Church of the Pater Noster, where Jesus taught the disciples to pray, Dominus Flavit, where Jesus saw the view above and wept over Jerusalem. Onwards again to the garden of gethsemane and the Church of all Nations.
Then back on the coach for a drive through East Jerusalem, to a falafel shop where we stopped for a wonderful falafel sandwich.
Refreshed, we embarked on the second part of the day, the route of the Via Dolorosa, the way of sorrows. We started at the Bethesda Church where Jesus healed the paralysed man, then along the 14 stations of the cross, ending at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. It is a busy route through the old market.
It was a moving experience walking in the steps of Jesus and seeing so many of the places that we read in the Bible.
We were back at the hotel just in time to meet Sami Awad, from the Holy Land Trust. He talked to us about peace and justice in the Holy Land. As we drive around and see signs of the conflict - the separation wall, the checkpoints, the soldiers, we cannot help but weep over Jerusalem today.