Friday, May 13, 2016

Israel Trip – Part 3

After we enjoyed few hours at Masada National Park, my sister and I headed next to Dead Sea (or also called the Salt Sea). We took a bus going there, Google Maps is really the best travel application that time. My original plan (renting a card) didn’t materialize so the app was a great help that time! 

It was called the Dead Sea because of the huge amount of saline in the water that prevents the existence of any life form in it. Many people believe that if you just take a quick dip in it, great benefits will be felt and sometimes it can remedy any illness or sickness. Also, it is popular because they said that you can float on it and it was true, I tried it and I floated hehe. But I would recommend you to wear some special shoes (I really don’t know what you call that) as most of the rocks were covered with salt and it was so difficult to walk on them. The area has shower rooms so after you spend some dipping in the sea, you can use them for a very cheap price.

The next day, we took a bus and decided to go to Bethlehem. During that time, Google Maps brought us in a place where walls are covering the area. I was thinking that maybe there was something wrong but I realized that Bethlehem is inside the Palestine area. So a taxi driver brought us to the entrance (or border) where our passports were checked. The gate was filled with police. Once you get inside, there will be taxis that will offer you to bring you inside (with a tour guide) and will return you back to the gate.

We only had one plan that time and it was to see the ‘Church of Nativity’. It was under construction/restoration that time but we were still allowed to get inside. It was the birth place of Jesus Christ and the place was full of tourists and believers. We got the chance to see personally the place where He was birth and my sister even touched/prayed on it. It was an emotional moment and I felt some chill that time and probably others felt it too. The holiness of the place brought us to some place and a time in history.

Our next destination that day was in Mount of Olives and we directly went to the garden of Gethsemane. This was the place where Jesus went frequently with His disciples to pray. The most significant time that He prayed was the night before His crucifixion when He was betrayed. We spent few moments in it to pray. That time, new olive trees were already planted but still there were some trees (with twisted trunks) that have dated their aerial parts from the 12th century. 

Also in the Mount of Olives is the Jewish Cemetery. Some people that were buried there are famous and rabbis. It is actually an incredible place to stay if you want to see the sunrise or sunset. But there isn't much to see in it, nevertheless the view from it is quite nice.

Our last stop that day was the Church of Mary’s Tomb. I remember that during our childhood years, my sister and I were members of ‘Legion of Mary’. My sister insisted to visit this place. The church is cut into rock and there is a staircase leading down to it. It is an underground church so be careful when walking down. The place was very quiet and very well decorated. There lies and empty grave and the feeling of magical presence in the air was undeniable. 

On our last day in Israel, we visited The Garden Tomb. Every time I hear this place, the words that are entering my mind are: “He is not here, for He is risen!”. It is the highlight of my trip because it reminded me how powerful He is and how much He sacrificed for us. It is the place where He rose again. I bought my new bible in this place and I felt so blessed. It is how amazing how life brings us to a place where we have never been but it felt like we are part of it. The place is well maintained, peaceful and tranquil. My entire Israel trip was very memorable. I got to spend time and visit the holy place and was a perfect moment to bond with my sister. To see more of our photos, see below video.


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