This morning, I was awakened at 5:30 by some noise–it turned out to be EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. of my children. Who apparently had been awake since 3am.
Jetlag, man. It’s a killer.
I went back to bed…but couldn’t sleep, thinking about everything we want to do.
So by 6:30 I was up, and we started getting ready for our first “real” day in the Old City. We first met up with Eva and LaDonna, and then decided to go to the Temple Mount and Dome of the Rock first, and then to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
We talked about mountains in our morning devotion–how God wants us to value our relationship with Him, and how we often value things that we have to work hard to obtain. Seeking God on the mountains and in the temples takes time, effort, and sacrifice, just like climbing a mountain.
Or some of the hills in the Old City, with two grandmas and a kid in a wheelchair.
To get to the Temple Mount, or Haram al-Sharif, you go to the Western Wall area (through security) and then over to the east (again through security). It was a little more complicated than I was expecting to get over to the Western Wall, but we were given great directions and people were super helpful.
The Temple Mount was marvelously uncrowded–so few people, so much less stress. Hot and sunny, but just gorgeous.
As we made our way to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the crowds began to grow and grow and grow…and the heat increased and legs started to ache and tempers started to fray.
LaDonna and Eva started to wilt at this point. They made it into the Church, and LaDonna and me and my kiddos waited in line to go into the actual tomb. It was small and very crowded, but beautiful. I was so impressed with the fervor so many of the people there showed. This was a significant part of their journey and it was so neat to see their devotion.
I chose not to take too many pictures inside the Church–I’ll be back and take more pictures later!
We crashed after the Church–Bradley took the moms home while I led our children back to our apartment. Taking a siesta in the hottest part of the day is a very good idea, we’ve decided!
We decided to walk over to the Jaffa Gate (part of the Jewish Quarter) to find some dinner. We found a great burger and sandwiches shop, and everyone found something delicious. I had a chicken shawarma sandwich with hummas and garlic tahini sauce, and it was SO good.
After walking back home in the early darkness, the breeze felt so good, and everyone was in good spirits (possibly a little over silly, too). There was some music playing where we ate, and it started out in a very ominous set of chords. We all looked around for the T-Rex or alien invasion or the rapture. Or, as someone misheard, “Velocirapture”.
“Why are there no more dinosaurs?”
“Because of the velocirapture!!!”
It was funny at the time.