Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Mount Zion and En Kerem

After an adventurous few days up North, we had a day full of relaxation and watching movies/ X Files! Sunday was pretty low key and nice just to hang out with family and not do much of anything. Monday was a good, low key day as well. Elaine, Rachel, Nana, and I went to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum here in Israel.  I have had previous experience with Holocaust museums and learning about when happened in the 1930's, but it was still a somber experience. This museum is very well laid out and has an excellent portrayal of what happened from the very beginning to the end. 

Tuesday was another super fun day. Eric, Nana, Brother Elliott, and I all went to Mount Zion and En Kerem. Our first stop was St. Peter in Gallicantu. Early Christians associated this site with the Palace of Caiaphas. This site overlooks the Qidron, Hinnom, and the Tyropoean Valley's as well as the Mount of Olives and Mount Scopus.


1st century steps that Christ very well may have walked on

Temple Mount behind us

We then walked up some massive hills (while Eric pushed Nana in her wheelchair) of Mount Zion where we went in to Coenaculum which is traditionally where the Last Supper was. We then hopped over to the Dormitian Abbey which is a traditional site of Christ's mother Mary's death. 

We then got back in the car and drove up to En Kerem. It was so beautiful and green. We walked through the small little city a bit and made our past Mary's Spring where Mary stopped for water on her way to visit Elizabeth after she learned she was pregnant with Jesus. We also saw a few churches that commemorate The Visitation, the meeting of Mary and Elizabeth, and John the Baptist. Unfortunately, they were closed as as most churches during the lunch hour it seems here, but we were still able to get some nice views of the grounds and understand why they are important points in history for us. 

Mary's Spring is behind us. It used to be very large, but in the modern day, water is now diverted elsewhere for people to use and only a small amount still comes all the way down. 

St. John the Baptist church