Today we had a look around Jerusalem. We are a small group of three. Both Luke and I have been to Jerusalem multiple times, and the student that is with us will see the traditional tour sites in a couple weeks after the dig. Luke will have additional people join him after the dig and they will take a tour through Israel.
Because of this we are able to go to places that are not normally visited by large tour groups.
We started off the day with a good breakfast. A bit of a difference from my breakfasts in Germany last week. However, this will be similar to what we have for breakfast at the dig.
One of the stops was the courtyard of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher to check and see if the ladder was still there. We will visit here again next weekend to checkout the interior. There are a few specific spots within the complex that I want to revisit.
We also made a stop at the Church of St. Anne and the pools of Bethesda. Someday I must write a blog post about this interesting complex.
Here is a view of the Temple Mount from the Kidron Valley. Here you can see the Eastern or Golden Gate. The gate is closed and there is some interesting reasons behind this. However, that is a subject for another post someday.
Here we look up to the South-East corner of the Temple Mount. Imagine a wall that is even higher as it was at the time of Christ. There are some that suggest that it was from a tower on this corner of the temple where Satan tempted Jesus to jump. You cans see how far down he would have fallen.
We then walked up to the base of the Temple Mount and made a quick visit to a few places just outside the Dung Gate.
We had our lunch on the way back to the Jaffa Gate area.
In the afternoon we spent more than three hours at the Tower of David Museum. There are great views of the city from the towers of the citadel. The museum covers over 4,000 years of the history of the city of Jerusalem. The exhibits begin in the time of the Canaanites and you walk forward in time to the last century.
Tomorrow we will be traveling to Lachish where we will be digging back through thousands of years of history.