We went into the old city today and it was crazy. We started by going to the mount of Olives and overlooking the whole city. It was a really awesome view and we took a group picture there. We went into the gates of the city and looked around the pool of Bethesda. It was where people used to go to get healed once a year. St. Anne's church was right next to that so we went in and sang in there. It echoed like crazy so it sounded really loud and cool. Some other group clapped for us afterwards, so it was kind of funny! We went down to the place where Jesus started his journey with the cross. We walked on the entire path and it was pretty long. There were street vendors everywhere trying to get everyone to buy something. It was really nuts. We went to this church where Jesus tomb was and 4 different religions own it together so there are a bunch of churches there. Golgotha is also in that church and you can see the mountain and supposedly the spot where Jesus died. It was a really neat place put there were tons of people praying and kissing the stuff there and crying and stuff. The things and the location of where things happened are so important to so many people here, I am realizing how unimporant that is to me. It is cool to see the area and imagine what is was like, but to me those places aren't any holier than any other places.
We are some good lunch and had pomigranite juice to drink. It was really good... we shopped a bit and walked through the city some more. It was Shabbat and we went to the wailing wall, which used to be the western wall of the temple before it was destroyed. People were praying and crying and putting prayers in the wall. We had to cover our heads and got yelled at for writing on Shabbat. We went to the place where Peter denied Jesus and where he was held after he was arrested. It was a really cool place.
We had another lecture this night and we went to a place afterwards where a lot of US Expatriots hang out. We didn't meet anyone, but is was a cool place. T.C. and I had an adventure after that. He needed to go to an ATM and so I went with him so he wouldn't be by himself. We got lost and took a wrong turn into a parking lot. The people there were asking us for money and we told them no, but then they got mad at us becuase they thought we had parked in the lot and weren't going to pay them. We took off down the street and passed by St. George's church, it was lit up and really beatiful so we stopped and looked through the gate. We got harrassed by the guard, so we took off. We finally found that ATM and when T.C. was using it this police van came speeding down the road and peeled out around the corner. It slammed on its brakes and stopped right in front of us. This dude in the passenger seat jumped out and he had a machine gun. We thought that one of those people called the police on us for some reason and it was really freaky. The dude just got behind T.C. in line to use the ATM and that was all. Wow... my legs were a little shaky :-)