Israel Trip : The Wall & Day 4

Before i continue to our 4th day.

i want to share this first with you

we went here on our 3rd day. when we about going back to the hotel. 

if you think that it’s just a normal graffiti done by the youngsters there, like we have it in Somerset (scape park), Singapore.

too bad, it is not. 

it’s Palestine-Israel border wall.

 

it was made by the Israeli to separate them from Palestine. 

a kind of an action that they made to protect themselves from the Palestinians.

we always thought that Palestine are full with unfriendly people, like what many media portrayed.

but when we were there, they are actually not that bad..

well.. while we took some pictures here. some people did scream at us in a language that we dont understand.. 

maybe they think it’s an offense by taking our ‘touristy’ pictures there. 

but we already asked our tour guide.

and apparently he said okay. so. why not? haha

we want it simply because we found it interesting and historical in one way or another. haha.

 

i thought it’s just a normal border wall. like to let people know that they are entering Palestine.

like we enter Johor, Malaysia from Singapore.

and i just knew it means more than that. 

we got a chance to chat with a Palestinian.

started with a light conversation that was made by our friend, Raimond.

 

‘do you play basketball?’

‘yes, how do you know?’

..

and the conversation went deeper. 

we asked him some questions about Palestine and all. 

and to my surprise, he was willing to share.

he said it’s like living in a little prisoner there. they are not allowed to enter Israel whenever they want. 

they need visa to go to Israel. 

and its not easy to get the visa. *he showed us his visa and ID too, maybe we have this disbelief face, until he  showed us his.*

 

like if you applied it today. there’s no guarantee that they will grant you in 2 weeks time. or 1 month time. etc etc. *where we as a normal tourist, we need to apply visa 6 weeks before arrival.. some timeline they gave us. so at least we know what to expect*

and the duration of the visa is up them also. they c to an give you 3 moths of stay, maybe less or more. it’s really up to them. 

we also asked, then why you dont go for another country.

and he said. they just cant. it’s very difficult to get the visa as well, and cost a bomb to them too. 

because the salary there is not much, and the government cant do anything about it.

so sad to hear this kind of story. hopefully things will get easier for all of them. 

 

On a lighter note.

we proceed to..

 

Day 4

The Upper Room – known as the room of Last Supper.

forgot to take how the whole room looks like.. =(

the room is quite small. maybe like a 3 bedded apartment in Singapore but without any partitions. hehe.

the room is a very simple room with a little bit of decoration.

apparently this room is symbolic. not a really exact place where God pours down the Holy Spirit to the 120 people (Acts 2)

 

but this place leaves a special place in my heart.

i can feel the presence of God soo strong there eventho its symbolic. (sorry if i sound weird for those of you who are not Christian. hehe.. but that’s truly what i felt)

we prayed there as well for us, our future and our TLG *our youth* congregations too.. hehe..  

and when we prayed there, it felts so nice.. like i dont want stop praying and praising God. it feels like.. home.. 

then it comes to my thinking. why the presence of God is so strong there eventho it’s only a symbolic place?

and ive got the answer.

it’s about expectations. 

it’s about our way of thinking.

before i left for Israel, i have a yearning to pray in the upper room (well. since we didnt go there with pastor, we wont have any sessions unless we pray there by ourselves)

 

i have expectations that it will be a very great praying session..

i want God to do something with me like what He did to the 120 people there. 

i have this mindset that God is there.. 

and i think that is why i felt the atmosphere is different there..

God gave it when you are expecting things from Him. hehe.. 

our first group photo after upper room

– the king David with his harp –

 

Ein Karem – birthplace of John the Baptist

you can found this ‘decorated hole’ in every church that is believed to be someone’s important birth place.

in this case is John the baptized. 

so you can touch that and pray in the altar as well.

 

 

and somewhere there we found PAULANER! hahaha.. 

i dont expect to see this cafe/bar somewhere near a church. 

and somemore it’s in Israel. haha..

guess they know how to indulge themselves too. muahahha. 

and a little nice cafe beside paulaner.

ahhh.. how i wanted to just sit there and relax and sheltered myself from the hot hot sunn.. *fiuhhh*

Yad Vashem – the Holocaust Museum

 view at the back of Holocaust Museum

It’s world largest Holocaust Museum. it’s a nice museum i may say, in terms of building and how they set the place. and yet a very sentimental place too. 

they displayed everything that can display there.

like the history of Hitler, belongings of the victims, videos of people who survived the Holocaust, who saved them, and what countries they fled to. etc etc.

i still cant comprehend why this Hitler guy hated Jews so much.. 

and im still in ‘awe’ on how he can managed to take over other Europe countries at that point of time, and tell the government to kill all the Jews there.. 

many stories there that is very heartbreaking.

like there’s a story from a woman who once lived in Holland, if im not mistaken, she comes from a Jews family. and when the Nazis want to take their family, her mother quickly hide her in a cupboard and only said to her ‘go to aunt … house’. and that’s it. that’s the last word that she heard from her mother. =(

and the Nazis have million ways to eliminate the Jews as well.

with the concentration camp, killing the mentally ill with some gasses in the back of an old truck.

Stuffing them on the train with less air and without food given, and let the train runs for 10 days. 

and tell them to dig their own graves and shot them after that.. 

hoahh.. what a frustrating facts. 

after this we went to..

 

Pool of Bethesda

a pool whereby the sick can get healed if he/she stepped in to the pool when the angel troubled the water. 

(John 5)

 they said the real Bethesda Pool is deep down there.. 

but they left a pretty ruins i may say.. hehe..  

and our last stop for the day is

 

Via Dolorosa (the way of Jesus’ suffering)

all of us know that Jesus need to take the cross and walk in a very hot, long and winding road before they crucified them..

and to my surprise as well. the christian and the catholic have a different believe on this via dolorosa thing.

the christian believe that Jesus has walked this way, lets say the right path.. 

but the catholic said that Jesus walked to the left. 

and both of them build a church there. hauhaua..

well.. *mau2 mereka dehh* 

and today we just walked the via dolorosa. so we dont go the catholic / christian churches yet.

and another surprise.

it is now a very bigg market.. *like Grand Bazaar in Turkey maybe* haha

*jadi kurang begitu ada kesan sentimental.nya disini. hehehe*

the Damascus gate, if im not mistaken. hahaha.

the old one is below there..

and the new one is up here.. hehe.

that’s all for my 4th day. 

hope you enjoyed the read. =)

 

Israel Trip : Day 1-3

Day 1

After all the emotional ups and downs of preparing for the trip.

and after 2 hrs of flight delay accompanied by 40 dollars complimentary food and beverages for 2 given by Turkish Airlines.+ 15 hrs flight ( inclusive 3 hrs transit in Istanbul airport)

 

Day 2

finally..

we arrived safe and sound at Tel Aviv – Ben Gurion airport..!

and got to breathe on the land that we called Holly.. *woohooo..

the airport is quite big.. and required 5-7 mins walk for us to get to the passport control from our arrival gate.

during our immigration. we need to remind the officer not to chop their stamp on our passport.

why?

as we are Indonesian. we cant have Israel chop on our passport, or else it will be difficult for us to go back to Indonesia. they both just dont have any formal diplomatic relations.. 

we heard some stories (not sure if it’s real) that people need to lie that they have lost their passport and made the new one because he/she forgot to remind the officer not to chop and vise versa. 

Once we got out from the immigration, collected our luggage & changed our money to shekel (Israel currency)

Mike Sayyad – a 60+ years old man with a vast tour guide experience and a CEO of  an Israel’s travel agent company a.k.a our private tour guide already waited outside to pick us up. hehe..

 

oh ya.. btw.. we have our own private tour in Israel.. just the 5 of us. haha..

supposedly more than 5 of us.. 

but some people decided to shift to another group that cover more cities and places, and some people just decided to go on november instead.. 

well..

having a private tour was not a bad idea at all.

it was great.. we got to safe a lot of time and had a lot of fun too. haha.

 

we thought that we can cover whatever places that is written in our ‘day 2’ itinerary.

since it was just 4pm local time if im not mistaken. (Singapore is 5 hrs ahead of Israel)

but too bad..

our tour guide said that we cant go there since most of holy sites are closed by 5pm.

 

so. we went straight to the hotel that took about 45 mins from the airport.

and voila ! our 1st hotel..

 

St. Michael Hotel

located at Bethlehem, Palestine 

actually i dont know that Bethlehem is in Palestine..

so yeahh.. i have been to Palestine too! hahaha.. 

im not sure if Bethlehem is controlled by the Israeli or the Palestine.

 

– At the moment, Bethlehem is in the Palestinian controlled West Bank. However,geographically, it is in the territory that is traditionally known as Israel. Politics does strange things to maps sometimes.- wikitravel – 

 

what we know is, it is difficult for the Palestinians to go to Israel *will share this more on later post*

but for tourist like us. we just need to flash our passport and our entry card that is given by the Israel embassy (so called like visa i think) if required.  

the hotel is small  nice and cozy i may say.

and they provide wi-fi..

so we can stay connected to our loved ones eventho we were far away. #firstworldproblem huh? haha.

 

ohh.. and some English channels..! ahahha.. *We once stayed in one hotel that is veryyyy difficult to even find 1 channel that we could understand. haha.. and trust me.. it was frustrating to listen to those language that u are not familiar with.. and somemore.. i am a girl who somehow cant  live without TV. haha.. another first-world problem. 

 

introducing my room mates for the past 16 days. amel and ci bombie.. hehe.. 

sorry for the blur pics.. i was not used to my new camera yet. hihi.. 

Day 3

Mount Olives : view of The old city of Jerusalem

a classic pictures that you will always find in Israel posters and those people who went for Pilgrimage. haha. 

sooo many tourists up there to take pictures,

also many tour guide explaining what’s down there all about. 

and a camel too..! haha.. they put it there for the tourist of course.. 

 

our tour guide gave us rough explanations what is the gold plated dome is, and pointed the way where Jesus walked to and fro before the crucifixions.. 

trust me.. it was a very tiring journey for Jesus to walk by foot from the garden of Gethsemane, to Pontius Pilate house to High Priest Caiaphas, etcetc until the via dolorosa.. *pheww.. 

 

From up there..

we walked down to the bottom of Mount Olives. 

*it’s kinda steep and narrow road down there.. so, if you are thinking to go there.. u are in great need of a good pair of shoes..* 

 

Garden of Gethsemane 

FYI. truth to be told.. not all sites here are the exact place where Jesus sat, or walked or did the miracles.

some places are just symbolic, just predictions by the archaeologists. 

and i just knew that when Mike was trying to explain things to us up there.. haaa.. *ketauan i dont do much research before the trip. haha*

 

quite a disappointing moment to be honest.. since i thought i really gonna stand, walk and sit in the place where Jesus reallyyyy reallyyy was 2013 years ago. haha.. 

 they already modified the garden and we cant go in there.

Mike said that some trees inside have lived for more than 900 years old.

you guys will be seeing a lot of churches pics in my blog. haha

why?

hmpp.. another truth to be told.. the olden people like the Byzantines or Crusaders or the Ottoman like to build churches on a land where is believed that.. something historical about Jesus were happened around there. *lalallaa*

dont ask me who are they.. cause they kinda confused me.. and im not that good in history. hahaha.. you can ask wikipedia if u are interested with them.. haha.. 

 

ohh.. and those who are behind me on the last picture in Gethsemane are Vietnamese, and i saw a lot of Nigerian and other nationalities too.  

and im actually happy to see many people come from all around the world just too visit this ‘Holy Land’ which means.. many people are interested to know who Jesus our Savior is.. hehe..  i am happy when people are eager to know more about Him.. 

 

The Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu – High Priest Caiaphas’ house. 

proceed to the place where Jesus was imprisoned in Caiaphas’ house. and this site is authentic.

*tempat ini ada memori tersendiri dan ada unsur2 emosional gimana gt.. hoho*

 

i somehow felt very emotional in this place.. i didnt cry.. 

it’s just a sad place i think..

 believed to be Jesus’ chamber when He stayed one night at Caiaphas’ house.

a very small and cold chamber..

even the wall are cold at day.. cant imagine when how cold it was when you dont wear anything but underwear. hauhua.. 

it’s a hole that Jesus or other prisoner used to go in and out of their chamber.

 

yes.. it was only a hole. no stairs or whatsoever. 

so, they said. the guard will tie the prisoners hand to put them in and pull them out from the chamber.. *ouchh moment.

 

Lunchiee

went to some Arabic restaurant at Bethlehem’s City Centre for our lunch..

it was a different very kind of lunch for us and a very nice one too! hehe.

 pita bread with hummus and other dipping that i dont even know the name and what it was. haha.

 a very yummy lamb and chicken kebab

and a veryy sweet delights.. *i dont really like this tho.. too sweet for me..* haha

ohh.. and a really nice deco too.. hehe

and introducing you ko raimond and ci gill! hehe.. 

 

Basilica of the Nativity

believed to be the Birth Place of Jesus! 

this church is hugee.. and seems a very old ones.. 

plus this church is shared for 3 denominations.. the Armenian Apostolic, the Greek Orthodox and the Roman Catholic. 

they have a very small room inside the church.

they built an altar in that room, and made a ‘hole’ that everyone wants to touch and pray.

 

the ‘hole’ or the ‘i forgot what’s the fancy real name’ is believed to be the birth place of Jesus..

so yeahh.. that’s why everyone’s wants to touch and feel some of it.. haha..

maybe by touching it you can be brought to 2013 years ago where Mary was about to gave birth.. haha.. #apasihhjend..

and tadaa..! that’s how we spent our first 3 days.. haha..

 

will be blogging about the rest of trip gradually..

hopefully you enjoyed it.. =)

 

**nambah : voucher 40dollar di changi airport harusnya cuman bisa di pakai di BK dan di foodcourt saja.. tapi karena kebaikan Tuhan dan/atau ke clumsy – an manusia.. kita bisa pake voucher.nya di coffee bean airport.. hehehe.. makasih yahh mas coffee bean.. mudah2an dirimu ga di omelin boss dan malah dpt berkat.. hehe.. **