Israel Day 8 : Mount of Beatitudes & Sea of Galilee

Okay.. bear with me people..

my Israel Blog will be finishing soon. haha..

it’s 8/12 days in Israel.. so yeah.. 

i think i wont write much in this entry. but we’ll see how it goes. haha..

firstly, i want to show you our very last hotel in Israel. 

not a very luxurious, like the previous one.. 

it’s more like a very old resort for me, whereby u still locked the room with the traditional key, only few floors there, and no wi-fi at all at the building, except the lobby. haha..

so yeah. you can always find us in the lobby every afternoon and evening, engrossed with our smart phones, giggling and spamming the instagram. haha.

but on the higher note..

our hotel is facing the Sea of Galilee.. 

i took the above pics from my instagram, so thats why the pics size is a little bit different. hehe.

we met a lot of American-Jewish there..

and got a chance to know one of the girls.

we chit-chat about 20mins.. and we learnt something new about how the Jewish preserve their race on earth by arranging a free camp to Israel and hope that some of them can fall in love, got married and give birth to more Jewish..

well. they are indirectly match-making them with some good motives, to know your more about your Jewish root. haha.

*i will talk more of this on my next post*

 

move on to my Day 7

this day was very ‘adventurous’. why?

because we are climbing to the mount – not literally,

but literally sailing on the sea where Peter walks on water 2013 years ago. hihi..

okay. so firstly is Mount of Beatitudes, the place where Jesus deliver the “Happy” sermon on the Mount. hehe..

well.. like i said we did not literraly hike the Mount, because they already furbished it with some souvenir shop at the entrance, decorate the whole path with water fountain and “Happy” verses along the way to the church.

yess.. like most of the ‘sacred’ places, they’ll surely built up a church on it.

*thank God for CROCS! this flat-shoes really comfortable for travelling* hehe

 they also have the monastery house there.. owh. i think it’s a pretty buildings and garden. hehe..

*if you place this somewhere else, it just looks like some rich people’s house, isnt it? haha*

 

The city of Capernaum.

A town in Galilee where Jesus taught in synagogue and healed the man who was possessed by an evil spirit (Luke 4:31-36)

not much to see here, and somemore the weather on that day is not friendly at all.

i think that’s the hottest day ever in my whole trip. haha

but i like the ruins of the synagogue. it’s just sooo nicee. i love the big pillars.

like i travelled back to some ancient greek time, where Zeus is still known as a god of the greeks.

 ci bom with her triple protection : sunblock, hat and umbrella hahaha

gigantic crocodile tongue. ahahaha.. i mean aloe vera.. 

is there any other name than aloe vera? cause it doesnt sounds right for a plant.

aloe vera drink just sounds better. haha.  

 

the Sea of Galilee

okay.. this is one of a kind experience. because we sailed on the sea where Jesus asked Peter to walk on the water, and it was my very first sermon on the boat.. haha.. *sounds very tacky*

we also have small session there,

firstly we get to know others first (since we are together with some other small group that came from all over the world), then we sing some songs and he finally he shared something about Faith.

well.. i think all pastors will share the same thing if we are talking about walking on the water.

Faith to walk on your ‘water’, the impossible. =)

 quite a big boat, right ?

i think i can jog around here. haha.

as we approaching the land..

ill see you again on my next Israel’s entrees. =)

Israel Day 7: The Other Side of Israel & It’s Authenticity

i have mentioned in earlier post that our Israel’s city tour was very laid back,

so after we finished our Day 6, Raimond suggested to see the other side of Israel city. 

and we agreed.. =)

well, except ci Bombie cause she was feeling a bit unwell that day. =(

 

i always thought that Israel have no fun place to go. haha.. 

like, no place to hang out and all.

since it’s a city of Pilgrimage, a land that is called Holly.

and also a city full of *im sorry* war.. hehe.  

 

but i was totally wrong.. 

they are very developed country in the first place.. 

they have trains! even better than Jakarta. muahahha. 

 

 

so, we went to Ben Yehuda Street.

i think it’s like the Orchard Road / Bugis Street of Israel.

where you have can have some shopping and just chilling around.

 

our Hotel shuttle bus drove us here.

at first, we thought we were somewhere else, because the driver apparently cant speak english well.

so.. we opened the map to see where we were. haha..

well.. i mean Raimond and Gill.. haha..

i cant really read mapss.. hehe

so we decided to just take a stroll till the end of the alley

and found Mcdonald’s there! hahaha

we went in there because i needed to pee.. but too bad the toilet is closed.. *aghhh*

i can still hold it, so i took a picture of the menu before we left. haha

ohh.. and the Israeli lady who looked at the camera was about to say ‘NO PICTURE!’ haha.

but too bad lady, ive taken one.. hehehe..

 

apparently the menu is kinda different there..

all the burgers are just different from asia.. 

very mouthwatering. but yeahh. decided not to eat there. cause we gonna have some diner back at our Hotel. hehe. 

 

and finally here we are!

  

Ben Yeduha St.. the place that we intended to go.. hehe.

it’s a very lovely place i may say.

it’s like im in some Europe countries. haha..

i really like how the set the cafe! hehe..

*pretty paintings on the building*

 

we went in to one shopping mall as well.

but the shopping mall is really2 small.

well, it’s like a 5 storeys department store where they sell branded goods.

they have those parfumes like issey miyake as well.. haha

and i saw Panerai ads on some other shopping centre’s digital wall.

so Israel is not that boring.. muahahha..

*well.. i think they are human too who crave for some good goods.. hehe*

 

so, we just strolled around the city without buying anything. haha.

because all the goods are more expensive than Singapore,

also “the clothing trend” is surprisingly the same as well as our little-red dot city, only they are more conservative than us. hehe

 

after we went one round.

we decided to go back to out hotel.

and we tried the train !

 luckily they have some english language option on this machine. haha

this one is only for one time used only.

ohh. this one is new for me.. 

you need to press this for IN and OUT.. 

the doors will not open automatically like Singapore’s

 and it’s the tap machine. hehe

but i forgot if we tapped our card, or insert our card to that yellow thingy.. haha..

 

Day 7

The Lazarus Tomb

they sell this in front of the Tomb. haha.. 

okay.. so this mustard’s seeds is still a big seeds, ci Gill said she saw something tinnier than this.. 

*bible parable said :  if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20* 

if you see the “black hole” beside the man, its’s the door to the tomb.. kinda small and low.. haha. 

and apparently it’s quite dark and steep to enter the tomb,

so we need to hold on to the rail tightly cause we dont want to fall. haha.. 

this is the stairs 

and we are at the Lazarus’s Tomb now! hehe.. 

okay.. the tomb is rather small. 

idk if it’s really small from the ancient time. or because of refurbishing 

anyway, not much to see over here.. hehe.. 

 

Beit’ Abra – Believed to be the authentic place where Jesus was baptized

Jordan River

it was a very hot day that you can literally melts a chocolate within blink of an eye. 

and this place have no shelter at all.

well.. they have it.. but quite fat from the baptism place.. hehe.. 

ohh.. the river is a little bit dirty i think.. 

and i dont care i took a pic when the people behind me have baptism session. hahaha.

 

Yardenit

okay.. so after the authentic baptism place of Jesus

we went to the more commercialized baptism area.. *still Jordan River*

and it’s a very different ambiance.

really commercialized. hahaha.

but im a little bit scared if i want to be re-baptized here.

cause, too many fishes.. and yes, some of them are a very big ones. 

i dont know if Jesus experienced the same thing too.

surrounded with fishes when he was baptized by John. haha.  

a very different place with Beit Abra, right?

even you need to pay USD 2 for toilet. ~.~

 

some churches contribute / donate this “The Lord’s Prayer” to be displayed on the walls before you entered the baptism place.

i heard that you need to donate some of money, so you can put yours here. 

you can see the prayers in many languages. 

but i only captures this 3 languages that caught my eyes. haha. 

*oke deh. ncang ncing enyak babe.. aye undur diri dulu yee.

sampe jumpe di postingan israel berikutnyee.. hehe.. * 

Israel Trip : Day 6 – The Golden Dome, The Camel & The Belief

people sometimes can randomly ask me about my belief,

and I’m proud to say that I’m a Christian.

then some of them will ask me again Why/How do I become a Christian ?

 

well.. i can remember vividly how comfortable it was, my first time sitting at the church without knowing what song they sang and what the preacher preached. haha..

the time when i chose bible over sailormoon comics in the bookstore during my 3rd grade,

and when i saw angels *literally* around my bed right after i asked Him to show me one.

Those things happened to me when i was in primary 3-4.

and i think those ‘magical’ moments mold my today’s belief.

and i am also sure each and everyone of us have our own ‘eureka’ moments that makes us what we are today; either you belief in any God or not.

well.. that’s only some sharing before i enter to Day 6 itinerary. hehe..

because why?

 

because we are going to The Golden Dome today! hehe..

Dome of The Rock or sometimes people call it The Golden Dome.,

A place whereby the Christians belief that Abraham was prepared to sacrifice Isaac,

and a place whereby the Muslims belief that Abraham was prepared to sacrifice Ishmael.

this place is the 3rd most visited place for the Muslims too after Meca and Madina.

the Muslims also believe that it was the place where Muhammad ascended to heaven..

 ahaa.. i think that’s a real Gold up there.. haha

well.. nothing much to do here.

cause i think we cant go in to the Dome as well.

so, there it is.. my touristy pictures. hehe

anyway , doo i look like a Japanese? haha

everyone there keep saying “konnichiwa” and “arigato” to me

and some people just speak to me in Japanese like i have a clue.. 

anyway.. this place is soooo sacred.. idk who makes the rules.. 

but man and woman cant even hold hands here..

or even touching their partners shoulder. 

hmpp.. be careful to watch your hands there.. hehe..

well.. but the kids are allowed to hold hands.. *like the pic below. hehe

many students come to this place for some study tour,

most of them will be in pair and holding hands.

of course the boy with the boy and vise-versa.

and when they walked around the place, they will walk and scream something like ‘Allahu akbar’

idk why they have to scream like that.

and it was non-stopp.. idk when they will stop..

maybe it’s the tradition though.

this pics here is the Golden Gate

the place where the Jewish believe that their Messiah will come through this door..

 

just beside this Golden Dome is

the Wailing Wall / Western Wall.   *atau yg biasa sering disapa dngn sebutan tembok ratapan. hehe*

i was thinking it will be a veryyy huge wall..

in fact its not that huge.. hehe..

 

so, people will come there and pray to God.

usually they will write their prayer on a piece of paper, and they will put it in between the rocks.

some people might take a while to pray, and some people might take a longgg while to pray. hehe.

they put chairs there for the people who wants to read their bible there.

or for us the tourist to wait. haha.

 

our tour people said that normally at night, the caretaker there will take all the letters out, and will put it in a container, and keep it under the ground for the God’s.

they said it is your official prayer to God if you put your letter there..

and believe it or not,

God did answer one of my prayer that i wrote in the letter, just right after i pray there.

does that place really can answer your prayer in no time? well.. i dont know

or maybe it’s just a coincidence? i dont know too..

what i know my God is everywhere that can answer my prayer in His right time..

 

after our half day of touring, we got to tried Israel Local Food.

The “Falafel”

a flat pita bread with fillings inside.. 

they usually sell this at the roadside. haha.. 

but this is nicee..

something new for my taste buds. haha. 

 

today we went to the place where Jesus was crucified.

the Garden Tomb – a place where Jesus was crucified according to the Christians belief.

 the “Golgotha” – The Skull Hill

they call it the skull hill because there was a man standing opposite the hill and saw this hill looks like a skull from far.

 i love the signage on the door. hehe..

believed as the Jesus’s tomb back then. 

 

our tour guide there at the Garden Tomb explaining to us many things.

but what we remember the most is when he said that,

“nevertheless, we are worshiping our one and only God, not a place” – not an exact lines. haha.

 

that was like mind blowing for us at that moment,

because we went there to know the real place where Jesus did everything back then. 

but all we found is only a place where the people believed that events were took place. 

 

anyway. the garden is pretty, very shady *idk if there’s such a word* haha. in bahasa we called it “teduh” hehe.

we also met a bunch of indonesia there having a service.. and i found it very heart-warming. listening to those indo worship songs.. they made me want to join their service as well.

just sit there and praising God.. it’s just felt amazing.

 

the Catholic’s Church *i forgot what’s the name* – a place where Jesus was crucified according to the Catholic’s belief.

this one is very different with the Christian’s ones.

its a very huge church with all the beauty engravings / paintings in the wall and many manyy pilgrims there doing their rituals.. like touching the altar and the star-hole-look-alike that is believed as Jesus’ tomb, and blessing their Rosario and scarf etc at the other altar.

it’s just a very “happening” place.

and my last thing that i want to share with you is

 

our very first CAMEL RIDE !!! wohooo.. hahaha..

we were like the princess of Egypt up there..

hahahaha *yaaa right! * haha..

it was an amazing experience.. yet very thrilling

it feels like i can fell anytime.. haha..

the most terrifying was when the camel went up and down

cause it bends their leg every time we need to go up and down.

for me. its equally thrilling as riding a roller coaster. haha..

that’s our driver that helped each and everyone of us to get on to the camel. haha..

yess. this was the most thrilling moment. hahaha.. 

we need to lean back when it bend it’s front knees

and we need to lean forward when it bend it’s back knees. 

byee byeee cute jackk jackkk.. 

yeahh.. his name is Jack.. hehe.. *if im not mistaken* hahaha.

thanks for the ‘princess of Egypt’ experience. =)

Israel Trip : Day 5 – Tragedy at The Lowest Point on Earth

introducing our hotel for the next 3 nights!

the grandest hotel for our Israel trip.

Grand Court Jerusalem Hotel

*15-20 mins walking distance from Via Dolorosa* 

who says great things always comes in BIG package? haha..  

too bad i forgot to take the picture of our room sweet room. =(

i rate this hotel 8/10.. great service. great room. great food. great interior. great ambiance.

bottom line.. 

it’s just great for all of us. haha..

 

our Day 5 started with

Masada 

a fortress of tragedy i will say.

Herod the great built this ‘luxurious fortress’ in the middle of Judean dessert because he was just appointed as a King by the Romans. and i think he is paranoid person as well, because i heard one of the reason he built that is to protect himself if Cleopatra – the pretty queen from Egypt wants to knock them down. *dear Historian, please kindly correct me if im wrong. haha*

i think, Herod the great with his people are awesome people.

why?

because firstly, they can built their own water system. can you imagine how to bring the water from down there to the fortress? hardwork is much needed there, man.

i think if Herod the great people live in today’s life. they can be a very famous architect. haha.

they can built a sauna room as well. i always thought that sauna room is one of the latest invention in humanity. haha *lebay* i just nvr thought that they had one back in BC time. haha.

thank God now they have cable car.. or else we need to go up to the fortress by the “snake path” below.

 cant believe if we have to go thru the path all the way up.. the pipping HOT weather is unbearable. 

 

 it’s one of the room..

if you are wondering why they have the black line there, it’s for differentiating which one is the real one and which one is made to ‘conserve’ the ruins.

so below the black line is the authentic ruins. from thousands years ago.. 

the colourful thing below there is what the archaeologist found

 Herod the Great sauna room

after Herod the Great died, the Jewish people take over the fortrees as a hiding place because the Romans already took down Jerusalem.

they stayed there quite a while i guess.

until one day, they saw the Romans people are already near them, and i think they dont know where to go anymore.

and the tragedy began,

 

they decided to have a mass suicide. but they dont kill themselves.

they draw lots to kill others.

at first they draw 10 people to kill the others.

after others are killed,

then they draw lots among 10 of them.

the lucky 3 gets to killed the other 7.

and 3 of them gets to draw one last lot.

finally the ‘one last man’ gets to killed the other 2 and kill himself at the very end.

tragic, isnt it?

they rather died than being the Roman’s slave. hmpp..

 

on a lighther note..

this fortress is located not far from the Dead sea..

so we can get to enjoy the view from up here.. hehe..

finally i got to wear shorts! haha..

it’s really hard to find a place that you can wear whatever you like. 

cause mostly are religious places.

but it’s kinda pro and cons for the shorts.

it’s more comfortable, since im not a jeans person, and i got the ‘sun-kissed-skin’ moment as a memorabilia hahaha. 

 and we have this for our lunch.. 

yummy little big meatballs. hehe.. im not sure what meat was that. but just nice for our grumbling tummy. hehe.

*at dead sea sroll’s place – where they found all the bible scrolls except the book of Esther*

 

Dead Sea  

geographically speaking, it’s located at the lowest point on earth !! how cool is that ??

so as what like other tourists did.. we took pictures there..

and of course, floating on Dead Sea !!

what a lifetime experience..

i want to go back there for another float.. haha..

we only float for around 20-30 mins.

actually we want to stay longer.

it was just the pipping HOT weather that forbid us to do that..

well. i think we cant float that longg also.. cause the salt level that is super high and can make your finger *keriputss* wrinkled.

 

some rules also applied there, for example :

– dont jumpt into the sea.

– dont swim – just float. haha..

– go until half of your body is inside and squat to float. haha

– dont float facing down the sea – yeah. i think it’s make prefect sense since it’s very salty and can burn your face and eyes. haha

– etcetc. haha.

 

i tried to put some water on my forehead for my pimple..

and omaigad, it feels like pourings salt into a wound..

hurts like never before..

but my pimple dried within 2 hrs, and gone the next day. hahaha. *magic*

they also have muds there.

basically u are walking on a mud inside the dead sea..

so be careful if you go in.

you can fall anytime there.. *lirik amel*

you can take the mud apply on your skin too, they say it’s good for the skin..

so i tried to apply that on my hands..

the feeling was like applying ‘Dove’ soap to your body – the soapy feeling on ur skin eventho u already rinsed it for many times. haha

and ohh.. we can really float there.. *if some of you still thinking if we can really float there or not. haha*

because there was one point of time that i cant touch the ground anymore..

i was pushing down myself.. like trying to drown myself in the water.

but i cant ! i still float !! hahaha.

 

so, bottom line.. you should put Dead Sea on your travelling agenda. hehe

and our last stop for the day is

 

Jericho 

not much there.

and because i was just too tired of floating on Dead Sea, i just managed to take a few pics. 

im not sure whether we can still drink from this place or not.haha

that’s all for our one day trip on the lowest point on earth.

see you up there in ‘normal ground’ on my next post. hehe.. 

thanks for reading. =) 

 

facts : Dead Sea is drying up because of Global Warming.

save the earth readers, save the Dead Sea.. so we can go there to float again. hehehe. 

 

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.. **