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Jerusalem; if there was only one word to describe this city it would be: Special! And I think this is the feeling that one comes away with when leaving this city, as I'm doing today, that this really is a very special place.
I spent 10 days in Jerusalem, I stayed at a place on the Hill of Scandal, next to the Mount of Olives, with a great view of the city and within relatively short walking distance of the Old City.
Due to the fact that I didn't know that I would have that amazing view, I went straight to the Western Wall area when I arrived to take my arrival picture. The view was also great, but to get there was very hard, since I had to face many stairs. And if it's hard to walk down the stairs with a very heavy bicycle, I don't need to say what it’s like to go back up. But at least I had the picture.
The City of David is a small hill, close to the foot of the Temple Mount, and it is where King David established the capital of his kingdom 3.000 years ago, when he conquered the city that then stood there. Today it's a residential area and archaeological site, the most excavated place in the world.
The Mount of Olives is mentioned in the Bible as being a place where Jesus spent a lot of time, teaching and resting. At the foot of the Mount there is a garden called Gethsemane, according to the Bible, the place where Jesus was with his disciples on the night he was arrested. There I saw millenarian olive trees, by tradition said to be the silent witnesses of Jesus’ prayer and suffering the evening before His crucifixion.
I can't say how amazing it is to have the opportunity to be in such places, but in Jerusalem you have this feeling all the time and it never ends.
There are around 40.000 people living in the Old City (out of a total of 800.000 in the whole of Jerusalem). You can find many monasteries, educational institutions and hotels, but the most visited places are the holy religious places.
On different days I visited all three.
Only when visiting the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, a place considered by Christians to be the place where Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected, did I feel comfortable enough to question its authenticity. I believed that everything occurred as described in the Bible, but for me, talking about Biblical places, it's always very hard to believe in specific locations when they are not geographical locations.
I visited the two places in Jerusalem, believed by different groups, to be where Jesus was crucified and buried: the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and the Garden Tomb. And even though you know that it could not be the real place, you still feel impressed by the idea of it being that.
So I paid more attention to what had happened in those days, and the tremendous meaning it has, rather than to where it happened.
I'm really thankful for having had the opportunity to go through this amazing experience, something I never expected or thought could happen.
So let's keep going..