Heathens in the Holy Land

Trip Start Aug 11, 2009
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Trip End Sep 30, 2010


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Flag of Israel  ,
Monday, March 8, 2010

Unsurprisingly, security at the Israeli border is pretty thorough before we are allowed into the country. At the West Bank checkpoint we (a bus full of white tourists) drive straight through, past the immense queues of cars containing people 'of Arab descent'... hello racial profiling.

Jerusalem is a strange city. The population is a mix of Arab, Jewish and Christian and we are thoroughly confused as to whether to speak to people in Hebrew or Arabic (admittedly we mangle attempts at both languages). Exceeding the resident population is the influx of tourists flooding the bazaars and holy places, most of whom seem to be Americans on 'holy land' or 'Jesus Isreal' package tours wearing "I love Jesus" t shirts. Way to go with the tact guys.

We visited most of the holy sites, the mount of olives (where Jesus ascended to heaven), temple mount (site of the first synagogue), mount Zion (location of the last supper, or one of anyway), site of the crucifixion (now a massive church) and of course the icon of Jerusalem, the glittering gold dome on the rock, significant to Muslims as the place where Mohamed ascended to commune with god, was instructed to pray 500 times a day and in true Arab fashion bargained god down to 5.

Once we were church, synagogue and Mosque-d out (ie after a day) we daytripped to the dead sea for a relaxing, salty and stinging float.
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