Our first day in Jerusalem started at the Mount of Olives to get a full view of the Old City. Then it was on to the Garden of Gethsemane, the place where Jesus was betrayed and arrested. From there we went inside the Old City. Our first stop in the Old City was the Western Wall.
entrance to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre
After the Western Wall, we made our way to the Via Dolorosa, the route Jesus carried the cross. We made our way to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the sight of the crucifiction and burial. Interesting note about the Church of the Holy Sepulchre: security for one of the most sacred sites in Christianity is handled by Muslims. The politics of this area are thick and complicated indeed. Walking the Old City was an amazing and emotional experience.
Our second day in Jerusalem started with a trip to the Church of Visitation, the place where a pregnant Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth, and the birthplace of John the Baptist.
From there we went to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Memorial. Talk about a moving experience. Our last stop in Jerusalem was the Israel Museum, where the Dead Sea Scrolls are housed.
Even though I'm a very lapsed Catholic, the power of Jerusalem's sights and history were palpable and profound. Being able to share that experience with my mom, seeing her check an item off the bucket list, that may have been the best part.