Day 4: Mt. of Olives

I was hoping we'd visit the Church of the Paternoster, and during our day on the Mt. of Olives, we did.

The church commemorates the teaching of the Lord's Prayer. The cool thing about it is that they have over a hundred versions of the Prayer in almost any language you could think of...

...including Esperanto (I didn't see Klingon, though).

There were three different Russian versions, none of which seemed to be modern Russian. It was difficult to tell what exactly they were, then, since the language names were written in French.

As we were walking from the Church of the Paternoster to the church commemorating where Jesus wept, a guy walking a camel stopped us and asked if we were Mormon (we are). I have no idea how he knew, or if he just asks that question of every tour group that passes by.

Continuing down the Mt. of Olives, we passed the large Jewish cemetery compound. According to our guide, Jews will pay a lot to be buried in a lot on the Mt. of Olives so that they will be near at hand when resurrection day comes.

The Garden of Gethsemane was beautiful but extremely crowded. There were also vendors right outside the gates playing annoying tunes on cheap souvenir whistles. So we moved through the area pretty quickly and crossed the road to the quieter half of the garden. After we entered, the caretaker locked the gate behind us, so we had it all to ourselves. Finally, we were able to enjoy some quiet time at a sacred site. For that reason, the Garden of Gethsemane was one of the more special places for me during our trip.

And someone should tip off those vendors that playing a toy pan flute outside of the place where Christians believe Jesus Christ suffered for the sins of the world is not a good marketing strategy. One of the students said they considered buying all the flutes from the vendor just so he'd shut up.

Day 5: Church, Armageddon, & Nazareth

Day 4: Bethphage