We left the wall and headed back through the alleys we had just walked through and then dived off again to start our walk along the Via Dolorosa. Again this was very interesting, We started at the top where Pontius Pilate handed back Jesus to the people and continued on........
I won't go through every one, but it was interesting, especially as no.3 was right in the middle of a very busy area, and the photo above it shows how steep the street is which is where Jesus fell.
It is difficult to imagine to a certain extent, and it takes time to assimilate all this information.
We carried on until we got back to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. this time though, I found myself standing on the roof, where the Ethiopians have jurisdiction along with another of the churches who watch the Ethiopian monks from their lookout as the Ethiopian monk was doing from his position.......... I said it was the oddest place I have ever been.
We then went back into the church, and I was placed in the queue for the tomb. It wasn't so long now, and I only had a short wait until I was able to go into this very ornate edifice and see where Jesus' body would have lain. They only allow three at a time to go in, and you don't get too long, a quick prayer and then out, the monks, not sure if they were Greek, Russian, Coptic or Syrian make sure you get out very quickly! While you can walk in upright, the tomb are itself is very low and requires stooping.
This was the entrance
When I came out, I found Moshe propping up a column, and he suggested that we waited for a short while as the Franciscan monks go a round the stations that are in the Church and sing a Latin Mass. So, he got me the Mass book, and it wasn't long before they started. It really was rather lovely and I was glad to be a part of it, although I couldn't follow the book. I love the smell of incense and there was plenty of it. It was also interesting to follow the procession to the top of Golgotha again, and see the Greek Orthodox monk keep a very beady eye on what the Franciscans were doing, even though they do this every day.
I was so glad to have had this experience, it took me three days to write my journal on this one day. I think that alarmed Shoshi, because she asked me how my journal was going, and I told her I was half way through Monday.... and it was now Thursday. So she made sure that I kept notes that I could go back and fill out later.
Moshe was also very generous with his time and knowledge, and never took offence at my questions, especially if I was asking about Judaism or even the Jews I saw walking around Jerusalem, in fact, I learnt a very interesting tidbit. I can now differentiate between a Hassidic and a Lithuanian Jew. The Hassidic Jews wear the long coats and have their ringlets in front of their ears, the Lithuanian Jews, wear short coats and have their ringlets behind their ears. (If you go back to yesterdays entry and the very first photograph, you will see the young man has his ringlets behind his ears.) Moshe tested me on our next trip to Jerusalem, I'm pleased to say I passed.
It was getting dark now, and it was time to head home, so back to the bus station we went, and climbed wearily on board the bus...............