We began by driving to the Church of St Peter in Gallicantu on Mount Zion. This is thought to be the location of the house of Caiaphas. Although the church was modern and recently renovated it had a calm beauty about it. We went to the dungeon (the pit) where we read psalm 88. It is quite possible that we were standing on the very ground that Jesus had the night before he was crucified. It reminded me of the bottle dungeon in St Andrew's Castle in its style.
A drive beyond West Jerusalem took us to Ein Karem, the birthplace of John the Baptist. We then visited the Israel Museum to view the model of 1st century Jerusalem and the Shrine of the book where there was a facsimile of the scroll of Isaiah and information about Quamran and the dead sea scrolls.
We had the most wonderful lunch – dips & salads & bread; we then discovered that was only a starter. We were given a delicious drink made with mint, lemon and crushed ice – perfect for such a hot day. We ate under the shade of the Vines in the restaurant of the Jerusalem hotel.
As we left Jerusalem the traffic was very busy, with lots of police and soldiers visible. They had closed many of the city gates & Temple Mount to men over 40 as they were concerned their might be problems in connection with the capturing of the aid ships to Gaza & the deaths & injuries caused.
It was a very hot – apparently it reached 37C.