So it turns out the Bedouins owned camels and donkeys and we got to pick one to ride on. Of course everyone picked the Camels!
The camels are tall creatures. You can tell when they are seated - or more accurately, kneeling on the ground - but when they get up you feel like you are standing on someone else's shoulders! The process of getting up from the kneeling position is really quite funny. The guide pulls on the halter of the first camel. The first camel obediently rises WITH ITS BACK LEGS FIRST! So it feels like being thrown forward out of the saddle as the camel is getting up! I was gripping so hard to the saddle. Then when the camel stands up with its front legs the whole thing evens out - it was pretty fun. After the first camel in the chain stands up, all the other camels behind it stand up too - It was like watching the domino effect being replayed backwards.
|Courtesy of Zhu Ping Loh|
|Courtesy of Zhu Ping Loh|
|Dead Sea - Courtesy of Zhu Ping Loh|
|Courtesy of Zhu Qing Loh.|
|Panorama of En Gedi. Courtesy of Zhu Ping Loh.|
|Rock Badger in the Crags - Courtesy of Zhu Ping Loh|
|Ibets - The Deer in the Psalm referred to as Hinds (see how small its legs are that they can walk so sure-footedly on the narrow ledges and mountain trails in the Judean deserts). Courtesy of Zhu Ping Loh.|
|Our Israeli tour guide - Donny Brody. |
After En Gedi, we headed off to visit the Sanctuary of the Dominus Flevit - which is like a small church/chapel built to remember the spot where Jesus wept for Jerusalem on top of the Mount of Olives. All of these places observe strict silence and no flash photography.
|Dominus Flevit - the Church built to as a memorial of where Jesus wept. Courtesy of Zhu Ping Loh.|
|The view from the Dominus Flevit window - especially created to show what Jesus would have seen when standing on the top of the Mount of Olives weeping for the lost souls of Jerusalem. Courtesy of Zhu Ping Loh.|
Then we headed for the Garden of Gethsemane. We passed by a lot of cemeteries on the way.
View from the Top of Mount of Olives. You can see a lot of Jerusalem from up there! It's completely breathtaking and so lovely.
|Another church to memorialise the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus prayed and gave Himself over to the will of the Father. Courtesy of Zhu Ping Loh.|
|Depiction of Jesus praying - Courtesy of Zhu Ping Loh.|
|High Priest Caiaphas's house and probably also where the Dungeons were. The signs below explain more about it.|
|I couldn't find a picture of Bethesda so I got one off the internet for you :D The pool is currently located within the grounds of St Anne's Church. The church had amazing acoustics - the sound echoed and dragged out beautifully even after we'd finished the song. It was fantastic.|