For out Jerusalem tour from Tel Aviv we walked no. 87 Ben Yahuda street where we joined some French people who were also waiting for Bein Harim tours (but going to a different place). We then were told to get out the bus in a large carpark in Tel Aviv, and changed to one of the numbered coaches for our tour to Jerusalem and the Dead Sea (the lowest place on land in the world, 400m below sea-level). It was just a 45 mins drive (with a rest-stop) to Jerusalem. What an amazing place! Our first stop was Mount of Olives, with its commanding view across the old, walled city and its many domes including the golden Dome of the Rock (which contains the foundation stone, but it’s off limit to non-Muslims).
Then to see the replica of the giant, Golden Menorah (the symbol of Israel).
Next we saw the Western (Wailing) wall. What an experience! It was very special and touching. There was a separate section for men and women to pray, and we wrote notes containing prayers and pushed them into the cracks.
Next stop was the Via Dolorosa the road Christ climbed while holding the cross, and we could see where he allegedly put his hand on the wall to rest.
Final stop was the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where you can see where Jesus was crucified, the stone on which they laid his body (which we touched and prayed), and the Grotto where he was buried, but the queue was too long to go inside.
Lunch was served on the roof of a restaurant (€5 for a falafel pitta or €7 for a lamb or chicken pitta, with a free drink). We then boarded the bus to the Dead Sea (see Dead Sea page).