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— More from Jerusalem —

April 11, 2010 – As I review the photos I took in Israel last month I find myself wishing we could return to spend more time exploring the country. Perhaps some of you will have the opportunity to venture/adventure to the Holy Land yourselves. Start in Jerusalem, as we did, and you will not be disappointed. It's just the beginning.

On our last day in Jerusalem we went up to the Mount of Olives for a panoramic view of the city.
This man let me smooch his camel. Luckily it was a very tame camel. No spitting.

Visiting the enormous food market in Jerusalem. We're now in the seafood section.

These are my new fishy friends, mugging for the camera. A jolly threesome.

Fish worship?

A spice monger, with his huge mounds of paprika

One of many halvah stands, not my favorite food

More spices and what-not

Yummy, garlic season has just begun.

Tubs of loose tea, with many variations and blends

Another vendor

Huge slabs of beef inside a truck

These carcasses still had their furry tails, which seemed rather odd.
Am not sure what they were.

Escaping the meat section, I prefer to be elsewhere.

Massive quantities of fresh vegetables were available throughout the market.

Bread-based sweets!

A shopper

Another shopper

Nearby – outside – a board game was underway. What is it?

Seldom did we see women playing. This gal attracted many observers.

Here's one

And another

Back at the Mount of Olives, we're overlooking the sprawling Hebrew cemetery
which covers the entire western and much of the southern slope of the ridge.
In the distance we can see the wall surrounding Old Jerusalem.

A closer look at the tombstones. Visitors often place small stones on them as a sign of respect.

A scene as we walked down from the Mount of Olives

This was an unusual way to display merchandise to the visiting pilgrims and tourists.

A closer view

A new friend...

...proudly posing

On the on the foothills of the Mount of Olives we had a nice view of the Roman Catholic
Church of All Nations, also known as the Basilica of the Agony, next to the Garden of Gethsemane.
Unfortunately both venues were closed to visitors that day.

The Basilica of the Agony enshrines a section of bedrock believed to be the place
where Jesus prayed alone in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night of his arrest.
Behind the basilica we see the guilded domes of the Russian Orthodox Church of Mary Magdalene.

Nearby is the unassuming entrance to an impressive underground rock-cut cave
believed to enshrine the tomb of Mary, Mother of Jesus

Partway down the ancient staircase, looking upward to the outside

Farther down... it's deep and dark with many lanterns.

At the bottom, within the church

An alter near Mary's tomb

A closer look

A Greek-orthodox altar

Partial view of the main alter

Jerusalem Photos, Part 1 || Dead Sea Photos, Part 1
(More coming, stay tuned)

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