This is a continuation of blog posts about living in Israel in 2007. This post was originally published on my blog, A Stranger Here, in January 2007. I was unable at the time to upload many photos because we had a bad internet connection. This post contains pictures from that post. You can read Part 1 here.
The Mount of Olives was on my must-see list. Our guide took us there first in the morning. I later read in the three different guidebooks that I have, that the morning is the best time to go to the Mount of Olives.
The Mount of Olives is significant to me for three reasons.
1. It figures heavily in prophecy. (Zechariah 14:4-5; D&C 45:48: 133:20) Christ is to come to the Mount and stand upon it and the mount shall split in two.
2. On the western side of the mount lies the Garden of Gethsemane where Christ prayed and began the atonement.
3. It commands an incredibly impressive view of Jerusalem.
We drove there–leaving the comfortable highway and turned onto winding roads that took us through a Palestinian area. While in the Palestinian section, we saw a young teenage boy riding a donkey. I felt like Amelia Peabody. (see Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters)
We parked by the viewpoint and saw a beautiful camel and a gorgeous white donkey. Of course, for a fee, you could sit on the camel or donkey and get a picture taken. You could even take a ride. Various vendors were walking around, selling jewelry (for the pretty lady) pictures of Jerusalem and books. The boys were interested in the animals and Brent and I were awestruck by the view.
Directly below the viewpoint, lies a Jewish cemetery. It is solemn–the gravestones almost seem to fade into the earth.
When you look out from the mountain, you see the dominating Dome of the Rock–the Muslim Shrine which sits on Temple mount. Temple mount is sacred to both the Jews and the Muslims.
And yes, we fell victim to the animals. We bargained with the man who was tending the white donkey. We have a great family picture with it.
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