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B + 21 / 22 : Jerusalem

It is Saturday morning - time to say Bye to Carpe Diem V, our home for the last three weeks

Our boat is now heading home - by mid next week it is picking up new clients in Bodrum

We checked in at the Sarai Hotel, Jaffa's old Police Station and Prison with a view on Tel Aviv's long beaches full of people

Old Jaffa is just around the corner. For the longest time only Arabs lived there - now young Jewish families move in which creates considerable conflict

Next day we went to Jerusalem which was never a trading hub but we had to see it anyway. View on the town from the olive mountain

The Jerusalem Cross - the big one for Christ and the four small ones for the four gospels

One thousand year old olive tree in the Garden of Gezemane

King David's Tower at the Jaffa Gate in now an Ottoman fortress

Walking through the Armenian Quarter towards the West Wall

Roman map of Jerusalem found on a mosaic in the Jordan valley - note the Roman mainstream with columns like we seen in Perge two weeks ago

The same columns again - three meters below the surface and finally excavated

Thanks to our guide Daniel we found Hezekiel's wall in the maze of little alley ways. It helped to defend Jerusalem in 772 BC against the Assyrians

We also found this rebuilt Jewish Synagogue next to a ruined mosque - the minaret is still there - everybody builds on top of each other - no wonders tempers flare

The Westwall of King Herod's Temple - Israel's holiest site

The streets in the Arab quarter are an endless suk :-)

Never say no to Pomegranate juice - albeit twice as expensive as in Akko three days ago

We then followed the Via Dolorosa with the stations of the cross to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre

The Church was built by Constantine the Great in 330 AD on the site where Jesus was crucified. The church is shared by all Christians - there is always a long queue of believers who come to pray here

We then took a half an hour car ride to visit the Church of Nativity in Betlehem which I believe was also commissioned by Constantine the Great after his mother Helena visited it in 325 or 326 AD

Tradition says that this is the place where Jesus was born and where his cradle stood - difficult to say almost 300 years after the event

The giant silver chandelier in the Nativity Church is a present from the Russian Czar

After a long day it was time to return to Jaffa. Walking back to our hotel, we found this Swing Brass Band playing in the Jaffa flea market - what a way to end a day!

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