“Dome on the Rock”
Islamic mosque, 1022, Byzantine style
Travel Tip: Travel to Israel
Travel Tip: The Right Scarf
Travel Tip: Trip Extensions
Jerusalem, Israel: the Holy City
The Dome on the Rock is Jerusalem’s most recognized landmark and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As one descends into this Holy City, the site of this shining gold dome makes one “feel” as if one is in Jerusalem, even if it is neither Christian nor Jewish, but a Muslim shrine. With magnificent Byzantine architecture, its gold dome is the highlight of Jerusalem’s Old City.
The Temple Mount on which it is sitting is significant to all three monotheistic religions: Christians, Jews and Muslims. It is here, on the ancient Mount Moriah, where Abraham offered Isaac as a sacrifice; Abraham being claimed as the father of both Judaism and Islam. It was the site of both great Jewish temples. The first was the temple of of King Solomon and the second was that of King Herod the Great. It is where it is prophesied that Jesus Christ will one day land upon His return to earth.
Most Memorable Birthday!
I selected this site this week to commemorate my most memorable birthday! In 2017, my husband and I led of great group of students and friends to Israel. I selected this site to commemorate my most memorable birthday!
In 2017, my husband and I led a group of great students and friends to Israel. It was memorable because not only did we depart on my birthday (December 5), but also because while in the MSP airport, before we ever even got on the plane, I also broke my knee cap! (Another story!) Thinking it was just a bad, painful bruise, I toughed out the whole trip with the help of one crutch unearthed at the hotel lost & found. To get into the holiday spirit, I decorated it with red ribbons from a hotel gift package and a student named him “Kneebly.”
“Kneebly” and Me
I also endured 24 hours cramped in the center seat cramped on an airplane (2 travel legs each way, 4 total flights and over 20 hours!). By choice, a center seat seemed the best option. The window seat was too tight. On an aisle seat, everyone who walked – or anything that rolled – past me inadvertently bumped it and created more pain. The flight attendants grew weary of keeping me supplied with ice for my zip log baggie which I tied over my knee with my versatile neck scarf. (See Travel Tip below).
Once home, my doctor confirmed it was fractured and Kneebly and I spent one of the snowiest Minnesota winters in recent history in a locked full leg brace. (I did qualify for a handicapped parking sticker however; some benefits!) However, it was a very memorable trip to this most memorable spot on earth!
TRAVEL TIP: If you ever get a chance to travel to Israel, take it! I recommend using a tour company vs. going on your own independently. Things in the Middle East can change on a moment’s notice. A good tour company and guide will be in tune with that and can adapt as needed to maximize your trip so you hardly know that anything was changed on your itinerary.
TRAVEL TIP: The right scarf is a great trip companion. It must be light weight (to crunch in your travel bag) and washable in a solid, dark color (so as not to show the dirt) in a navy or black (to literally go with your whole wardrobe, formal or casual). I recommend long and rectangular scarf for versatility. It can cover your shoulders, legs or head in places of worship for respect; in subways, trains or theaters for drafts. It can cover eyes as the need arises if you want to catch a few winks in a space that is too bright. And also, I discovered, is great to hold an ice pack on your injured body part!
TRAVEL TIP ON TRIP EXTENSIONS: If you can, add a trip extension to Jordan (Jerash and Petra) and/or Egypt (at least Cairo and Great Pyramids of Giza).