After lunch on Tuesday 27 December, I walked down to a small cemetery just outside the Old City. It was one of the most peaceful cemeteries that I have ever been in, it overlooks a valley and is filled with shady trees. There after walking around a bit I found Oskar Schindler’s Tomb. It was totally covered in stones as the Jews don’t put leave flowers at a grave; they put a small stone on top of it. It was a beautiful graveyard and very peaceful.
Steven Spielberg ionized Oskar Schindler in “Schindler’s List”. After the war, Oskar Schindler moved to Argentina with his wife and tried his hand at farming. Having failed, he returned to Germany on his own and lived out his life alone and in poverty punctuated by annual visits to Israel, where he was treated like royalty.
I had a lovely Arabic coffee just outside the Church of the Redeemer, which was unfortunately closed for the week so couldn’t go up the bell tower. I walked down Via Delarosa towards Lions Gate. While walking I passed most of the Stations of the Cross, the places where Jesus stopped with his cross on his way to be crucified.
I went into the Church of the Flagellation, the first station where he was whipped and also found the place he was locked up. According to tradition the church enshrines the spot where Jesus Christ was flogged by Roman soldiers before his journey down the Via Dolorosa to Calvary.
The next little gem that I stumbled upon was the house of Mary’s parents, where I went in for a look and I descended down a very narrow staircase. The ceiling is very low and you stand bent and cramped inside this small house. Was very interesting to see where and how they lived.
I eventually headed out of the Old City through Lions Gate to Mary Magdalene’s tomb.
Walking into this grotto the whole ceiling is covered in hanging candles and chandeliers. It is beautiful inside and definitely worth seeing the inside of.
Mary Magdalene was one of Jesus’ most celebrated disciples, and the most important female disciple in the movement of Jesus. Jesus cleansed her of “seven demons”, [Luke 8:2] [Mark 16:9] sometimes interpreted as referring to complex illnesses. She became Jesus’ close friend and most prominent during his last days, being present at the cross after the male disciples (except John the Beloved) had fled, and at his burial. She was the first person to see Jesus after his Resurrection, according to both John 20 and Mark 16:9.
Mary Magdalene is considered by the Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, and Lutheran churches to be a saint, with a feast day of July 22. The Eastern Orthodox churches also commemorate her on the Sunday of the Myrrh bearers.
Unfortunately the Mary Magdalene church was closed for the day.
On my way back into the OldCity I walked behind a guide telling someone about this excellent view that you get over the whole city from the roof of a small hospital. I followed them and went up to the roof, he was right, the views were amazing and you could see over most of the city.
After having lovely chocolate cake and coffee at this hospital I took a lovely night stroll through the old city. Love the fact that the markets are open late into the night. Each little street I walked down felt like a different small town.
I stopped for a falafel and some hot sahlab at one of the stalls in the city. Sahlab is a hot thick milk drink with coconut and cinnamon in, I love it!! Tastes like “melkkos” from South-Africa.