After we left the Ecce Homo Basilica area, we headed to lunch. We were ready!
We are still in the Muslim Quarter although we must be looking towards the Jewish Quarter.
We are walking along the Via Dolorosa, or “way of grief.”
This is also one of the stations of the cross. It is the spot where Jesus is said to have fallen the first time. I don’t know how they came by that information.
This is the restaurant where we were having lunch.
This was lunch – a cheese pizza and a wintergreen mint drink. Both were delicious.
This is the Minnesota table. Carol is the lady in the middle. Doug is sitting beside here, but is concentrating on his food.
At this table we have Collette, Jon, Theresa, Brenda, and Vickie.
We had a few minutes to explore the area around the restaurant.
You can see that it was very, very busy.
This is the Armenian Church of Our Lady of the Spasm, the site where Mary is supposed to have seen Jesus as He walked by carrying the cross.
Some of the stones that we walked on were original to the time of Jesus. This was one. It makes you think of the title of that hymn, “I Walked Today Where Jesus Walked.” Please excuse my gross feet. Ha!
And here’s Judy’s.
I am unsure what this man was selling, however he was very interesting looking.
We were now headed toward the Damascus Gate and it was extremely crowded, so much so that you felt nervous. People were pushing and shoving and it was hard to keep up with the group. The children obviously did not want me to take their picture, which was not my intent. We also passed by a mother, along with her young son, who was selling something at a booth. She had a toy machine gun that she pointed at us as we passed. This was the only time during the whole trip that I felt nervous.
I didn’t take anymore pictures of the area or Damascus Gate because I was concentrating on not getting lost or separated from the group.
I found the following pictures off of the internet. The picture below is approaching the gate from inside the Old City. So it is a picture of the area above on a less crowded day.
The one below is actually entering the Damascus Gate from the Old City. The only difference is that on the day we were exiting the gate it was jam-packed with people. You turn to the right once you enter the gate to exit.
This is the outside of the gate. Again, the only difference is that on the day we were there it was extremely crowded and the plaza in front of the gate was full of vendors.
The Damascus Gate is the main north-facing gate of the Old City. It was built in 1542 by Suleiman the Magnificent and is sometimes called the Shechem Gate by the Jews.