June 20, 2016

Jerusalem Photo Diary

sea of galilee

Ahh, the long-awaited Jerusalem/Israel travel post! Thanks so much for bearing with me as I've been dealing with jetlag, as well as processing the immense spiritual and emotional aspects of my trip. As many of you probably already know, this trip was not exactly a traditional "vacation." While visiting a new country is always exciting, the focus of this trip was more spiritual than anything else. I won't inundate you with religious dialogue; rather, I've compiled photos from every day of the trip that highlight the holy sites and other places we visited. If you're interested in hearing about the more spiritual aspect of my trip, shoot me an email or a direct message on Instagram and I'd be more than happy to talk about it with you :)

stars and bucks in bethlehem
On the very first day, our group visited the Church of the Nativity, where Jesus Christ was born. Of course I had to take a photo of this super legit seeming Stars & Bucks Cafe! ;P
jordan river where Jesus was baptized
Clearly excited to be standing in the River Jordan, where Jesus was baptized
riding a camel at Mount Tabor
Riding a camel in Jericho!
dead sea
View of the Dead Sea
bar at the dead sea
Bar at the Dead Sea
dead sea salt
There was so much salt washed up on the shores of the Dead Sea! It was such a surreal feeling to have floated in the water.
armenian quarter in jerusalem
An Armenian flag waving in the Armenian Quarter of Jerusalem. The three other quarters are the Jewish Quarter, Muslim Quarter, and Christian Quarter. Betcha didn't know that Armenians have their own quarter, which comprises of ~1/6 of the Old City of Jerusalem!
basterma pizza in the armenian quarter
We ate basterma (a seasoned beef) pizza when we visited the local Armenians in the Armenian Quarter.
israel city view
Views of Israel before driving up Mount Tabor
church of transfiguration on mount tabor
Church of Transfiguration on Mount Tabor
church of transfiguration on mount tabor
Church of Transfiguration on Mount Tabor
falafel sandwich in nazareth
I obviously had to document the best falafel sandwich I had while in Israel (and believe me I had at least 1 per day!). This beauty was consumed in Nazareth, on the same day we visited the Church of the Annunciation.
church of annunciation in nazareth
St. Mary's home, which was preserved by a church built on top of it. This is where she was given the news by an angel that she would carry the Son of God in her womb.
church of annunciation in nazareth
The Church of the Annunciation, which was built over the aforementioned location
mount of beatitudes
The beautiful Mount of Beatitudes, where Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount
sea of galilee
The Sea of Galilee, where Jesus walked on water
sea of galilee
A group shot of myself and most of my fellow pilgrims on the Sea of Galilee
church of st. mary's tomb
The Church of the Tomb of St. Mary, where I had my most moving experience of the entire trip
church of st. mary's tomb
Beautiful lanterns and icons at the Church of the Tomb of St. Mary
mount of olives armenian writing
Armenian writing on the floor of a church on the Mount of Olives. Before this trip, I had no idea what an immense influence the Armenian Christians have left on all of the holy sites! There were Armenian words at almost every (if not all of) the holy sites we visited.
Russian monastery at mount of olives
Russian Monastery on the Mount of Olives
mount of olives

chapel of the ascension at mount of olives
Chapel of the Ascension, where Jesus ascended into Heaven forty days after his resurrection
chapel of the ascension at the mount of olives
Inside the chapel, where Jesus ascended into Heaven
church of the pater noster
Church of the Pater Noster, or Church of the Lord's Prayer. It was so cool seeing the Lord's Prayer written in so many languages, particularly in those which I did not know practiced Christianity. 
church of the pater noster armenian Lord's prayer
The Lord's Prayer in Armenian
dominus flevit church
Dominus Flevit Church on the Mount of Olives
church of all nations
The Church of All Nations on the Mount of Olives
razzouk tattoo
Razzouk Tattoo was so great! Wassim, our tattoo artist, patiently gave ~15 of us hajis (a tattoo which signifies one's pilgrimage to Jerusalem), all in the same night
getting my haji at razzouk tattoo
I coincidentally got my haji on the most moving day of the trip for me (when I was in the Church of St. Mary's Tomb). The tattoos were a pre-planned event, however, my experience in the church obviously was not, making my haji only that much more meaningful.
getting my haji at razzouk tattoo

armenian seminary jerusalem
Beautiful Armenian khatchkars (an Armenian cross-stone) at the Armenian Seminary in Jerusalem
the church where St. James' head is buried in the Armenian Quarter
St. James Church in the Armenian Quarter, where St. James' head is buried
the church where St. James' head is buried in the Armenian Quarter
Through these beautiful doors is where St. James' head is buried
armenian quarter jerusalem
S/o to my one and only street style photo from my entire trip! Told y'all I was kept busy ;)
armenian orthodox patriarchate in the armenian quarter
A street sign indicating the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem
hand-made pottery in the armenian quarter
Armenians are well-known for their beautiful handmade crafts. In Jerusalem, in particular, they are known for their handmade pottery and ceramics.
hand-made pottery in the armenian quarter
Can you believe all of this was handmade?! So beautiful..
hand-made pottery in the armenian quarter
Mirror wall goals
pool of bethesda where Jesus healed the paralytic
The Pool of Bethesda, where Jesus healed a paralytic
muslim quarter in jerusalem
The streets of the Muslim Quarter
marketplace at the muslim quarter in jerusalem
A colorful marketplace in the Muslim Quarter
church of the holy sepulchre where Jesus was crucified
Where Jesus was crucified, in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre
church of the holy sepulchre where Jesus was crucified
Church of the Holy Sepulchre
church of the holy sepulchre where Jesus was cleaned after crucifixion
Where Jesus was cleaned after his crucifixion. This is seen upon entering the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
jesus' tomb at the church of the holy sepulchre
This domed chapel is the Tomb of Christ
wailing wall in jerusalem
The Wailing Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem, where people pray and insert written prayers into the walls
our group's last dinner at the notre dame guesthouse's rooftop
A beautiful arrangement of appetizers and wine for our last dinner in Jerusalem. The Notre Dame Guest House (where we stayed) treated us with the utmost hospitality! 
group photo on the rooftop of the notre dame guesthouse
A group shot of the wonderful ladies I had the pleasure of meeting and becoming close friends with on this trip
I hope you enjoyed following along my pilgrimage to Jerusalem! This was truly the trip of a lifetime, and one that I did not anticipate having the opportunity to go on this soon. I genuinely thought that I would be much older before going on this pilgrimage, so the fact that it happened somewhat unexpectedly made it that much more meaningful.

Have you ever been to Jerusalem? If so, I'd love to hear about your impressions as well!

Xo, Sophia
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