Longtime reader and global seeder Mark Bloomfield extends an invitation to travelers. He writes:
From: Mark Bloomfield firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Saturday, 28 February, 2009, 8:36 AM
A Free Courtesy For Visitors To Jerusalem.
If any of you good people out there have ever been planning a visit to Jerusalem, your long time fieldworker from England, recently returned there from the African Seeding Mission would happily give whatever assistance he can to all comers.
As a fellow reader for the last 25 years plus once again a temporary resident of Jerusalem's old city, if you were to take my unofficial guided tour, such might not of course end up being exactly the standard one. As for what's on offer, from my tiny rooftop room near the center of the 'center of the world', there isn't a single key attraction listed beneath that would take more than ten minutes or so to walk to:
The Garden of Gethsemane, The Mount of Olives, the Kidron Valley where Judas met his end, Golgotha (the real one), the underground probable location of the last supper, the Wailing Wall, the Dome of the Rock, Mount Zion, the Temple Mount, the Pool of Siloam, the Pool of Bethesda, David's tomb, the City of David, Mary's tomb, the Damascus Gate that Jesus carried his crossbeam through, and the sealed Golden Gate that is supposedly going to miraculously open upon the arrival of the Messiah. And if a mischevious young boy were to catapult a small pebble north from my roof, it would per-ting off the dome of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
Even the internet cafe where I check my mail most mornings is on the narrow 'Via Dolorosa' along which Jesus is said to have walked to his crucifixion. Scarcely a day passes when some group of chanting pilgrims aren't to be seen shuffling along it bearing their own replica cross.
And if a full five miles isn't out of your range, there's a large brass star on the floor of an underground chamber beneath the altar of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem that tends to get kissed rather a lot.
If I actually had to engage my brain (a first time for everything some would say
), I could probably triple or even quadruple that little list with lesser known but equally fascinating nooks and crannies of historical interest in the immediate vicinity....the 'secret places of the stairs' as I think some psalmist might have once referred to them as.
Or perhaps, with your own itinery already planned, you might just like to know that a fellow reader is in the area should you need any help, advice, hints and tips to help make your visit all the more memorable, hassle-free and pleasant.
Either way, feel free to pass and post this message far and wide, and feel welcome to contact me on email@example.com
even just to say hi if you're planning to swing by this way.