Monday, June 22, 2009

The Holy Land, Pt. 1

Recently, Sathi, Nick, and I took a trip through the Middle East to celebrate the nuptials of our good friends Joe and Hilla. Aside from the strangeness of people starting to get married (what next, bloody kids?) the trip was a smash hit from beginning to end. I'm not sure if the happy couple want me to put their wedding photos up here, so I'll just focus on a few of the other highlights of our voyage through Israel and then Egypt.

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre - as nice as it is, one has to wonder whether Jesus really wants the place where he was crucified to be quite so...blinged-out. I'm fairly sure that this is an Orthodox shrine, although the 'INRI' makes me wonder if it could be Catholic. The Sepulchre is a site with a number of different faiths laying claim to various areas and sections, but the Eastern Orthodox seem to be winning out. It is basically their headquarters/secret lair/hidden castle, after all.

More Sepulchrous(sic.) Church - the tricky thing here is that some clever monk ran up there and opened that door to let in the godly shaft of light. Apparently one of the holiest sites in Christianity isn't above a few cheap parlor tricks...


The Dome of the Rock - Closed, unfortunately, because of some religious observance/protest/just general annoyance. The entire Dome/Al-Aqsa/Temple Mount complex is somewhat tricky to get into and an area of some controversy, and since it was both Friday and Shevuot, we had to content ourselves with taking photos from afar. A pity, since the Dome is probably the most recognizable landmark in all of Jerusalem. I'm pretty sure kaffir like me are completely banned from entering it, however.



Sand Witches - a major concern in desert climes. One minute you're sitting, enjoying a nice falafel, and the next you're a newt. And you don't get better, because it's a desert. You frakking bake to death and die.

BUT

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.



I couldn't resist posting a picture of the stunning greenhouse/garden paradise where Joe and Hilla were wed. Perhaps they will let me post more shots of the festivities.



Most pictures credit of Shahrin Ahsan.

5 comments:

jfarbeann said...

G'head and post 'em. Glad you're back to blogging.

Shahrin said...

thanks Daniel for the cred. :-) When will you blog bout your return to Egypt hhhmm?

Jonathan Guyer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jonathan Guyer said...

Sounds like quite a trip, man... best to Joe et al. Hanna is visiting DC at the moment, which is cool.

We miss you!

take care,
JG

Pat said...

I second Sharin's comment! We need some "triumphant return to Egypt" blogging!