Ashdod (Jerusalem), Israel
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Approximately 9½ Hours
On the drive to Jerusalem, familiar names will catch your attention all along the way. Begin with a magnificent view over the Golden City from atop the Mount of Olives. Then walk through the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus spent the last moments before his arrest. Early Christians were already holding gatherings here before the first church was built around AD 380. Visit the beautiful church and see some of the oldest olive trees remaining in Jerusalem. Re-board your coach for the short drive to Mt Zion and a visit to the Room of the Last Supper and walk by King David’s Tomb. Enter the Old City via the Zion Gate and walk through the Jewish Quarter and the Roman Cardo to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher on the site of Christ’s resurrection. The original vast sanctuary built here by Emperor Constantine was destroyed centuries later, but a replacement was eventually rebuilt by the Crusaders. Inside the church you will see the last five Stations of the Cross. Walk through the colorful bazaar as you continue en route to the Western (Wailing) Wall. This is the last vestige of the ramparts that surrounded the Holy Temple of the Jews, built by Solomon, destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, rebuilt by Babylonian exiles, and burned down by Titus. Drive to the Sherover Promenade for another stunning view of Jerusalem. En route to Ashdod you’ll stop for a panoramic view of Bethlehem before you return to the ship.
There is no restroom stop on the approximately 1½-hour drive between Ashdod and Jerusalem. Modest attire is required; knees, shoulders and midriffs must be covered. Lunch will be served on morning tour departures; dinner on afternoon departures. Use of an audio headset (included) in the Old City will enhance your tour experience.