Friday, July 8, 2016 I began my journey by taking the 18 hour flight to Bethlehem, also known as Jesus' birthplace. I visit the Basilica of the Nativity, which is the oldest church in the christian religion and it stands over where Jesus was born. Bethlehem is surrounded by rolling green hills and ancient architect. Many tourist were at the Basilica of the Nativity taking pictures of the beautiful natural color of the sacred stone building while other tourist were reading The Bible and praying to Jesus. As I walked around the town of Bethlehem all the churches and buildings were in great condition even if they had been there for hundreds of years, this showed the Christians respect for their savior and importance of preserving the town of Bethlehem.
Saturday, July 9, 2016 I woke up early in Bethlehem and hopped on camel with a couple other tourist and rode 5.5 miles to Jerusalem. I checked into my hotel and the architecture was very similar to Bethlehem. It was made out of stone yet in still great condition and colorful furniture in the inside. I walked over to The Temple Mount which is said to be the most holy place in the Jewish Religion. The security was very tight but the view around The Temple Mount was gorgeous, green hills, rocky roads and people worshiping with long beards and Kippahs. The top of The Temple Mount is so facinating, it's large, round and golden. In the sun it super shiny and stands out among all the stone buildings. I could only stay one night because the next morning I had to catch a plane to India.
Sunday, July 10, 2016 It was only a five hour flight from Jerusalem to India, way shorter than the one from the US to Bethlehem. Once I got to India I rode on Indian Railways to the Badrinath Temple in Badrinath. This temple is sacred because it is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is believed to have been built in the 9th century!! Backing up to a large green mountain is very colorful place named Badrinath Temple. All the Hindi people waiting to go inside are dressed in long dresses, brightly colored pants and painted faces. Inside there are many statues and people are stopped worshiping the statues. The whole experience at this temple was very beautiful because everyone was so respectful of their surrounding and at the temple for worshipping. The architecture was so unique it was so different from the Christian and Jewish sites. I stayed in Badrinath for two days to embrace the culture more. After, I was off to Saudi Arabia.
Tuesday, July 12, 2016 When I got to Saudi Arabia I noticed the architecture is pretty modern, the buildings are very clean cut and usually a smooth white color. I relaxed for a couple hours then went to visit the most holy place is the Islamic culture, The Ka'ba which is a small building in the courtyard of Al'Haram mosque. Believe it or not the mosque was built around it! Muslims believe that Adam (the first man) was the first to build such a place of worship. The Ka'ba is always packed so there is never really a good time to visit it because the whole courtyard is filled with muslims in white outfits worshipping. When they pray they face the direction of the Ka'ba. It's breathtaking to witness because everyone is in their own thoughts praying. It's very peaceful considering how many people are there. The Ka'ba is a small cube shaped building that is all black with golden designs in strips on the outside. Next, I'm off to the Mahabodhi Temple in India.
Wednesday, July 13,2016 Lastly I'm at the Mahabodhi Temple in India and it is so pretty here but I'm ready to be home. This tempe is the most sacred place in the buddhist religion and its regularly visitied by the buddhist people. Th architecture is very grand and full of little designs. The land surrounding this temple is full of green trees and everyone going to worship if very respectful. They worship buddha here and there are many shops with statues of him in the front. A lot of the men who worship have shaved heads. This whole journey has been very eye opening and beautiful experience.