August 6th, 5:30 pm
Hey guys, how's it going?! I'm coming to you from Varanasi, a famous city in India. Strange name, right? Well, it came from the holy river of Ganges, pretty cool if I do say so myself! In all seriousness though, this blog is about the five major religions and their way of life. The city of Varanasi is considered a sacred holy town to Hinduism. It houses the famous temple of Vishwanath, dedicated to the Hindu's god of the universe. Built in 1776 it's ancient, but a sight to behold with it's tall domes towering over the city. I wasn't really allowed to go into the actual temple, but I must say it looked absolutely stunning from the outside. The architecture made you feel as if you were stepping back into the past and experiencing life back then. That was only today though, tomorrow I'll be sure to tell you all about the city and a little bit of it's culture.
August 7th, 7:35 pm
It's me again! So it's a little bit later than I usually write, but that's okay. I just spent the whole entire day walking around the city and talking to some of the locals. They had tons of information about the city and it's past, and a little bit about the religion that has seemed to take over it's streets. First a little bit about my own experiences, then I'll get into the facts and religion. The first thing you can notice when you walk through the streets is the bright colors and the different smells (some not the best)! It's sights are definitely not for those of the faint of heart, but those who have been to this city have to admit there is something magical about their openness. Did you know that they do rituals right in the public? It's kind of insane, but what can you do? Locals had pointed me to a well named the Gyan Kupor Well. It's said that the Hindu religion believes that drinking from this well will lead you to a higher spiritual power. It's known to be called the city life and can most easily be considered the heart of the Hindu religion. I've really enjoyed walking around the streets and seeing, hearing, tasting, and feeling the different sights. I won't be able to speak for a couple of days, I'm flying over to the next county! Alavida (goodbye)!
August 10th, 6:00 am
Hello and welcome to the town of Sarnath which holds the religion of Buddhism. I know, I know, it's been three days since I have last written a blog, but don't worry I have all the juicy details and facts about this new religion and it's sacred sites. Actually this town is only 12 km from the town of Varanasi, such a short distance away! So this is the only blog I'm doing for this religion, but don't worry I'll put bucket loads of information in this one! So the Buddhists believe that their are many gods, but the one main god is called, ironically, Buddha. Sarnath is known to be one of the four sanctioned cities and it's name means "Lord of the Deer." It also connect with an old Buddhist story about a lord who was a deer and offered his life instead of a doe. Buddha was moved so he created the city and named it in his favor. In Sarnath there are a few sites that you can go see, but the one that really stood out to me was Dharmekh Stupa. It's said to be the place where Buddha preached and gave his very first sermon. It's an impressive height of 128 feet! That's like stacking 23 of me on top of one another! Though it may not look all shiny and pretty like some of the other worship sites it still has this air of beauty and power to it's structure. There are carvings along the outside wall and sometimes there are people worshiping outside of it's walls. In my opinion Sarnath is a very rural and modest area with many worship sites and beautiful rolling hills on the horizon. It has definitely been a fun experience, but sadly I must go and explore the next site. Khamati!
August 12th, 3:00 pm
Hello and welcome to the well known city of Jerusalem, home to many sites important and holy to the Judaism religion. It's located in Israel and is around 2,500 miles away from India! This city is known as one of the most holiest cities in the world, all because it holds 4 different religions in it's streets. It's pretty impressive, but I'm only here to talk about the Jewish religion, not about the others. The worship site that I went to visit was the Western Wall. It may just look like a slab of rock, but it holds a special in the hearts of the Jews. To their religion it's a place where they put their prayers and ask for their needs to God. They believe that there is only one God, or in other words Abraham's God. This is the opposite of the Buddhist and Hindu religion because they worship many gods. I'll have to continue this conversation later, the city is calling me!
August 13th, 5:00 pm
Welcome back to the city of Jerusalem and to the part where I tell you about what's going on in the city! I was lucky enough to meet a kind man who gave me a tour and showed me where all the main attractions are in the city. They have activities practically everywhere in the city, for small children to elders. A time elevator shows you the history of the city in a 3-D fashion and the many museums are enough for the learners of the world. It's a great big adventure when you first walk into the city, you can explore the streets and go to the different sectors that always seem to hold something for you to do! Just today I went to the time elevator and I must say that it's breathtaking to see through the eyes of those who lived such a long time ago. I also got to visit a temple of worship and I saw their methods of worship. Did you know that they stand up throughout their worship and then they also bow at certain time as well? It was an experience I'm sure I will never forget! Well that's all the time that I have left for this city! Bye, see you guys for the next blog!
August 15th, 7:00 pm
It's me again! And welcome to the wonderful city of Mecca, the largest site and center of the Islamic religion! It's architecture looks like a mix between modern and historic, with lights and tall buildings. It's streets are located about 45 miles from the Red Sea, a place of importance to their religion and a few others. Located on the inside is their main place of worship named The Great Mosque, really original! Am I right? For those of you who didn't know a Mosque is the name for the temples that Islams worship in me. Just like the Jewish religion they believe in Abraham's God, and he's the only one. Mountains seem to always be in view even from the streets where tall buildings are located and hold a great significance in the stories of their religion's texts. I must say one thing though, it's very hot in Mecca because of the low amounts of precipitation (they only get about 5 inches in a year). I was literally sweating buckets when walking through the streets, but I survived! Overall this city is bustling with people who love their religion and take it very seriously. The night view is gorgeous from my window and I can't help but look at the view every few minutes. Did you know that in Egypt they have a painting of the Ka'bah, which is located inside of The Great Mosque. It just comes to show you how much religion can spread. I loved staying in this city and seeing all the great sites and seeing all of the great people! I'm so sad though my journey is almost done, only one more religion until the blog is over. Well, see you in the next city! Wadaeaan!
August 17th, 5:35 pm
I can't believe how time flies when I'm writing blogs, I mean it's already been 11 days of traveling to different countries and regions! Well my last blog just so happens to be about Christianity. Today I traveled to Florence Italy to visit a large cathedral housed inside of the city. The architecture of the building is absolutely stunning, the detail really stands out against the blue sky of the day and creates beautiful shadow patterns along the floor. Just like Judaism and the Islamic religion, Christians also believe that there is only one God. The inside of the cathedral was ginormous it felt like I was walking inside of a mansion. Christians like to pray inside of the cathedral whether they kneel or not to do so. Inside The Duomo, the cathedral, has a large mural on the ceiling depicting kind of what they imagined heaven to look like. It even includes a picture of God, with a golden circle around his head to show his importance. It was finished in the 19th century making it still historical, but not so much as some other cathedral's that have been standing for a few decades. Florence itself is a beautiful and fun sounding city that's streets are lined by all sorts of trees and flowers that seem to pop against the neutral colored buildings, bringing the city to life. A river runs right through the city and a bridge connect two sides of the city, overall it's such a beautiful and cheerful city. Well guys, it's been so much fun writing and everything, but now it's time to say goodbye! Hope you had fun learning about the religions! See ya!