Around The World: 2016 A travel blog by sam Drummond-Murray

February 12: Starting today I will be taking trips all over the world to share some of the culture of the world's major religions. Those being Judaism. Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. Some of the places we will be visiting include Jerusalem, Mecca, Rome, and Buddhist and Hindu temples.

February 15: I arrived at Rome today early this morning. With nothing else to do at this time I moved my bags and luggage to my room and went to sleep. I woke up tho the sound of church bells ringing. Wondering which church it was coming from I walked outside and asked a local. He said it was the mid-day bell from St. Peter's Basilica, which manes that I had slept for far long enough. I walked the short walk over to the Basilica and asked if I could enter, he said a Mass was going on so I had to be quiet. I entered the hall quietly and I saw all the people praying. Just the pure size of the Cathedral amazed me. Unfortunately I didn't have much time here because I needed to leave the next day

St. Peter's Basilica

February 17: Today I arrived in Jerusalem, the holiest city in three major religions that I will be exploring in this trip. Today I will be visiting the Christian sites in this holy city. The first site is The Church of the Holy Sepulchre. This church is a 4th Chapel, this is an especially important place because it is considered blessed, because it is considered the church of Jesus Christ. The inside was fairly unimpressive, but it is still an incredibly holy sight. I also visited the Pools of Bethesda. This small lake is another extremely holy place because it was considered the place where Jesus healed his followers.

February 18: Today I set out to find the most holy Jewish sites in Jerusalem. The first one that instantly popped into mind was the wailing wall. This wall is considered the remnants of the temple of Solomon, which is one of the most sacred temples in Jewish history. The temple was destroyed in one of the sieges on Jerusalem. The other site is the Tower of David. Also known as the Jerusalem Citadel, the archaeological excavations here have revealed 2,000 years of history. I came her to enjoy the amazing sound and light Night Spectacular Show that is projected onto the walls of the citadel. The Tower of David Museum shows the history of Jerusalem from its ancient origins to the present day.

February 19: Today I set out to try and find the most holy Islamic sites. Upon first glance there appeared to be a lot of Muslims heading to a certain temple. This place turned out to be the dome of the Rock. This place is the third holiest place in Islamic faith because according to the Quran this was where Muhammad left the earth on a winged horse. This was also on Mount Moriah, which is the place Abraham offered his son to god, though which son is disputed between the religions making it a sacred but controversial site for all three of the religions in jerusalem

February 21: Today I arrived at Agra, India. I came here specifically to see the Taj Mahal. This building is a mausoleum for the wife of an ancient Muslim king of India. Her name was Mumtaz Mahal and she was the wife of a king named Shah Jahan. Upon her death it was said he went into a period of mourning where he was not seen for a whole year and came back completely inconsolable. He created a mausoleum for her to rest forever in a place he deemed that "was the only place fitting of her perfection". Upon his death he was buried next to her for them to rest together forever. Completely touched by this, I decided to spend a week here learning about the Mughal rule in India.

February 28: Today I arrived at the Ganges River. This river is considered the most holy river in all of Hindu faith. It was extremely polluted with runoff water from fertilizers and power plants which was rather disappointing. I decided that I would not go into the river like my earlier plan had been, and I was smart about that. It was found that there were over 100 bodies discovered in the river the same time area that I was there. This river is considered holy because its worshiped as the goddess Ganga who brings life to humans.

March 3: This stop is my last stop in my trip. This place is the Bodh Gaya. This place is the most sacred site in all of Buddhism. This is so because it is believed to be the place where the Buddha Achieved enlightenment. It is the place that all Buddhist monks achieve enlightenment at. It in itself is a very beautiful location and has a very large Buddha statue that was swarmed by people praying at.

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