Monday, December 12th- I started my quest in Rome today as I wanted to learned more about Christianity. As I entered Saint Peter's Square, I could not believe its grandeur and beauty. I attended a mass inside the beautiful Saint Peter's Basilica, and afterwards made my way to the Sistine Chapel, painted by Michelangelo. I could not believe I was standing the place where the next Pope would be revealed. My final stop was the burial site of Saint Peter. The ancient architecture was stunning throughout. I wish that I could spend week here instead of just one day.
Thursday, December 15th- Today I entered Islam's holiest city, Mecca. I headed to the Grand Mosque, and looked on as thousands of Muslims worshiped after a long pilgrimage. Inside the mosque was the exquisite Kaaba, the holiest site in all of Islam. I have a new appreciation for the dedication of Muslims to get to their ultimate destination and goal: Mecca. The architecture was beautiful. From the amazing pillars of The Grand Mosque to Arabic on the roof, I could not think of a better place to spend part of my religion trip.
Saturday, December 15- I had finally made it to the undoubtably holiest place on Earth. It was the birthplace of the Son of God for Christians, and The Farthest Mosque for Islam. But I was here for Judaism. My first stop was the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem's Holy Quarter. This was the holiest place for Jews to pray. I gazed up at the Temple Mount, which is a holy place for Jews, Christians, and Muslims. The Wailing Wall is different than the rest of the places that I have visited so far. Its architecture may not be the prettiest, but it symbolizes something bigger that any site I had visited before.
Tuesday, December 20- Today I traveled to the city of Bodh Gaya in Northern India to learn more about the Buddhist faith. Bodh Gaya is the place where The Enlightenment hit Buddha. I first traveled to the Mahabodhi Temple. It was built in about 250 BCE and was referbished in the 1880's. The beautiful gold at the top of the tower was given by the King of Thailand in 2013. I enjoyed visiting Bodh Gaya because of how serene and peaceful it was. I couldn't think of a better place to continue my trip.
Thursday, December 22- The final stop on my world tour was Varanasi, an Indian city located on the bank of the Ganges. I headed to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, dedicated to the Hindu Lord Shiva. The Temple consisted of a gold dome with two giant gold spires. Inside there is a beautiful well. The temple was exquisite from top to bottom. I wonder how much all that gold would cost. Of course I also made a stop at the historic Ganges River, a holy place place for Hindu's. Even though the water was dark, murky, and full of filth, Indians bathed in there like it was nothing! I can't even imagine!