Next stop – site of Jesus’ life, according to biblical references.
I expected cool weather – simply because there was never a warm day in my trip so far.
This was the next stop in a full day tour of the West Bank. First stop was Ramallah and it was a bummer. So I didn’t expect much.
It wasn’t a long bus ride from Ramallah but the views were superbly, remarkably, outstanding!
It was HOT! Temperatures could’ve been well over 30 degree Celsius at least.
There’s not a lot of locals around (except the ones attending the very few shops and tourist sites) but there’s lots of tourists and pilgrims.
We didn’t get to eat here as we were on a schedule and I only saw two restaurants – one near the excavation site and another at the Mount of Temptation.
We did stop to have a break at a restaurant at the mountain but I didn’t get anything as I was too tired and it was just a short break before we made our way down.
I remember we were all famished but lunch would only be served in Bethlehem, which was our next stop.
Excavation site: Tell es Sultan
This is the first stop in Jericho! We had a local guide from here on.
Jericho is one of the oldest cities in the world and these excavation sites are proof of it.
I was happy as this was my first time at an excavation site but I couldn’t keep up when the guide was explaining the history – neolithic, bronze age, iron age, etc.
Mount of Temptation
This mountain is huge! I was staring at the majesty of it and absent-mindedly said, “Wow! How did Jesus walk all the way up there?” to absolutely no one. One of the Peruvian women replied, “Exactly right? He was such a strong man”. I nodded, still awe-struck. And when my brain started working, I added, “Especially in this weather”.
The tour guide was telling us how a few years back, a male tourist decided to walk up the mountain and died while trying because the weather was unforgivably HOT! We were there during spring and it was already too hot, imagine the tourist who went during summer.
Monastery of the Temptation
After the cable car ride, we had to walk up further to the place where supposedly Jesus (AS) meditated and fasted for forty days and were tempted by the Satan (thus, name of the mountain).
The steps up were very slippery and the views made me a little giddy (fear of height) but it was so amazing! These photos doesn’t do justice at all.
Before we reached Jesus’ (AS) sanctuary, we reached this little cave.
These were pilgrims – I heard they would pray and meditate on the mountain for forty days, just like Jesus did.
We went up further and reached another prayer building, which was very small.
Baptism Site: Qasr el Yahud
Jesus (AS) was supposedly baptised here and this is also “traditionally considered to be the place where the Israelites crossed the Jordan River, and Elijah the Prophet ascended to heaven.”
This side where we were belongs to Israel and just across the river belongs to Jordan. Anyone who falls or enters in between (where the floats are), will be disputed to which authority will have power over him/her.
4.5/5. I really love the historical significance here and the views are simply out of this world! Hate the hot weather though.
Should you wander to Jericho? If you’d like to know the biblical references of Prophet Jesus (AS) and love history, YES!
- Take LOTS of pictures and videos – it’s simply breathtaking!
- Wear lots of sunblock and light clothes.
- Drink lots of water
- Tour price: $135, 12hrs duration including travel time, Ramallah-Jericho-Bethlehem
- Snacks: Free, bananas, strawberries and other snacks given by tour guide (not stated in tour package)
*All prices are in SGD (estimate).