"Right, we are going to the Church Of the Holy Sepulchre first", announced the guide the moment we got to Jerusalem.
I thought to myself that I really would rather see a Jewish quarter first, but hey...I wasn't in charge.
The complex was huge and, as an important religious site, shared by several Christian churches (Orthodox, Armenian and Catholic).
After all, Jesus was said to be buried there.
Once inside I first noticed the eerie atmosphere...each denomination was singing their own songs and doing their own rituals. At the same time! It could have been cacophonic, but it was actually rather soothing.
In one corner, the devotees of the Armenian church were prostrating themselves on the marble stone, touching it with objects and falling into a trance like state.
"What are they doing?", I asked the guide.
"This is where Jesus laid.", he said.
I thought I better touch the stone just in case and prostrated myself right across the marble slab. I rubbed my clothing onto it for good measure too. You know...just in case I follow the wrong denomination and Armenians are the righteous followers.
We then proceeded to wait in the queue with other Catholics in front of a giant square stone inside the church.
Once we got inside this smallest of the spaces, there was a glass encasing with a rock under it.
"What's this?"; I asked the guide.
"This is where Jesus was buried.", he said.
"I thought he was buried under that marble slab...", I started.
"Well...", he shrugged.
I thought to myself I better touch the rock inside the glass encasing inside the square stone inside the church too. Just in case. Gotta cover all bases when it comes to afterlife. I don't wanna ruin my chances with Lord Jesus.
I went around the church touching this and rubbing that for what seems like an eternity.
Eventually, it was time for a visit to the Bazaar and, finally, a Jewish quarter.
It was Shabbat and it was unusually busy as the devotees were preparing themselves for prayers at the Western Wall. The atmosphere was electric. People were singing, dancing and being very joyous.
The guide told us we can go all the way to the wall and to write our prayers and wishes on the paper and stick it inside the crevices in the wall.
"Aha...", I thought: "I have a whole list of things to wish for!!!".
I begun scribbling furiously.
I tried to insert my wish list into the crevice in the wall, but, alas, there was no space. Every single surface, crevice, nook and cranny were covered in colourful papers. I tried again. No luck. Then I got one of the chairs dotted around, dragged it to the wall, stood on it and stuck my wish list high up.
"Closer to God"; I thought.
And with that, our visit to this holy city was over.
"I guess I'm gonna be in God's good books now.", I thought to myself and rubbed my hands with glee.