The day I was ashamed to call myself a tourist

During my trip to Israel I had one spare day in Tel Aviv and to get the most out of it I did the Sandemans Free walking tour. I will tell you more about the tour in another post as this is one about me telling you why I was ashamed to call myself a tourist. But in the meantime if you want more information check out the reviews on TripAdvisor it really is a good tour. The tour finished at Kedumim Square and I came across the St Peters Church.

outside of st stepehsn church tel aviv

I love to go into churches when I am travelling to light a candle for my lost loved ones. Some of the churches I have been to are so pretty and this one is no exception. As I went inside I didn’t realise there was a service going on. The large front doors squeaked, they really need to put some oil on them so people don’t disturb the mass as everything also echo’s in churches. There were a few people stood at the back and I joined them to watch the service. I didn’t really understand what was going on because it was in Hebrew. However I did realise this was peoples time of worship and that should be respected. Even though I couldn’t understand what was being said it was quite a emotional service, listening to them pray and sing and the church was so beautiful.

inside st stephens church in tel aviv

What made me ashamed during this visit was when a group of teenage tourists came into the church. And I am talking about 30 teenagers shouting, screaming and laughing. They didn’t even stop when they could clearly see that a service was going on. They were taking pictures and making so much noise. People were turning round clearly getting distressed by the racket which is understandable and some guys even got up and headed to the back to tell them to be quiet. It was cringe worthy and so bad mannered. They even had group leaders with them and they were doing nothing to quiet them down. This went on for a few minutes until one man went to the back and I don’t know what was said but the teenagers then all left which again was causing disruption to the service.

I felt for the people that were here for the service and one lady even started crying. It turns out that this was a some kind of special service as at the end war veterans went to the front and had pictures taken and there was a TV and radio crew that then interviewed them. This made it even more upsetting that these people ruined what was a mark of respect service.

Even though it wasn’t me making the noise I felt embarrassed as I was there as a tourist too and cant believe anyone can enter someone else’s sacred place and have no respect.

After the service I spent some time looking around and I got to light my candle. Even if it is not your religion or you might not understand what is happening it is very important that when visiting church and any place of worship to show respect and not be disruptive as these are peoples special places.

ashamed to be a tourist in st stepehsn church tel aviv

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