Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Israel - Day Six

Gonna make this one shorter . . .

We hit the road at 8:00 AM and headed straight to the Mount of Olives - along with all the rest of the tourists in Jerusalem. The view from our starting point looks out over the old city and is pretty spectacular with the early sun on the golden Dome of the Rock. Beyond that we visited the Garden of Gethsemane and a few related churches along the way.

Then we went into the Old City and visited an archaeological park at the southern end of the Temple Mount. This is the spot where anyone visiting the temple would have come to enter the Temple Mount. it's one spot where we can be certain Jesus would have walked.

From there it was a trip to the outskirts of Jerusalem to visit Yad Vashem, Israel's memorial to the millions of Jews killed in the Holocost. It features the stories and artifacts of hose who went through it. Very powerful.

We headed back into the city to visit he City of David which is essentially the Jerusalem of David's time. This is a very controversial dig in East Jerusalem. It's controversial because Israeli's are literally digging in Palestinians back yards.

The purpose of our visit was to walk the 1,750 length of Hezekiah's Tunnel. This tunnel was dug to secretly bring water from the Gihon spring, the only source of water for the city, to the pool of Siloam on the other side of town. It guaranteed the Residents would continue to have water if their city was attacked. A pretty impressive engineering feat for its day.

We climbed down into a cavern and stepped into the entrance. The water quickly crept to our knees and then our thighs. After a few hundred feet it was only ankle deep. The tunnel is pitch dark but most of us had flashlights. It took less than half an hour but was very cool and Indiana Jones like.

After dinner A few of us made the trek to the Old City to see the Western Wall at night. It is very cool to see things at night. Shops are closed. It is dimly lit and feels even more like another world.

The Western Wall is always cool with lots of Orthodox men bobbing their heads as they pray. There is also a covered area just north of that section do the wall where even more men gather to talk and pray. We wandered into that space as well.

Our trip to and from the Old City resulted in us getting lost several times but that's all part of he fun.

Feral cat count: 13

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