I will admit that I held back a few tears Thursday morning as we saw our group off to the airport. They have been just wonderful about everything. We understand from Karen Wrye that their travelers’ patience has been tried yet one more time. The flight from Tel Aviv to Newark was delayed two hours, meaning a missed flight to Portland. Thankfully, Continental put them up in a hotel for the night and they take off a few hours from when I am writing this, hopefully rested enough to take on the six hour flight ahead of them yet.
|Our tour guide Naim|
|Our bus driver Kazm|
We also thanked our able tour guide Naim and skilled bus driver Kazm, both of whom made things go smoothly on this end for us.
|Looking East to the Mount of Olives with the |
Holy Sepulchre dome in foreground.
From there we walked over to Redeemer Lutheran church and climbed the 186 steps up the bell tower. The view from up there going north, south, east and west is amazing and fun, especially after being to many of the sites and acquiring a growing knowledge of the Old City of Jerusalem.
|A shopaholic's dream!|
We did a bit a shopping, catching the merchants as they were just opening up their shops. Here is a view of a typical lane with everything open. We saw these streets everywhere. Shopkeepers are very aggressive about getting your attention, as you can imagine they have to be in such a competitive market. One marketer in side the Joffa Gate, which is how we got to our Gloria Hotel, said out of frustration, “Why does no one look at me? Is it because I am Arab?” I smiled, as most of our shopping has been in Palestinian shops.
|Model of Jerusalem at before the destruction in 70 A.D. (or C.E.)|
Mark and I set off to get to the Israeli Museum by bus. After a few mixed directions and waits at the wrongs stops, we did finally make our way across West Jerusalem to the museum. This is a very well done collection of several things. There is a wonderful display of the Dead Sea Scrolls and their history. Having been to Qumran, this was fun. There is also an amazing model of Jerusalem at the time of Christ. It is fun to try to retrace Christ’s path of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday as he went from Caiaphas to Pilate to Herod and back to Pilate, finally going the Via Dolorosa to Golgotha for the crucifixion. The model makes that easier to picture than when actually on the streets.
We opted for a taxi home and enjoyed a quiet dinner at a French/Italian restaurant hardly ten steps from our hotel. Another early bedtime prepares us for tomorrow’s adventures.