I was so excited to get to the old city I was out the door by 8am! And considering this was the first night I slept the whole night through and didnt get up until 7:15, you can see I was anxious to get out the door!
Stopped at the Train Station for coffee and off I went to explore...
The Old City is a little over a mile away...perfect. As I was walking I couldn't help but admiring the view and when I was able to spy the walls of the old city...breath taking! Along my walk I met an older gentleman that was walking my way and we fell into conversation. I informed him that my goal was to tour the Tower of David today and then explore. He was so very gracious about pointing me in the right direction and inviting me to his shop. Sure, why not? So I followed him to his little area inside the city. He promptly got me a chair and as I sat there drinking my coffee, I got to hear all about his "Ali Baba treasure trove shop!" I had a hard time not giggling...there was never a stop
in his conversation, he just kept talking and I was just going with it. After all, I was going to go along with what came my way on this trip. After he set everything up he invited me into his packed area to show me his goods. After a bit of haggling (barter is king here apparently) I went away with some Jerusalem keepsakes. Did I get had? Maybe, however, the interaction and experience was priceless! And besides, he said we were "Verra, verra gud friends now! I am his sister and he honors me!"
I did see Mohammad several times walking around that day and he was nothing but gracious. One time he asked if I needed anything, I told jim pomegranate juice. He promptly took me to a stall area, sat me down and proceeded to squeeze me fresh pomegranate juice. Thing was, it wasn't his stall! The owner came out looking a bit disgruntled but didn't make a scene. What a hoot!
I ended up doing the tour of the Tower at 11:00. Before I went, I quickly popped into the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and just stood there in awe. But, I decided
to walk the Via Delorosa tomorrow and I would then take my time there then.
There was free English speaking guide started at 11 so I headed to the Tower of David. So glad I did this. The amount of history here is staggering! Over three thousand years worth! I am going to have to get a book about all the history here...I am facinated!
And, the views were amazing to say the least that far up the tower.
After the two hour tour, it was time for lunch. I realized that other than coffee and juice, I had not eaten anything yet. I was directed by my tour guide to head down to this walkway right outside the Jaffa Gate. Along this boardwalk was many modern shops and restaurants. I just picked one, sat down and ordered! And like everything else I have had here, it was delicious!
Holly, if you are reading this, you and Ballard are going to be my testers...I am inspired to learn how to cook Jewish/Isreal food! I have fallen in love!
Then, back to the old city with no real plan in mind but to get lost in
all it's mazes of walkways. I totally disregarded the map and just let me feet take me where ever. My feet eventually took me to the Western Wall. It was quiet amazing to be there at a place where millions and millions of people hold sacred. Just kinda stood there for a while to take it all in.
Then, before I knew it, it was already after 5! Exhusted, I headed back home. Got in about 6 and took a shower and a nap.
After I awoke an hour later, it was to discover another guest had arrived! Lori was introduced and she explained that she comes to Jerusalem several times a year and always stays with Barry and Doranne. Dinner began, wine flowed and the conversation was amazing. I did realize at some point that I wasn't just having dinner, I was making friends!
Lori is from Austin and lives very close to my sister...what a small world! She is a chef and is here doing a wine and food tour. How awesome is that?
After many hours around the little kitchen table, and several bottles of wine, it was time for bed. So off
I went, completely satisfied with today's adventures and looking forward to tomorrows!
Seriously, best vacation ever!
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