Writing this from the Dan Panorama Hotel in Jerusalem. Thanks Dan hotels for the upgrade to the awesome suite including a terrace big enough for a group of thirty to have a party. Looking forward to the 5 nights here in Jerusalem.
Have to get to bed early (like now) so just a quick summary and will fill in more later.
Started out from the kibbutz in the morning. I skipped Nadav's tour and talk about kibbutz life but did my own little walk down to the indoor pool and took a few photos to remember how beautiful it is at Hagoshrim.
We drove down the eastern side of the sea of Galilee, past Ein Gev, and all the way down to Beit Alpha. Stopped to see the beautiful mosaic floor of the 5th-6th century synagogue. Then on to Beit Shean to see the Roman ruins. It was quite hot by then so we just saw the theater and went a short ways down the main street. Amazing how much more has been excavated since the last time I was here about 5 or 6 years ago, maybe more.
We stopped for a nice lunch in Beit
Shean - salads and meat and such. Then back on the bus for the drive through the West Bank, along the border practically of Israel and Jordan. Passed Neve Ur where my brother Danny lived for a time when he first made aliyah; past Jericho; turned up toward Jerusalem and then arrived at Mount Scopus. Izzy from the tour company met us with delicious challah so we could say a shechiyanu and drink l'chayim and break bread on our entrance to the city. Then we descended from Mount Scopus and proceeded slowly with the backed up traffic all the way to the entrance to the Old City by the Western (Wailing) Wall. We were running late so went directly to the Western Wall Tunnel tour led by Nadav. Again, much was changed since last time I was there but the highlights were the same including the huge rocks set into place by amazing engineering. Nice little film, too, about how the engineering might have worked.
Leaving the tunnels, we walked through the Muslim quarter and out to the bus. It was crazy by the wall because Yom Yerushalayim is tomorrow the 47th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem at
end of the Six Day War. lots of teens and groups dancing and singing already. A big parade goes by our hotel tomorrow just at the time we are due to arrive back form our tour day, so I guess we'll have to get back earlier. As Nadav would say - balagan. (Craziness)
We arrived at the hotel around 7 pm then Nancy, Lari, Michael and I went out around 7:45 to walk and find dinner. I took them along King David St. past HUC and then up and around some streets with lots of restaurants and such until we came out to bottom of Ben Yehuda mall. Found our way to Rimon Restaurant (one of my faves) and had delicious meal. Fabulous vegetable soup for me and pizzas for two of them and veggie dishes. Plus lemon/nana slushies.
Walked back to the hotel by King George Street and unpacked. That's all for tonight. Will load the photos from the day but title them maybe tomorrow night or later in the week.
Excited to head out to Masada and Dead Sea tomorrow, though it will be 100 degrees. And then big treat tomorrow night at the home
of our friend Maureen who has arranged musical entertainment on the roof of her apartment near Mahaneh Yehudah (in Nachlaot neighborhood).
Glad to be "home" just a few blocks from where I spent the year in 1975-76, but more than that, the home of my soul.
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