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  • Day9

    Days 7 & 8 - First Days in Jerusalem

    May 4 in Israel ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    Our last night in Jordan, we had a delicious Lebanese meal, outdoors, overlooking the Dead Sea.
    On the morning of Day 7, we crossed the border into Israel, where we’ll be for the rest of the trip.  We crossed at the Allenby Bridge, named for British General Edmund Allenby who is portrayed in “Lawrence of Arabia,” as he was, at one point, TE Lawrence’s commanding officer.  Met by our guide and driver, we have now had, among the A&K team supporting us, Muslims, Christians, and Jews.
    We’re in Jerusalem for four nights; it’s been around since roughly 3,000 BC, has about 1m people and is roughly divided as 64% Jewish, 34% Muslim, and 2% Christian.
    Our first two days happen to be on Israeli holidays - Remembrance Day - day one, a national day in which respects are paid to the people killed in supporting the State - and Israeli Independence Day; on the Gregorian calendar, that day is May 14, but Israel uses the Hebrew calendar and, so, the date changes slightly each year.
    Upon arrival we drove to an overlook of the city from where we saw the walled old city and its contrast with the new, the lushness, and the hills.  The Western Wall, Temple Mount, Dome of the Rock, and Church of the Holy Sepulcher all stand-out.
    Then it was several hours at Yad Vashem - The World Holocaust Remembrance Center - Israel’s official memorial to the victims of the Holocaust as well as the Jews and non-Jews who aided Jews during the period.  Educational, enlightening, saddening, maddening, and deeply moving.
    Dinner on Day 7 (Tuesday) was at a restaurant on the roof of a building owned by the Vatican, with glorious views of Old Jerusalem.  Several of us walked through the old city back to our hotel - the famous, old, and beautiful King David Hotel.
    Day 8 was primarily spent on a walking tour of Old Jerusalem, split into four quarters - Jewish, Muslim, Christian, and Armenian – partially along the Via Dolorosa, and ending with a visit to the Western Wall.
    @aktravel_usa #Israel #Jerusalem
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