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  • Day18

    Israel

    October 24, 2017 in Palestine ⋅ 🌙 17 °C

    Today we left the beautiful northern region of Israel & headed south to Jerusalem! A journey that took approximately 2 hours because we stopped along the way, to lay a wreath in honor of the fallen, just outside of Jericho.
    It was an interesting view from our window along the way, as the border with Jordan was visible in many places, just on the edge of the road. We saw many warning signs of landmines beyond the barbed wire fence 🤤! Unfortunately, we had to bypass the city of Jericho altogether, as it is a Palestinian controlled territory & our guide, Zel, being Jewish, would have had to have sought special permission to show us around. The history of fighting, wars & land control is fascinating & far more complex than we realised. Zel filled us in as best he could; his maps made it alot easier to understand, as we could visually see how frequently the borders have shifted in the past 100 years.
    Our first stop in Jerusalem was the beautiful Mount of Olives, with its incredible views over the city. A few photos were taken here before we were back on the bus & winding our way down to the Old City - a 0.9sq km walled area within the modern city of Jerusalem.
    We pulled up near the famed Southern Steps & headed in via the Dung Gate. Our first stop was the famous Western/Wailing Wall, where we all spent some time reflecting - it was pretty awesome to be right there in the midst of it all. Next, we wove our way through the ancient streets & alley ways, taking in the history of bygone eras at every twist & turn. In amongst the maze that it is, we ended up at the Christian Quarter where we steadily made our way through the throngs of people shopping in the marketplace. At the top of an alley we arrived out into the plaza containing the Tower of David. The history at every turn was incredible. We enjoyed a beautiful lunch at Christ Church, a refreshing oasis hidden behind tall gates - the break was a welcome relief in order to absorb the massive amount of history we has just absorbed in walking the 500m or so.
    After a quick half an hour of exploring, we made our way out through the Jaffa Gate & back on to our bus, bound for the hotel - Dan Jerusalem. We had an hour to settle in & change before we headed back out to the Tower of David for a special concert by our band, followed by an incredible special showing of a sound & light show. It was spectacular!
    It is now 9.50pm & our eyes are barely staying open. It is off to bed for us in preparedness for our next adventure tomorrow...
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