Israel Diary - Thursday
I had thought about attempting to go to the Dead Sea again on Thursday, but late Wednesday I had managed to get in touch with the daughter of a family I am very close with from Baltimore who is in seminary for the year. We had decided to have lunch together on Thursday, so going to the Dead Sea was out of the cards for the day. I did what had become my daily stroll through Jerusalem. I walked all the way to the Old City, stopping here and there in shops and at spots that caught my interest. As I was about half-way there, I decided to check out Emek Refaim. I hopped on a bus and when I got there, wandered up and down the charming little streets and looked in the shops. After wandering around there for a while, I decided to head to the Old City and the Tower of David Museum. The Tower of David Museum offered outdoor archaelogical interests, an incredible panoramic view of Jerusalem and a indoor museum that traces the history of Jerusalem. It was pretty cool, and I learned a lot about the history of Jerusalem and the many hands who've held it's power, while getting a gorgeous view of the city. After the Tower of David Museum, I wandered back into town to meet my friend at the Village Green for lunch. It was really good to see her - I have spent many, many Shabbosim in her home in Baltimore and her family is like a second family to me. I have known her for about 3-1/2 years now and watched her really grow through many trials and tribulations, and was moved to tears seeing her give a speech at her graduation last year. We sat, ate and caught up. After a long, leisurely lunch, we roamed the shops of Ben Yehuda, searching for gifts for my friends. We managed to purchase a few things and then she had to go to study for an exam. We gave each other big hugs and had someone take our picture for us. After that, I caught back up with Ze'ev for a little while. We wandered, got some ice cream, and chatted. He told me that I had to come back soon, certainly not in another seven years, a conclusion that I tend to agree with as well. After Ze'ev and I parted, I met my friends who I was staying with in Zion Square and we made our way to an out-of-the-way restaurant called La Luna, which was a fleishig Italian restaurant. It was pretty quiet, had lots of ambiance, and really good food. We enjoyed ourself over a leisurely meal, and then my friends headed towards a shiur, and I made my long walk home, in the clear Jerusalem air once again. Update: I forgot my "Only in Israel" story of the day. As I was walking home, almost to my friend's place, I crossed the street and was stopped by a soldier who wouldn't let anyone go any further down the street. Looking up the block a bit, I could see that traffic was stopped in the other direction as well, and that there were flashing police lights all around. After a few minutes, the area was clear and we were allowed to walk down the street again. I am guessing an "abandoned" package was found.