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Isn't it pretty?

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Israel Diary - Wednesday

Wednesday got off to a bit of a rocky start. I had decided to go to the Dead Sea for the day. I managed to get myself out of bed and to the bus station in time for the 9:40 bus (which doesn't sound like it would be so difficult, but hey, I was on vacation). I got to the bus station, purchased a ticket, and after standing in line for a while, discovered that there were unforseeable bus issues that couldn't be resolved. So, trip to the Dead Sea was scratched. I got myself some breakfast and decided to head into town. Because it was another beautiful day, I walked on down, taking my time to enjoy Jerusalem. I wandered down the street, meandered through Machane Yehuda again, walked through Ben Yehuda stopping in a couple stores to see if I could find presents for friends, and then made my way into the old city. I took some a while to daven by the Kotel, reciting Tehillim and doing my usual tear-rending while I was there (I don't know if I have ever been to the Kotel that I haven't cried). After pouring my heart out Hashem, I decided to take in some of the sites that surround the Kotel. I decided to take a look at the Archealogical Garden and Southern Wall excavations that I had previously never seen, thanks to the suggestion of a friend. It was absolutely fascinating. I am very taken by the rubble that holds so much history inside of it, and this particular exhibition was extremely well-done. What I really liked was that there was lots of exploring to do, very little few barricades keeping me from the different nooks and crannies. I wandered up and down centuries-old staircases, into little caves and dwellings, and could touch the pillars of the Southern gate, which was the outside gate that eventually led into the Bais HaMikdash. I climbed and crawled and had incredible views of the garden n the courtyard and of all of Jerusalem. After several hours of exploring, I decided to head out to get something to eat. For some reason, I was craving pizza in the middle of Israel, so I got myself some pizza and then wandered some more in the Old City. I have a habit of taking turns at whim, and found myself wandering around in sections of the Old City I've never before seen. It was a little disconcerting, but very cool as well. I watched the sun fall over the Old City as I explored. After I found my way back to known landmarks in the Old City, I took my time walking back to my friend's house. By the time I got there, I was beat. I ended up taking a short walk in the evening, while my friend's were at a wedding, but otherwise had a quiet night relaxing and reading at my friend's apartment.

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