This morning we actually set the alarm as we had to phone The City of David to get information on the english tour that went out this morning. Today is Shabbat so they were only doing the 10 am tour instead of another one in the early afternoon. No problem we thought, we have just over an hour to get showered, dressed, fed and out the door.
Well, that wasn't the problem! We got out in time, leaving by 9:20 to get there for 9:45. Do remember this is very close, it SHOULD be a ten minute drive.....MAX!
However you see they have these roads in Israel that one minute are two way and the next minute, with no signs whatsoever of what is coming up switches to one way. Not going the way you are driving, of course. So here we are driving around the circumfrence of the Old City and Bam, there in front of us, taking up the entire road, is a massive tour bus and a not so happy driver. Okay, he was mad. Thankfully D was driving (okay lets be honest here, the ONLY reason I am on the car rental and the ONLY way I will be driving is if there is an emergency and D can't because he is in an ambulence or something like that). So we reversed merrily down the road, around the bend and down the hill, until we could pull in and turn around on some little wee street.
Yeah, so then the real fun started.
We "followed the signs" to The City of David. In Canada these actually point you in the right direction, here they sortof point in the general direction and the left is left up to some inner geological positioning capabilties that Israelis must posess.
Four tries, and a near tears wife as we are once again lost in a not so great part of town, and into "Peace Forest" that was covered in anti-Israel graffti (someone please explain how THAT is peaceful!) and we finally discovered a little old road that lead down the Gihon valley and in the general direction of where we'd like to go.
Then we had to park
Enough said about that!
Magoo and Mummy ran in to find out that yes we were late (10:20 instead of 9:45) but all we had missed was the movie, and we could come back to see that on Sunday, and yes we could catch up with the English tour if we left "right now". So with much rushing about and everything we made it.
Was all that fuss worth it? Absulotely!
The tour was amazing, so much has ben uncovered since we were last here 3 years ago. What everyone thought was the pool of Siloam is not! instead they have uncovered the actual steps down from the Temple to a massive pool that Herod had re-done that messures 30 METERs square. Herod did nothing small did he! but not all is dug up, see they have this wee problem of the fact that a good portion of it is under land owned by the Greek Orthodox Church and they being what they are will not let anyone excavate...typical!
They also have uncovered the stairs with remants of those Jews that hid under them in AD 70, this is recorded in F. Josephus when he tells of the Romans breaking up the stairs to find the last Jew and destroy them. Remind you of anyone?
The stuff from the time of King David was simply breath taking. His actual Palace, the fortified walls and the tunnels. They have just found a tunnel in the past 2 months and are excavating it right now.
I was on video duty as Monkey wanted Daddy...and we have a full high definition video of the sky, ground with crying child in it as I kept making mistakes and having it on when it should have been off.
Note to self, when walking down steep and see through steps and afriad of hieghts, pass the video camera to someone else!
Since it is Shabbat we had to stop at the grocery store for food, and it being when it was ended up not getting home for lunch until 2:30. For all you freaking out because of the poor children, they had snacks on the drive inbetween.
This afternoon it POURED rain (odd occurence right now) for a good 15-20 minutes. The girls had a long 2 hour nap and we got dinner ready and a wonderful couple in the Truth that are over here right now. That was how we spent our evening, dinner and a Bible reading with others in the Truth, refreshing!
Now it is time fo Li La Tov. Tomorrow is going to be a relaxing day, we may go up the Mt of Olives and then just let the kids play.