Shalom on Sunday
Apologies at the start, my brain is weary so this may be short, or it may not. I will try to make it flow though and make sense to the readers.
Today was a busy and rewarding day. We had our usual breakfast and decided instead of paying for parking we would walk up to the Old City again, through the Armenian and Jewish quarters and the down all those many many steps at the Kotel and out the Dung gate, hang a left and head down to the City of David.
They are doing even more excavating in the area where it used to be a parking lot and they have cut outs in the boards beside the sidewalk so we were all able to peak in at the latest excavations. We found out later that they have found a Roman earring, some pottery and such in a large building so the theory right now is that this is Queen Helena's Palace (she converted to Judaism and it is recorded that she built a palace in this area of the city). Then we went in and enquired about the english film and mentioned that we hadn't been shown around King David's Palace last time. They were SO accomidating, no hassle whatsoever. They called back and a guide came out and we got our very own tour of King David's Palace (and video taped it of corse) and then she rushed off after we were done as another VIP group was here. We also saw the guy incharge of all the City of David excavations and now know that we have his photo. It is simply amazing all the discoveries that have been made on Mt Zion. Then we had to wait a bit (for the said VIP group to get out of the way) for the video so we spent a lovely long time in the gift shop and fhound a great book about the excavations, and D just was flipping through it and it mentions Henry Sulley! WOW! Got some presents to bring home as well. D tempted me to get a necklace but I will keep looking around for the best deal. We may end up going back.
The movie turned out to be 3D and was so moving. It takes you through the whole history of the City of David. Monkey freaked out a bit but we sorta expected that to happen. We taped it but only the second half with the glasses so the 1st half is burry but the audio is still good. The Goons really took in and absorbed a lot of info from it. Princess didn't like the bit where birds flew at you that much but since it wasn't gory at all she enjoyed it as well. They even showed Jeremiah in the pit and Isaiah on the walls shouting at the Assyrians. Definately worth going back for!
Then we crossed back over to go into the Davidson Center. At this point we noticed the increased security and low and behold the US peoples we mentioned before arrived at the Kotel. They seem to be following us around.
The Davidson Center was much better this time without a sick child. They also had a 10 minute movie using thier virtual reality set up (which you can pay 160 INS each to go in....we obviously did not) to show you what it would have looked like at the time of Christ to walk up to and through the Temple.
They also have exhibits of daily items from that time period that were found there just outside the Temple platform, many coins, oil lamps, pot sherds and also items from the Ummaydian period.
We spent some time walking up the road that dates from the second Temple time period past remants of shops where the pilgram would have purchased his/her sacrifical offering which led to the staircase that ends at Robinsons' arch.
This time we were able to go up the ACTUAL ORIGINAL (that blew me away) steps to the Hulda and Triple gates. Last time this was closed and locked. The kids loved climbing all over the ruins and actually "acting" things out. They had a blast going up and down the stairs to the Mikveh "Look Mummy I'm on the dirty side I'm going to get cleansed" Princess said. Magoo kept jumping from one side to the other thinking it was hilarious!Monkey simply wanted to pick up each and every single stone on the path!
Afterwards we climbed up the many Many steps back to the Jewish quarter and headed straight for the Hurva Square and our fav cafe. They have the most amazing iced coffee! The Goons shared some Bamba (a fav Israeli snack food that looks like chessezes but are peanut butter flavoured instead) and a coke and D had a Cappuchino. Then we popped into Shirorisim again and this time picked up some Hebrew Calligraphy cards.
We walked back past Esther Wiess' and grabbed some headcoverings for gifts but we will need to go back as there are more that we need to get for. I only got 2 this time, be proud!
D bought some bread and we munched on that as we walked back out of The Old City and down Argon St to the King David street...and straight past the Saban Convention that is going on! No wonder there was heavy security. Then as we walked past the King David Hotel the US group was leaving.
We had Chesed's potatoes, swiss chalet gravy, peas and chicken for dinner and as that was cooking quickly threw the Goons in and out of the bath! My they were dirty.
Now we are enjoying the relative peace and are hoping that the Sweenys will pop by this evening.
Tomorrow is turning out to be jam packed. David's Citidel Tour at 11am, Burnt House Tour, Ariel the 1st Temple Institute around 1pm, The Temple Institute, Start the Rosh Chodesh March and then turn around at the first gate (Moshe said this is safe to do) and have dinner overlooking the Kotel and then meet up with the march at the end near the Golden Gates!
Li La Tov!