Monday, May 18, 2009

The rest of the pictures

Sorry I never finished out trip. The rest of our pictures are story-less still. But since a picture is worth a thousand words, here are a lot of words.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The beginning of the story (and more pictures)

After missing our flight in Rome due to delays, spending the day in Rome, and more delays, we arrived are our hostel in Jerusalem at 5:00 am Wednesday morning. The shops beneath our windows were just starting to set up their stands as we dropped off to sleep- oblivious to the shouts and horns on the street below. A few short hours later we pulled ourselves out of bed to meet up with Mark's old friend from Tallahassee, Aaron Gertz. We explored the Old City for the rest of the morning and early afternoon.

We were able to go onto the temple mount that afternoon. We couldn't go into the mosques only right up to them. As you can see I was very immodestly dressed so we had a purchase of shawl before going any further.Looks pretty good, huh?

As you can see, Mark and Aaron are dedicated Florida State fans.
Our main form of transportation was our feet. We walked pretty much everywhere. One exception was our trip out to see Aaron's kibbutz. Josi drove us out first to a Abu Ghosh for a delicious hummus meal, then on to see the school that Aaron is teaching at.
While Aaron was teaching an SAT class Mark and I walked around the beautiful hills and vineyards.
The next day we went to the Israeli Museum and looked at an art exhibit and the dead sea scrolls. The main exhibition was closed. Oh well. Then we took a bus to Ein Gedi and went swimming in the Dead Sea. As you can see, we picked a rocky, mudless no rubbing mud all over ourselves.
We then hitchhiked from Ein Gedi to the turnoff to Masada- about 20 km. We then walked up this road at dusk. Pretty much walking around in the middle of the desert. We spent the night at the bottom of the plateau and at 4:00 am we awoke to our rowdy neighbors. So we got up and climbed up the snake path. It was still dark when we began our ascent and still pretty dark when we got to the top. Hiking in the dark, cool morning was quite peaceful. We were the first ones up the mountain so we were surprised to see a lot of people already at the top. Some people were sleeping inside the ruins beyond the display ropes.
The sun had a very anti-climatic appearance due to the cloud cover. But tour guides still strived to get their groups attention as the sun came over a cloud. A loud, "the sun is coming out" was heard quite a ways away from where they stood cramped on top of a building. We explored Masada for a bit before heading back down for breakfast and the return to the city.

Friday, May 1, 2009


The pictures are in backwards order. Sorry.
Mark at the Garden Tomb
Mark on the Mount of Olives
Mark's old friends the Gertz family. Thanks especially to Aaron for showing us all around.
Sunrise on top of Masada
The Dead Sea
Mark at the Israeli Museum model of Herod's Temple
Out at the Kibbutz
The Old City

And that's the short narrative-less version of our trip. I'll get to that part sometime.