Friday, February 24, 2017

DAY NINE: February 15, 2017 in ISRAEL

We met our new tour guide RENATA.
and we headed to THE CITY OF DAVID
which lies outside (south) of the Old City of Jerusalem and the walls.  The City of David is an Israeli settlement and the archaeological site which is speculated to compose the original urban core of ancient Jerusalem,  According to Wikipedia

From the Beit Hatzofeh Lookout Platform
we had some good views. 

And then it was on to the tunnels.  Hezekiah's Tunnel, is a water tunnel that was carved underneath the City of David in Jerusalem in ancient times. Its popular name is due to the most common hypothesis of its origin, namely that it dates from the reign of Hezekiah of Judah (late 8th and early 7th century BCE) and corresponds to the waterworks mentioned in 2 Kings 20:20 in the Bible.  A few of our group chose to walk through this tunnel, I am not sure why. It involve walking through hip deep water in spots.  The rest of us walked through the Canaanite tunnel which was dry. 
After that we walked to the spot of the POOL OF SILOAM, to wait for the others to
exit from Hezekiah's Tunnel. 
 There was not a lot left to see at this spot.

Southern Wall is a wall at the southern end of the Temple Mount and the former southern side of the Second Temple (also called Herod's Temple) in Jerusalem. It was built during King Herod's expansion of the Temple Mount platform southward on to the Ophel.
Then we walked to what I think Craig referred to as THE SOUTHERN STEPS.   I think it was this area : Southern Wall is a wall at the southern end of the Temple Mount and the former southern side of the Second Temple (also called Herod's Temple) in Jerusalem. It was built during King Herod's expansion of the Temple Mount platform southward on to the Ophel.

We were here at noon and heard the Muslim Call to Prayer.............very eerie...........wailing, almost painful sounding.

 I sat on one of these pillars and it began to roll !!!
 Our itinerary says this:  the southern steps were used by the common people and it is where Jesus entered the temple and threw out the money changers.    Most likely Peter preached on the day of Pentecost from this location.  The wall behind the steps is the southern temple mount wall.
Craig spoke.  And
from there we walked to the Western (wailing) Wall.  Here are a few
pictures I took along the way. 
 I think Renata referred to this as an ANCIENT STREET, but I do not recall what she said about it.

 This truck became stuck going through one of the gates, but I am not sure which gate it is. 
We arrived at the Western (wailing) wall
and were given some free time so
Peg and I decided to try to find an earthcache.  The coords took us right to the intersection of a wall between the men's and women's section.

I love this picture that Pastor Mike Wing took at the wall.  He titled it NO WORDS NECESSARY
After that we headed into the Old City where we were given free time for whatever we wanted to do.  We must have been near the LIONS GATE because I took this picture (as a landmark to make sure I could find my way back to our meeting spot)
 I separated myself from Dave and Peg at this point because they wanted to go to the TEMPLE INSTITUTE and I did not want to go there. I attached myself to Gwen and Mary Kay and we followed Renata to her favorite eating place where I had lunch.  (Quiche and a couple of salads).  The windows just outside the restaurant had some good views. 

Then Gwen, Mary and I
did some shopping until it was time to meet up with our group. 
I noticed this girl making something in a shop window.  I thought the shops were a bit on the expensive side (compared to prices from street vendors) and I did not buy anything.  Peg and David had an interesting experience in a Jewish art shop where they purchased some prints. 

We met with our group and walked to a courtyard like area with some beautiful murals.
 and some pillars.
In this area I saw a  pay phone.s.
Close to this area, Renata showed us this map.
          The Madaba Mosaic Map depicts Jerusalem with the Nea Church, which was dedicated on the 20th of November, AD 542. Buildings erected in Jerusalem after 570 are absent from the depiction, thus limiting the date range of its creation to the period between 542 and 570. The mosaic was made by unknown artists, probably for the Christian community of Madaba, which was the seat of a bishop at that time.

The last point of interest was - Zion Gate in the southern wall of Jerusalem's Old City is scarred by bullet marks from the Six Day War in 1967.

And then the bus took us back to DAN PANORAMA JERUSALUM.  It was a short day today so that we would have time in the late afternoon and early evening to get our belongings organized and packed up.  After our last supper in the hotel (it still had not improved) we had a meeting. 

Craig was in a funky mood and when K.C. was late, he had us all get up and start to walk out as he said something about wrapping the meeting up and saying goodnight.  K.C. was our trip planner and she had all the info we needed about what time to put our luggage outside of our rooms, etc.  We all got a laugh out of this.  K.C. said something like "you all are in for a world of hurt"

We were told that we were officially checking out tomorrow morning, but that they had two rooms reserved for us to use to change out of sightseeing clothing into farewell dinner clothing and to get cleaned up. 

It was our LAST FULL DAY in Israel, although we had a full day of sightseeing planned for tomorrow. 

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