Back in Jerusalem
We finished up our work at Tel-Lachish this week. It was kinda bittersweet to leave the site for the last time, thinking back to all the 4:20AM get up times, all the dirt and brush we moved, the scene of the sun coming up over the vineyards and the moon setting behind the palace. Next year we will have an easier time starting the excavations since our squares have already been partially dug. I look forward to see what we can find next year. 🙂
On Friday, we did a bit a paper work and editing photos on my end. In the afternoon we returned to Jerusalem, after lunch we headed into the Old City. We went into the Old City via the Damascus Gate. As Dr. Hasel, myself and a few others were approaching the gate we saw a very large crowd exiting the city. As I may have mentioned before, it is Ramadan here in the Arab states, so the city is filled with Arabs running around. We fought our way though the bustling crowds. It;s a good idea to keep your valuables aka bags and such in front of you as there are pick pockets in these crowds.
After stopping at a shop to buy some different things, Bob and I went to the Tomb of the Holy Sepulchre. The church is divided into 4 different sections of the main religions in the world. As you can see from the photos the Church is a very dark place, lit only by some low lights and candles that visitors light. It is interesting to see the devotion that people display when visiting the church, Especially, when seeing the supposed rock where the crosses were or the slab where Christ’s body was lain.
Afterwards we went over to the Western Wall as sundown was quickly approaching. After making our way through security, we walked out onto a large plaza area where mostly Jewish men were quickly making their way towards the the Wall as well as the washing station. It was a calm way to welcome the Sabbath watching both the men and women dancing and singing, in their separate groups. On our way out from the Western Wall, we climbed up the hill behind the Wall and gained a nice vantage point overlooking the Wall, The Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. As the sun set behind us, the Dome was began to light up, as rays from the setting sun fell on it. (I may be able to visit the Area around the Dome tomorrow morning. We will have to wait and see.)
After leaving the Western Wall, we wound our way through the streets of the Old City. Bob found his favorite baklava shop and we stopped to get a couple pieces of this delicacy. SInce I am on the topic of food, on almost every corner or small alleyway there are shops that will make you freshly made orange juice, pomegranate juice, carrot juice and even a mix of all three. 🙂
As I sit in my hotel room, I have the large window overlooking the street open. A lot of the sounds that come in are one’s that you would hear in any city in the States. However, at the moment a car is driving by blaring arabic pop music out it’s windows, a short time ago a muslim muezzin was calling the faithful to prayer.
Enjoy the photos. 🙂