Friday, June 30, 2006

O Jerusalem!

Greetings from Jerusalem! Arrived here yesterday evening around 5:00. Checked into the Casa Nova hotel inside the walls of the old city near the Jaffa Gate. It is a church/monastary/pilgrim's hotel built by the Italians in the early (I think) 1900's. Beautiful place. Everyone there, including all of the guests I have seen, speak Italian. * I am writing this from the Jaffa Gate Hostel, where I plan to stay the 1st and 2nd. (Could only get Casa Nova for two nights.) It is quite a bit scruffier, but okay. Located in a beautiful part of the city. Walk out the front door and see the Tower of David. * Am hanging out with four dig team members. Last night I sat with one of them on the roof of the Petra Hostel and enjoyed a nice visit while overlooking the Old City. Church of the Holy Sepulchre only a fungo shot away. (Not one of my shots; one of Stover's.) Temple Mount and Dome of the Rock about as close as when I stand in my front yard and look over at the bell tower at ACU. Amazing. I was fearful that I had unrealistic expectations of Jerusalem because everyone I have spoken to has said it is the most amazing place. But they were correct - it is amazing. * It does, however, resemble a war zone in that machine gun toting young people are everywhere. Most are wearing uniforms of the IDF, but some are not. There are many tour groups of American Jewish highschoolers here. Each tour group has their own guard. Some guards look like sixteen year old mall rats, complete with flipflops, torn jeans, t-shirt and baseball cap - except that they are casually carrying large, black automatic rifles. * The peace of last night's rooftop visit was shattered by a boom. I flinched involuntarily and looked behind to where it had come from. Fireworks were being shot over the Tower of David. I told Jason that at times like these I wish they would give a person a warning before shooting off fireworks. * This morning I saw the room where the Last Supper occured, saw Shinleder's grave, and walked bent over for 40 minutes in the cold spring water through Hezekiah's Tunnel. (Google search for info. on this.) * My best to all.


Blogger Summer said...

Thanks again for sharing your adventures. Sounds amazing. I'm now wanting to reread the story of Hezekiah. Looking forward to seeing you in a few days. Enjoy your last days of travel and exploration! Love you--

June 30, 2006 5:54 AM  
Blogger Sandra said...

I'm sure you can appreciate Jerusalem much more now--at the end of the dig experience. Especially after having the evening lectures to bring more perspective to your journey. Do you read scripture differently with the actual places in view as you read? I look forward to some long conversations. Miss you.

June 30, 2006 6:23 AM  

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