Monday, October 15, 2007

I love Israel..The End

To sum up the vacation here are a few more things we did.

The Jewish sabbath day is on Saturday so Friday night the Western Wall is always packed with people praying and singing and dancing in preparation for Shabat. I put my own prayer in the wall as well.
Saturday we went to church at the BYU Jerusalem Center. It was so amazing to sit in fast and testimony meeting and overlook the Old City. It was a perfect setting to hear people bear their testimonies of the Savior. Afterward we walked along the ramparts (tops of the Old City walls) and overlooked the city. It was so neat to have a bird's eye view. Then we spent some time in the Garden Tomb. It was so peaceful in comparison to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the throngs of pilgrims there. The garden has been well maintained and there is a very reverent feeling even though so much is going on outside the gates.

We went to Bethlehem one morning and to the Church of the Nativity. We spent the afternoon on the Temple Mount (Al Harim Al Sharif) and walked around the Dome of the Rock. It was incredible!
And last but not least we had a falafel! Tasty town we have arrived!
It was such a fabulous trip! I wish I could have spent more time there. I guess I will just have to go back!

Funny People Part 2!

As promised here are some more interesting people we encountered in Israel.
The first 3 photos are people who were on our Nazareth tour.
Exhibit A:
He looks like Sykes, the one armed man, from The Fugitive with Harrison Ford.
Exhibit B: The man on the right was a KIA (Know It All). He was extremely annoying and answered every question the tour guide asked, even if he didn't really know the answer.
Exhibit C:
This woman walked around hunched over and talked to herself, the trees and the fish in the Jordan River.
A 2 for 1 - This picture shows two people that were on our Dead Sea tour.
Our tour guide who carried her umbrella everywhere we went and the woman in the straw hat who had an inch of makeup on her face.
And to end this segment of Funny People we have.....
The Grandma-mullet!

Red, Dead, Med and other bodies of water

To continue with the tales of our Jerusalem adventure, Sarah and I were fortunate enough to visit many bodies of water. A previous post showed us trying to part the Red Sea. From there we moved onto the Dead Sea. It was such a strange feeling to literally float right on top of the water. You can only stay in it for about 15 minutes because it is so concentrated with salt! We spent a few hours there at a spa and covered ourselves with mud and then rinsed off in thermal baths. It was great! One of our last days in Israel we spent in Jaffa and Tel Aviv. Jaffa is this beautiful old city on the Mediterranean Sea. It was a gorgeous day to spend strolling through the flea market in Jaffa and then walking along the beach to Tel Aviv. The next body of water was the Sea of Galilee. Sarah and I did a day tour that took us to Nazareth, Capernaum and Galilee. The cities lie north of Jerusalem and the terrain is quite different - very green and lush. After a meal of fish from the Sea of Galilee our tour ended at the Jordan River where they have group baptisms and even sell holy water! Finally our last "body of water" that we visited was Hezekiah's Tunnel in the City of David. Our guide, Aaron was so knowledgeable and very interesting. When we actually got to the tunnel we had this conversation:

A (to me): I think your pants are going to get wet in the tunnel.

M: I'll just roll them up.

A: The water will be too deep. Just take them off. That's what I do.

M: laugh because I think he is joking

A: Strips down to his boxers. It's ok it will be dark in there.

M (realizing he is serious): I will not take my pants off! (Aaron in his boxers wading through the water in Hezekiah's Tunnel! - crazy guy)

Monday, October 1, 2007

Funny people!

Travelling is one of my favorite activities and so is people watching. Put the two together and you come across some of the funniest people. Here are some examples:

Mannequin at the Tel Aviv airport. Some sort of a greeter I guess?

Arab man with his donkey Peter aka "Jesus taxi"

Pilgrim separated from her group at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. I'm not sure what was going on here.

The Jerusa-mullet

There are more to come.....