Left Yavne'el early Friday morning with just our carry on bags. We have the Zimmer booked until Monday, so we could leave the bulk of our luggage there.
Had the intention of taking route 90, and stopping by for a short visit at Beit Shean on the way. Told Shmuel of our plans, and he clued me into a nearby by park we also may want to visit, Gan HaShlosha. The park looked very nice on a YouTube video I checked out, so thought we'd stop in there first for a quick look see.
This park is a thing of beauty, as well as practical on a very hot day. It has very large clear pools of spring feed water. It has life guard service, as well as a very nice mini mart for food or beach type items. There are picnick tables spread threw out, and there were many people there preparing for barbeques very early..
We had our swim suits with us. So now the choice. Stay here and hang out and go for a dip on what was already turning out to be a hot day. Or go visit the ruins at Beit Shean in the hot sun, (and I'm sure their very nice ruins).
Well the pools won out. They have a very nice bath house there with showers so you can clean up after a swim, nice place.
Back on the road to Jerusalem. Had to get to Eldan to turn our car in before 1:00 it being Shabbat they close early. Was a nice drive on route 90, very scenic I thought. Stopped by for a quick visit at a memorial to the Jordan valley on the way. Not sure what it was all about, we were the only ones there. But pretty sure it must have been a memorial to fallen soldiers. It was all in Hebrew, but it looked like a names inscribed on a wall next to what looked like a big cannon. It had a commanding view of the valley below.
Made it to Jerusalem by noon. Had to turn the car in by 12:30, good thing we were early. Passed by The Eldan car rental on my first pass, crap. Now how to get back. GPS lead me to some dead ends, driving in Jerusalem can be difficult. Finally made it back there in about 20 minutes, was glad to be rid of the car. Eldan was very busy trying to take care of everyone there right before closing.
Seemed like a short walk to our place at The Lutheran Guest House on Marks street on the map. Ended up being a bit further to walk to the Jaffa gate then I thought,but we made it. After a pit stop for a beverage, on to The Lutheran Guest House on ST Marks street. Which is not a street IMHP, it;s a side walk. Nice clean place with great views of The Old City from all it's patio;s and the top floor terrace.
Off on a wherever we end up stroll threw the city. Not exactly sure where we were, but there were plenty of stands with all kinds of different things to buy up and down the streets. Decided to look for The Church of the Holy Sepulcher, we must have looked lost. A jewelry vender asked us what we were looking for. Told him and he said next left, so for being helpful we decided to take a look around his store. Dawn found a very nice Gold Jerusalem Cross. He filled out a paper and signed it that it was 14ct. gold, and gave us his card. So I guess he was okay.
So we wondered about the church, was a very spiritual place for us. If I was looking at something and I didn't know what it was, I'd ask someone near by and always got an answer.
Just by luck, or whatever, we were going to go upstairs to what we later found out were the 12th and 13th stations of the cross. We were stopped from going by a monk. We just started to walk away and he said wait, just you 2 go on up. After just a minute, the procession of the monks that walk the Via Dolorosa came up. We were glad we got to experience that.
Next I want to take a look at the Golden Menorah, nice hunk of gold there. We headed down to the plaza where the Kotel is, very busy on a Friday evening. Lots of people heading down there singing and dancing along the way. Quite a celebration. We hung out for awhile just soaking it all in, we'll visit the wall itself when we come back to Jerusalem next week. Dawn got yelled at by some elderly women for not having her shoulders covered. I thought that was just when you were at the wall, not in the plaza also. She offered her a scarf, but we were on our way anyways.
Heading back to our room ,stopped at Falafel at Michael restaurant on St Marks Street, small cafe. Had my first Falafel, very very good.
I liked Jerusalem, very busy compared to the Galilee area,but look forward to coming back next week. A belated Shabbat Shalom to everyone.
Saturday will be an early start to catch the 21 bus for Bethlehem.