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Trip Report

Richmond, Michigan
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Trip Report

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.

Israel
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1. Re: Trip Report

Nice that you stopped at Gan Hashlosha, a true gem in the gruling heat of the Beit Shan Valley. You definatley chose the better option than visiting the antiquities which are unbearable in over 100 degree heat.

You stopped at Mifgash HaBika which is a memorial for civilians as well as soldiers who lost their lives in the 1970's when there was a massive wave of terrorists coming into Israel from across the Jordan Valley. The memorial is made up of weapons welded together to make a 'pointing finger' in the direction of those who came to slay in Israel. The names on the wall are soldiers who lost their lives defending the Jordan Valley from 1967 until today, and there are quite alot of name. The theater at the foot of the memorial is used for Military ceremonies.

The streets in the Old City for the most part are narrow alleyway. They are just called streets, as you have found out. Sounds like you started off your visit in a great way. Looking forward to reading more of your trip.

Chana

Israel

Brownsville, Texas
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2. Re: Trip Report

Great report Shawn s. Glad you're in Israel already and having so much fun. Will be looking forward to reading your trip reports.

Cincinnati, Ohio
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3. Re: Trip Report

I enjoyed your report as well, Shawn! First of all, I agree with Chana that you made the right choice in going with Gan Ha-Shlosha. While Bet She'an is a great place, I have never been there when it was not blisteringly hot, and that was in May! On the solstice? It would be an oven. It can wait for your next trip. :-)

I also was impressed/horrified that you walked -- presumably with luggage -- all the way from Eldan to the Lutheran Guest House. On foot without the luggage, no big deal at all -- but with luggage? You're intrepid travelers. :-)

Continue your open-spirit adventure -- we're enjoying reading about it!

Douglas Duckett

Gippsland, Australia
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for Jerusalem
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4. Re: Trip Report

Still enjoying your reports. :)

We didn't get to Gan HaShlosha but I agree - it does look good on the videos online. I enjoyed reading your first impressions of Jerusalem.... It's certainly an amazing place. :). Looking forward to your next report. :)

NYC/Israel
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5. Re: Trip Report

Thanks for the report. Beit Shean is NOT a place to visit on a very hot day. ( first time I tried was August one year--I had been in the area rolled down my car window ( could have put my head in an oven and it would have been cooler-) rolled up the car window and visited on late December Day.

I've stuck my feet in the water at Gan Hashlosha but never actually went swimming. It must have been great!

Richmond, Michigan
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6. Re: Trip Report

I went for a good long swim and went under the water fall. Water temp was perfect, not to cold, but very refreshing. Dawn just sat on a rock and dipped her legs in, didn't want to mess her hair I guess, girls.

Gippsland, Australia
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for Jerusalem
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7. Re: Trip Report

Now Shawn, Dawn must have been doing the right thing.... Remember the saying "Never doubt your wife's judgement... She chose you!"

;)

Richmond, Michigan
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8. Re: Trip Report

So true Heather, it's never wise to argue with a women. Didn't then and won't now.

That water there was so amazing though, I wish there were some way to post pics here.

Edited: 1:58 pm, June 22, 2014
Cincinnati, Ohio
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9. Re: Trip Report

Rdglady, your description of Bet Shean cracked me up -- very apt. I have never been there in August, but I have roasted when there in May! Great place to see, but I'm convinced it's where heat goes to die.

Douglas Duckett

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585 posts
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10. Re: Trip Report

Hey Shawn! I have been looking for your trip reports. :). Sounds like you are enjoying some spontaneous and special moments and places in Israel. Glad for you and your family!

Every blessing!