Yesterday (Sunday, April 3) we spent a great deal of time in the Old City of David. These ruins are extensive and much of the site is still under excavation. We are slowly getting the hang of the geography, understanding what walls stood where and when, and I think we are getting the periods of history straight in our heads. Roman, Byzantine, Crusader, Hasmonean, (or was it Hasmonean then Crusader??) anyway, you get the idea! We are filling our heads as well as our hearts on this trip.
Almost all of our group went through Hezekiah’s tunnel – including Doris Stewart who is in
her 80’s! When we emerged at the Siloam pools then we waited for Heim (our driver) to come and escort us back to the top. We had a small fender bender with a driver going the wrong way down a one way street with metal poles sticking off of his truck. It wasn’t a safety issue, just a nuisance. Such is life when you are dealing with Middle Eastern traffic laws (or traffic suggestions more to the point).
From Zion we entered the dung gate through the security check point and into the western wall tunnel excavations. It was cool and comfortable walking through the tunnel, and it left us with an impression that Herod the great was certainly a master builder. His fingerprints are all over this land. From the tunnel we came out for a light lunch and then off to the western wall again. The south western wall excavations, the Hulda gates and the steps leading into the temple porticoes gave us a good sense of what life was like when the Jewish temple adorned the crest of Mount Moriah. We then visited the Knesset (the Israeli parliament) and the Menorah that sits outside the parliament buildings which was given to the state of Israel from Britain.
Back to the hotel and for many people – it was naps and rest and a shower before meeting for supper at 6:30. Some of our number braved Ben Yahuda Street, and enjoyed the shopping experience. As for me…bed is calling!!!
I’ve missed a day so I’ll try to post again tonight!
Pastor Herb (from the modern period – I think!)