Today we had a day off of touring, but we certainly didn’t want to spend the day sitting around the hotel. We headed out at 8:30, caught the light rail system which operates just outsid our hotel. We travelled toward the Jaffa gate, where we got off. Then, once we had procured tourist maps of the Old City, we split up. Some of us walked the ramparts, making our way to the Dung Gate, on the top of the Old City wall – built in the Turkish Period.
We exited the ramparts at the Dung Gate and walked into the Western Wall complex, where we headed back into the Old City to meet those we had left behind, who felt they couldn’t do the walk. We all met up at the Jaffa Gate. then we walked back through the Old City agin, this time to the Austrian Hostel. Once there, surrounded by hanging chandeliers and classical music, we sipped coffee and ate apple strudel in the Garden. That was easily the best apple strudel I have ever tasted. After our snack, we headed to the rooftop for another view of the city.
At this point, Janet and I left the group, and had a little time to ourselves. We strolled through the Mamilla Mall and looked at the various shops. We didn’t buy…it was too expensive, but as this is like the Canadian Saturday here, there was lots of foot traffic which made the experience that much more enjoyable. From there we caught the rail back to Ben Yehuda Street, shopped a little more – enjoyed a bagel with cream cheese – and then headed back to our hotel. We arrived back around 3:00pm. I saw this motorcycle in the Old City – thought the church biker gang might be appreciative! bike on the sidewalk…sorry to say, but they have been riding for months here – if they ever stopped!
During the afternoon I relaxed in pool, laid in the sun and packed for our trip home. Sadly, all of this comes to an end tomorrow. I will miss the sun, the warmth, and our tour group. I’ll also miss Eli our driver and Rachela our guide. This has been an excellent trip – perhaps the best one yet! Can’t wait to see everyone at home…Miss my kids! and my church!
See you all Sunday – Please pray that happens!