OR Why does this country like to dig??????
After our trip to Haifa, Louie and I decided to lay low. We went to the Carmel Market in Tel Aviv to look over their wares. We bought a few gifts and returned home with some great goat cheese and some delicious pastries. If I continue this way, I am going to look like I was on vacation in a Twinkie factory.
Wednesday morning we decided to get an early start and head for the bus station. It definitely seems we are getting very good at finding our way around. We had scheduled a tunnel tour of the Western Wall in Jerusalem. I remember when we were here in 1976, they were just building(or should I say digging) it. We made the 7:40AM bus and we were on our way. Within fifty minutes, we were at the central bus station in Jerusalem. We crossed the street to the #1 bus which we remembered went to the Old City. As we approached the Old City, I noticed that the City Of David was across the way. I knew that it was somewhere around, but I didn't think it was that close. I should have realized that it would be there, because people didn't travel very far in those days. The City of David is a very controversial dig. It was showcased on 60 minutes this past winter because it actually goes under Moslem houses. It is interesting how they date the rock formations and can actually tell you want happened there and why it happened. We went down into a tunnel where the villagers would collect water for the village. Then after an exhausting 2 hours in very hot, hot, hot weather, and looking at ruin after ruin, we concluded our visit. Next, we proceeded to the Old City and our tour of the Western Wall tunnels. This tour took us through another tunnel that paralleled the Western Wall. It is here that we learned that the Western Wall is not actually part of the Second Temple, but the outer wall that protected the temple. The Second Temple was destroyed by the Moslems, when they took over the area. Check out this website for more information and a look at the area. http://english.thekotel.org/ The tour cumulated at a small pool underground with steps that led up to a wall. I wonder if that was the way people got in and out. The tour guide told us that during the rainy season, the roof of the room was open to collect the water and during the hot season it was closed and people had a trap door to lower their buckets. At the end of this tour,we left the tunnel and the guide asked us to stay between two armed Israeli soldiers because we were going to walk through a dangerous part of the Moslem quarter to get back to the Western Wall. Louie remarked that he has seen more guns in the last two weeks, then in his whole life. What a pity, the Israelis have to live like this day in and day out. But, all and all it is a very nationalistic country and it is a pleasure to see those Israeli flags flying from many homes.
It was a great day, but we were both extremely tired and slept well that night.