Monday, December 26, 2011

Hezekiah's Tunnel, Via Dolorosa Procession, and the Jewish Quarter

Wow, THREE blog posts in one day is a lot... but here it is! On the 23, Nana was not feeling so great so Eric and I took the day to go out and do a lot of things that required a lot of walking and such that Nana was not interested in doing or was unable to do. We started out at Hezekiah's tunnel. It is in the City of David and a historical account of the city can be found here. This was SO much fun for me. It is a long, dark tunnel full of twists and turns and short places and really tall parts. 

Me with bangs that need to be cut

Stairs going down to the tunnel

Getting ready to go in!

This was the water level, mostly just at the beginning and end of the tunnel

So narrow...

... and short! It was at max about 5 feet in a lot of places

But other places, just toward the end of the tunnel, had very high ceilings.

This video is fabulous and entertaining... a MUST watch I believe :)

At the end! We made it!

After the tunnel we walked around a little bit more to these places...

Arab community

After the tunnel adventure, we walked up to the Old City. We walked through the Jewish Quarter for the first time which was interesting because in I believe the 80's, this area was bombed so everything had to be rebuilt. You can tell when you are in the Jewish Quarter because even though everything is made of the same type and color of bricks, it looks so much newer and cleaner. We saw the remains for the First Temple Period which happened to be a part of Hezekiah's City Wall. We also saw some Maccabean ruins, Herodian remains, and part of a Cardo, which is basically a Roman Main Street. 

Dung Gate, where you enter to the Jewish Quarter

Eric and his friends, the Romans

We were going to do the other part of the Rampart Walk but it was closed because it was coming up on the Sabbath (which here starts at sundown on Friday nights). So with time to kill, we went to see the "modern mall" here which was SO drastically different than everything else in Israel and then got some lunch at a little cafe type place on a side road inside the Old City.

The very nice owner squeezing fresh pomegranate juice

Sprite in Arabic!

Then after lunch we made our way down to the Roman Catholic Stations of the Cross procession. What an experience this way! SOOO different than anything I ever imagined. There are 15 stations that go along the Via Dolorosa in the Old City, 5 of which are inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. There were SO many people that when the road got narrow, it got crazy intense and we got a little behind and missed one station, but ended up back at the church at the same time to finish the procession. It is hard to explain the whole experience but here is a video to give you a glimpse as to what it was like...

And some pictures to go....

After the procession, we went back through the Jewish Quarter to the Western Wall to meet Nana and Rachel so Nana could go to the Wall for the first time. 

Happy Hanukkah!

*Can you believe I am here? I still can't and I have been here for 11 days!*