Kotel to Hotel

Another full and exhausting day today. We had a long walk to the old city where we went to the Western Wall to pick up Kotel (tunnel tour) tickets. It was super crowded nearby and it was iffy whether we were going to make it on time. We did and got on our tour with a very dramatic (but otherwise not particularly good) guide, originally from the US, who took us all around the cisterns, old aqueduct, the three-year-old synagogue hewn from the rock underneath the wall, and the remnants of the wall down below. Very interesting to see all of the recent excavations and learn about what the remains tell us about what was once on the site.

Then we exited the Damascus gate and walked through the Muslim Quarter to the Garden Tomb where legend has it Jesus was buried and subsequently risen. Beautiful location and it is probably stunning in the spring when flowers are in full bloom. After that, we walked to the American Colony hotel, built in the 1930’s with stunning mosaics in the public spaces, where we had a late lunch of mezze Palestinian style with falafel, meat and potato fritters and a huge variety of salads including eggplant, hummus, tahini, tabbouleh, etc. Also had lentil soup which was yummy and tasted as if it had been mixed with dried peas and some sort of rice. We took a cab from the hotel across town to the Israel Museum, for 90 shekels, and spent the next couple of hours exploring the stunning exhibits. The one that especially called to us was the history of this beautiful country from earliest times, including how modern Hebrew was developed, and how Judaism became monotheistic.

After the museum we headed home for wine and snacks at the hotel and then sleep. Tomorrow off to Masada and the Dead Sea where we hope it’s warm enough to get in the water.

Scroll to Top