Thursday, May 08, 2008

11AM - Zion Square.
We believe that Zion Square in the center of Jerusalem is the place to be today. We go to search for adventure and to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the State of Israel.

Israel - 60 years

12 Noon - Independence celebration.
When we arrived at Zion Square, nothing was going on. Police at the Square informed that yesterday evening was when everything happened. Wow!

"Nothing is happening today", a policewoman said.
Zion Square - Jerusalem.

12:30PM - Hamarosh Shawarma.
Looking around the Zion Square area, we found a shawarma & falafel place. The shawarma looked good and one was ordered in a pita bread.

The shawarma is lamb braised on a vertical spit that rotates when being cooked.
Shawarma on a pita bread.

"Hamarosh" shawarma
& falafel place.

This shawarma cost $21 shekels [$6.13US]. This seems expensive and we had decided not to eat out very much anymore. However, we received the advice below from our Uncle Seymour:

"Stop complaining about how expensive things are in Israel. It may be the last time you get over there. If you spend too much time worrying about a couple of nickles, you won't have time to smell the roses."

2PM - The City of David.
About 10 centuries before Jesus walked the roads of Jerusalem, David the King [as written in the bible] built a city a bit south of where the Old City of Jerusalem is now. This afternoon, we are going to make our first visit to the City of David.

Little Mavicito and I catch a bus near Zion Square, and head out toward the City of David. We get off the bus near the Old City's Jaffa Gate, and walk downhill. We know where the City of David is located, but not how far away it is.

About a mile downhill, we arrive at the southwest corner of the Old City. We see a sign pointing to the City of David. The sign is in Hebrew. It is a good thing that I learned how to read Hebrew when I was a young boy in preparation for my Bar Mitzvah!

The sign reads, "Ehyer Dovid" [City David].
Hebrew sign telling
City of David ahead.

Arab village of Silwan.
It is lucky that this walk of ours to the City of David is downhill. This hill is very, very steep. No way could I walk up this steep hill!

About halfway down the hill, the Arab village of Silwan comes into view.
Hillside Arab village of Silwan.

3PM - Going up into City of David.
Because of the Independence Day holiday, we are luckily able to enter the City of David's ruins at the bottom. It turns out that the entrance to the City of David is at the top near the Old City of Jerusalem.

As we slowly ascend the steep path, we come upon a fascinating historical marker describing the tunnel construction during the time of King Hezekiah [also mentioned in the bible].
About Hezekiah's tunnel.

View of City of David ruins
near Hezekiah tunnel marker.

4PM - The Kidron Valley.
If you remember from the bible, the Kidron Valley runs below the ruins of the City of David. As we make our way up thru the path, Little Mavicito is able to capture the wonderful pic below of the Kidron Valley.

In the pic below, as the view of the road in the Kidron Valley ends, there is a hill. This is Har Ha-Zetim [Mount of Olives]. You are looking at the Mount of Olives Cemetery.

There is soooooo much biblical history here in this place, that it blows my mind!
Kidron Valley from the City of David.


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