Monday, May 24, 2010

Biblical adventure

9AM - Our biblical adventure
When Shimon picked me up this morning, little did we know that we were about to travel back into time 2500 years! We drove west out of Jerusalem to a place where Sami [a friend of Shimon's for over three decades] waited along the highway. Now together in one car, we drove randomly searching for adventure! Shimon and Sami are professional photographers. Both excitedly spotted scenes for their cameras to capture.

We came to a place where Shimon and Sami had visited together many years before. It is the home of the biblical underground city of City of Maresha built 2500 years ago. Maresha is mentioned in the bible in Joshua 15:44 and in the Book of Chronicles 11:8.

Building underground here is easier than building above ground. Directly under the soil lies a thin crust of very tough limestone called nari which makes solid roofs for caves. Under the nari is a very thick layer of soft limestone called kirton which the cave diggers found easy to excavate into cave homes. Perfect protection against hot desert sun.

The three of us descended into the spectacularly large "Colombarium Cave" in whose walls were dug small alcoves used for pigeon homes! Pigeons were raised for their meat. There were some pigeons in the cave while we were there!
Shimon & Sami at Maresha

Walking the trail

Sami taking pics

Shimon in Columbarium

Columbarium pigeon cave

3PM - Resting at a cafe
We take things pretty easy. We are older guys and don't press ourselves much. We spent much time along the trails of the ancient City of Maresha resting and chatting. Then we went to a nearby cafe, bought snacks, rested and chatted for a few hours more.
At the cafe