Overview of the first day of touring

Just sitting here by the pool, relaxing before our waking tour of the Christian quarter this morning. We don’t have our tour bus today because it’s Shabbat. But it is bright and sunny, and walking will not be a problem. I kind of admire how the whole city comes to a halt once a week. In he US we can’t even manage to keep our stores closed for the full 24 hours of Thanksgiving.

We started off yesterday returning to the Haas Promenade to see the view in daylight. I have to say, the view was much more impressive than at night. We then made our way to the Jewish Quarter. Our first stop was the rededicated Hurva Synagogue. The story that stuck with me the most was that the ark came from (I think) Lithuania, was broken up into something like 18 pieces and after arriving in Jaffa was delivered to Jerusalem on the back of an animal (donkey? Camel?). There were lots of stories. Missed a few details.

We made our way to the Western Wall via the underground tunnels. At one point they held water for the houses built above them. Some pretty impressive architecture. Also kind of funny to watch a video on a flat screen in the middle of these ancient tunnels.

The wall itself is an interesting place. Not quite sure what my impression is. Actually went there twice yesterday. We returned to see what it was like as Shabbat started.

Before Shabbat, though, we got some shopping in. There was a sign outside one of the stores that was entirely in Russian. I’m not sure why I’m surprised, I know there are a lot of Russian immigrants. Fun to be able to read it.

Our dinner was with the first female rabbi ordained in Israel and her husband. They have names, but again, details.

After breakfast this morning I swam 1500 meters in the outdoor pool. I need to do more of this in November.

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