Saturday, April 2, 2011

Friends Visiting Israel!!! Part One: Holy and Salty

Emily and Scott came to visit for the Jerusalem Half-Marathon. I acted as tour guide and presenter of temptingly high-calorie foods.

Diana and I set out after class on Friday the 25th. We took the bus to Tel Aviv and from there to Jerusalem. 

We arrived just as the market was closing and had to hurry to buy food for Shabbat. We met Emily and Scott, the loveliest, darlingest people and went back to their hotel. We walked to the Old City after Shabbat started and enjoyed exploring the Arab shuk. Then we "said hello to the wall" at the Kotel. We returned to a lovely meal at the hotel and collapsed into bed. We had a sleepover in Emily and Scott's room. It was like a slumber party.
On Saturday we went back to the Arab shuk for some haggling practice and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre for some goyim-watching. The church was beautiful, with some really lovely mosaics and carvings.

(stock photo of the church - no camera on Shabbat for me)

After a refreshing nap, we chatted until Shabbat was over. Then we went to Cafe Hillel for dinner and saw Jonathan/Yonatan that I went to undergrad with!

Sunday, we headed to the Dead Sea.

Our hotel had a helpful sign regarding the use of firearms:

In keeping with my love of naming inanimate objects, we names the car Bessy:

And so, after filling ourselves (Scott primarily) with coffee, we set off with Scott piloting Bessy and me providing vague navigational assistance.

(One day there will be lightrail trains here!)

(Lovely Emily)

We crossed into the West Bank without any problems (excepting the mysteriously hidden turn to stay on the highway with resulted in strategic confusion and a delightfully scenic recalculation of route).

(East Jerusalem - if you look closely, we can see the infamous Security Barrier.)

(Sweet, bad ass Diana!)

(Well caffeinated YGirl)

As we descended to the Dead Sea we drove past altitude markers like this one. We went from about 500 meters above sea level to around 400 meters below sea level. The Dead Sea is the lowest place on Earth!

(Date Palm orchards in the West Bank)

The Dead Sea with a view of the mountains of Jordan.

(YGirl with a cloud halo)

We arrived at the beach and paid the entrance fee. Emily, Scott and I changed into swim suits with Diana looked at the beach disapprovingly. She didn't want to go into the water, but offered to be our lovely photographer.

(Floating YGirl!)

(Looking proud after exiting the Dead Sea of burning hangnails and scratches).

Some helicopters decided to get in on the fun.
We went to the mud pit but not before I managed to get some water in my eye. 
It hurts. A lot. And is really bad for your eye. No harm done, though!

(E, S, and Y Mud Monsters)

(Attacking Diana. This photo was taken by some hilarious African American ladies from a Christian tour group).

(The group after showering!)

(Scott and Bessy - A man and his (rented) car)

We drove back with not issues to speak of. And we got to see sunset on our way home.

We drove straight back to Herzliya and scarfed down some shawarma. Lovely!

Part Two is coming up!

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