Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Coming into Jerusalem, we hopped a bus heading for the Damascus Gate.

It was December 23rd, apparently a pretty high traffic day in Jerusalem. The last day of the Islamic Eid and the beginning of some thick Christian inflow. We had a booking in the 7 Arches Hotel which they lost, which didn't surprise either one of us at all. The hotel had the ambiance of an institution like, say, the Department of State in D.C. Perched on the top of Mount Olive, where somewhere in the bible it says the Angels go for vacation, it commands a splendid view of Jerusalem. This is totally true.

What they don't tell you is that there are 197 rooms and only 7 enjoy this view. Those seven are all booked. They also don't mention that the comforters on the bed are so worn the frigging cotton is drooling through the liner. Threadbare. Before I get a chance to see what kind of holy book is in the drawer, Ann peels out of the room and back down the hall, the afterimage of her approbation momentarily burned into my retinas.

We check into the Ambassador, there is no holy book in the drawer.

From here it is a 15 minute walk past the American Colony Hotel to the walled part of Jerusalem. Five out of six world religions agree: This is the part where a lot of significant events occurred. Stuff like the 14 stations of the cross.

We walked by most of these stations but surprise! There is some argument about where they are between protestants and Catholics.

Wouldn't it have been cool to go to every station and take a picture of one of us posed there? Wouldn't it have been cool if we even walked to every station and considered for a moment what happened there? Yeah probably. We got to some:

Across from the first station:

Near the second:

I was surprised by how many people spoke Arabic in Jerusalem. In the taxis, for instance, we had 9 Arab taxi drivers the whole time we were there and 1 Israeli taxi driver.

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