Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sunday August 14 - Old City

Well, David did not sleep most of the night, due to the noise from outside (we are right near the center of the city), and due to his internal clock being “off”, so he finally slept a it this morning. The two little ones and I took a walk nearby to Ibn Gabriol Street, where we think my “base” was when I went on USY Pilgrimage in 1981. The few people I am still in touch with (thanks to Facebook!) and I are sort of unsure exactly where the building was, but it is either a condemned building now, or has already been torn down and a new apartment building is going up in its place. But it was cool - I definitely recognized the neighborhood, which is only about 3 blocks from here.

We finally all got up and out around noon, and headed to the Old City. Did not really do too much, just walked around and looked at things. David was still tired and grumpy, and got angry when the kids asked to eat too early, but eventually I managed to get food and drink into everyone, and things calmed down a bit.

When we walked through the Arab Shuk, Micah spotted a little “genie lamp” that he really liked. I tried bargaining with the guy, and we actually went from 60 shekels down to 10 shekels, but then he said he couldn’t sell it now, come back in an hour. It was sort of a funny game. So we told Micah we could not get it there, but would keep looking. As it happened, about an hour later we actually did find ourselves back there (not on purpose), and the guy said, “You’re back? I’m still not selling it to you!” so I said, “That’s ok, I’m still not buying it!” Which would have all just been fun, except poor Micah really liked the lamp.

We went to the Kotel (the Wailing Wall) later in the afternoon. Sofia and I headed in to the Women’s section. She wasn’t too pleased, although once we got right up to the Wall, she was willing to give a “kiss” to the wall (a custom). But she got very angry at me when I tried to walk backwards (you are not supposed to turn your back on the Wall, which is the holiest of sites, so the custom is to back out of the courtyard).

While we were on the women’s side, the boys all went to the men’s side, and then we met back in the main courtyard. Walked in the park outside the Old City walls, next to the Armenian Quarter, and then went in to King David’s tomb. Micah and David also went in to the site of The Last Supper, but Sam got freaked out when he heard it was closing in ten minutes, so he came back down the stairs to me and Sofia.

Before we left the Old City, Micah and I went back inside to see if we could find his lamp. We found similar lamps, although not with the same style. We did end up buying one (first the guy said “for the little boy, he’s such a good boy, pay whatever you like”, but then of course he wanted more. I ended up paying about 32 shekels, which was more than I wanted to spend but still not bad, but poor Micah did not speak up to say he really did not want that one! So I guess someone is getting a gift of a genie lamp when we get home ;)

We walked through the Mamilla Mall, which is a new and very modern underground mall near the Old City, and took the long walk back up hill to the apartment. We were totally bushed when we got home.

Here are the pictures from today.

Had supper (thanks again to Eli’s mom for the Shabbat leftovers!), and Micah and Sofia got ready for bed. Sam had seen a T-shirt he really wanted (the Nike swish, but with “Shabbat, Just Do It”), and I checked with Debka about how much I should pay for it. So Sam and I went for a walk back down Ben Yehuda Street (which is nearby also). That was fun. We got his shirt, checked prices for a few other things, and had a nice time just being the two of us together. I am always happy when I get to spend one-on-one time with each of my kids.

(My kids are all leaning over my shoulder as I write this. Right now, I do wish they would go to bed!)

So tomorrow we are off to Tel Aviv with the Levy clan, taking the train and going to the beach. Should be a lot of fun!