So we arrived safely and had a nice morning in Tel Aviv walking the beaches. I see Barry posted that no one swam, but he'd gone back to the car while Molly and I bravely went in. Little fish nibbled on our feet which was a bit weird but painless.
Six years ago when we were here I said wanted to come back and spend time in Israel. I'm so glad we have. It's our intention to explore this city, Masada and the Dead Sea, but we have chosen not to go any further. There is just too much to see here and we'd rather have a more thorough visit here than spread our time all around the country. Hopefully that'll prove to be a good choice.
Barry talked about yesterday, so I'll skip that and move on to today. We had a slow morning doing administrative stuff, then Barry and I headed out to find a grocery store that would hopefully find things we couldn't find at the market. Our first stop was a cheese shop. While the shopkeeper cut our aged Gouda, he asked where we were from. Our standard answer while travelling is "Canada, north of Toronto." He smiled and replied, "I was just there at a camp called "Timberland." For those of you who aren't from Haliburton, Timberland is a Jewish camp about 10k from our house. He spent several weeks there this summer with a group of kids. He even met our friend, Steve, who works there. He also said he liked McKeck's! What are the odds? So while we chatted, he wrung up the most expensive cheese we've ever bought - $60 for two chunks. Prices here are crazy. Thankfully it's good.
We spent a couple of hours strolling the old city's Christian Quarter, including the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. It's a moving place to be. I had hoped the kids would be impressed by standing on the ground where Jesus was crucified, but they were both unsure of what to think. The church is full of worshippers doing doing things we aren't accustomed to, such as laying newly purchased items on an alter and praying over them, or bending down to kiss a stone on the floor. This Holy place is a lot to process.
After some tea and fresh orange juice, we walked our tired bodies home for a rest and watched a Rick Steves' episode on the Holy Land on Youtube It may seem like an odd thing to do since we're already here, but we tend to like his programs, and this one was interesting given it's political perspective.
Tomorrow it's supposed to thunderstorm so we may only have a short day out again. Having 10 days in one place means it's ok to have rainy days.