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A Winding Journey With Many Stops The traveler was active; he went strenuously in search of people, of adventure, of experience. The tourist is passive; he expects interesting things to happen to him. He goes "sight-seeing." ~Daniel J. Boorstin

Holy Land: Day 1

ISRAEL | Sunday, 6 May 2007 | Views [574]

We are here! We are in the Middle East! After a long and (thankfully) event-free flight we have landed here in Tel Aviv. It is hard to believe that our adventure has just truly begun! I am very happy to report that I finally have a stamp in my passport! Immediately after our sojourn through bag claim and passport control we were able to meet one of our tour guides (peter) and then our small group of 22 people jumped on our bus and we drove off into the hot Middle Eastern sun for our brief introduction into the city.

I could hardly tear my eyes away from the sights. Everything is so exciting and new. I am struck by the architecture of the buildings and in a combination of jet lag, adrenaline and exhaustion I stare out my window in a sort of mezmerized daze. When we reached the overlook and were able to look out over the entire city, gazing on such sights as Mt. Olives, the Dome of the Rock, Church of the Holy Seplechre. Church of All Nations, Kidron Valley, mosques, cathedrals, and historical sites abounding in the horizon it is enough to take your breath away.

Although the architecture of each of the new things is incredibly interesting, the people draw my attention more so. The sites are beautiful and historical to be sure, but the people, the smells, the visuals and the noises of the city fascinate me further. As I walked down the corridors of the old city and through souks and bazaars on our way to the guest house the smell of the middle east overpowered me. I can hardly describe it, it is not a bad smell, it is instead exotic yet familiar, spicy and intense, with hints of jasmine, incense and city life. I love it here!

We are staying at the Lutheran Guest House on David Street near Jaffa Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem. It is charming in its simplicity and the view of the city is unmatched. The guest house, although not large by anymeans, is quaint with lovely gardens, a roof top terrace and open courtyards.

Tags: bethlehem, holy land, jaffa gate, jerusalem

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