Sorry there are no pictures or video yet. Landing at Ben Gurion Airport is like any other landing. However, the anticipation of seeing the land that you have read about since you were a child adds extra emotion to the moment. No tears, just intense curiosity. I was surprisingly short on words. What could have been so special about this land? There is great land all over the world. Why here?
Tel Aviv is on a coastal plain as it is on the Mediterranean Sea. This area is flat and coastal - just what you would expect. However what came next surprised me a bit. We began our journey up to Jerusalem, by cab on a well made highway. The traffic reminded me of a mix of Parisian impatience and snow boarder anticipation of white powder. This drive was quite an ascent - even for someone who lived in Colorado. In fact, I was struck by how much this land - this land in high demand - reminded of the Colorado foothills and vegetation. The land is dry, but can sustain the right kinds of crops. And into the Shephelah there are a surprising number of trees and vegetation.
The final approach to Jerusalem was nothing short of awe inspiring. The ascent to “this city on a hill” is impressive. Once in the city the modern and the ancient blend as city restrictions force this sort of integration. We arrived on a festival night in Jerusalem and to “hike” the last half mile to our hotel through the crowds.
We arrived finally to great hospitality and a wonderful dinner of roasted lamb, rice, hummus, and pitas. I am glad I am not a vegetarian. Sleep came easy as I had a long day. However, I rose long before I expected. As I write this I have hopeful anticipation to begin understanding this city today. Also, I will get to hike through Hezekiah’s aqueduct today. This engineering feat saved Jerusalem from a deadly siege in the days of Hezekiah.