The Amazing Race Meets National Lampoon’s Vacation

Archive for April 12th, 2008

Andrew’s Day 5

Posted by madtrippin on April 12, 2008

Today we stuck around Jerusalem.  We headed into the old part of Jerusalem (inside the walls).  It’s wild in there.  The streets are like something you’d see in an Indiana Jones movie, most places are about 10 feet wide with buildings on either side containing tiny shops with merchandise flowing out into the streets.  The people that run these shops assail the passers by with their sales pitches.  Avoiding them is a skill I believe I’ve mastered.


We followed the stations of the cross, which wound its way all through churches, monasteries and streets.  The final station was the supposed tomb of Jesus, which is inside a Russian Orthodox church.  We sat in line forever (probably over 1.5 hours) to see a stone that Jesus was said to have been laid upon.  The entire time we had a bunch of crazy Russians pushing us from behind and trying to cut in line.  Talk about pushy, rude and just plain uncool.


The Russian Orthodox church is really into worshipping icons and they kiss paintings and anything Jesus or bible related.  They’re also really into very gaudy displays in their churches.  Needless to say… this was not the highlight of the trip.


After all that we headed to the Church of John the Baptist.  It was very ornately decorated with hand painted tiles, paintings and statues.  The Franciscan monks that run the church didn’t want a single word spoken in the church, so our guide had to whisper when they weren’t paying attention.


Gabe and I ended the day walking back to the old part of the city after the group got back to the hotel (about a mile) to explore.  It’s a totally different place when you’re not there with the group.  It’s like a giant bazaar or flea market filled with people (Jews, Arabs, and every other race crede and color), housewares, clothing, produce, prepared foods, electronics, etc.  This is like the mall back in the states – maybe a little more like China Town in New York.  You can get just about anything – fake nikes and knock-off clothing were all over the place.  Gabe bought a four pieces of flat bread from one of the vendors for about 4 shekels ($0.25 each).  We ate it at dinner with humus.


One more mullet pic from today.  I know what you’re thinking… it’s just a pony tail.  What you can’t see is that his hair is cropped short on the sides.  All that pony tail is from the back of his head.


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Gabe’s Day 5

Posted by glovin33 on April 12, 2008

So I’ll just hit the highlights of today, cause it feels like we did a lot of stuff that wasn’t really important. We hit old Jerusalem today. Pools of Bethesda, Stations of the cross, Church of the holy Sepulcher, Prison where jesus was held and ended with the Church Of John the Baptist and the Springs of Mary. The holy Sepulcher was pretty cool. It’s like 12 churches in one all center around the spot that the orthodox church claims is Jesus’ tomb. Here’s a pic of the inside that I liked. There is really no proof in the pudding that this is actually jesus’ tomb, but we’ll see another spot tomorrow that claims the same thing. There is a lot of that here. They claim this or that, but none of it is true. I was talking to my dad about this and it all comes back to faith. We know this stuff happen and somewhere near here, but exactly where doesn’t matter so pick a spot.

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You know how you hear, Americans are rude? Wrong! Try Russians, Italians, Armenians, Palestinians, Israelis, Japanese, Indian, ect. Everyone is pushing and bumping and trying to sneak in here or there. This is a religious place, but most of the time you’d never know it. I had one Russian lady today while we were standing in line stand so close to me from behind, here toes were touching my shoes, and I think she may have checked out my colon. Every time I tried to move forward she’d move forward so she was touching me. I finally “accidentally” Stepped on her toe really hard. Didn’t stop her. So I started dancing, which pushed her back for a while. But man lines of people are annoying. Unfortunately they are everywhere.

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My favorite part of the day was old Jerusalem. It like a market out of a dream or movie. Packed with people and good and everyone jockeying for sales. It was great. When Andy and I got free time, we went back. Here’s a pic, but it doesn’t give it justice. You really need to see it yourself. You can buy anything and haggle to get the best price. I only bought some fresh made pita, which was wonderful, but I’ll go back and get more. It was a little weird though to have soldiers with machine guns on every corner. Not something I’m used too. Anyway, that’s it for today…….

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