Sunday, September 22, 2013

End of Dad's Trip, and Back to Wisconsin!

Well, I guess I should finish up these Jerusalem posts...SINCE I'M AT THE AIRPORT RIGHT NOW ABOUT TO LEAVE FOR FRANCE! And getting a little excited, haha. My month at home FLEW by! It seems surreal that I'm leaving on another adventure so soon.

So our last two days in Israel weren't quite as action-packed as the previous three. Since it was Saturday we went to church at the Jerusalem Center.

My dad enjoyed the amazing view from the auditorium, and I enjoyed getting to see the JC one last time and saying goodbye to some friends.

Then we checked out of our hotel, stored our luggage, and headed to Bethlehem for the afternoon! What better Sabbath day activity is there, really? Honestly, Bethlehem isn't the nicest place to visit, but being in Bethlehem, regardless of what it's like now, is worth it.

We went to Church of the Nativity, which claims to be built over the exact location of Christ's birth.

This is the door to get inside:

Two explanations I've heard about why it's so small are: A. so you have to humble yourself before you enter the church and B. so marauding knights on horses couldn't storm the church. Who knows, maybe both are true? :)


This is the oldest continuously operating church in the world (it's from the 500s). We waited in line to go down into the grotto where the stable/manger were supposed to be. In order to get down there, you have to be pushy, force your way through, and allow your personal bubble to be severely violated. So that was fun getting up close and personal with some Russians.

One of the reasons I wanted to go to Bethlehem with my dad was so he could experience being in the West Bank. It definitely has a different vibe than Israel. That's all I'll say about that...

Then we took a taxi back to Jerusalem and stopped by the King David hotel. It was the last thing on my checklist that I wanted to see, so I'm glad I made it! The King David is where the rich and famous stay in Jerusalem. Famous people that have stayed there sign the floor, so that was fun to look at.

After picking up our luggage, we said goodbye to Jerusalem :( and drove to Tel Aviv :). So many mixed emotions in that last sentence. 

We ended our day by watching the sunset over the Mediterranean.

Not a bad way to end the day!

The next day, Sunday, was even more relaxing. We slept in, had breakfast, and then spent the day alternating between swimming and laying on the beach. It was the perfect way to end my vacation in Israel. For dinner we had some falafel, then packed our bags and headed to the airport. 

Wow. Now that was the way to spend a summer. 

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