It may not be a galaxy far far away but it sures is a long time ago!

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The Crime Traveller / Blog, Israel / It may not be a galaxy far far away but it sures is a long time ago!

Phew!  It’s been a whirlwind few days as our visit to Israel has crammed as much activity as anyone can handle (while lugging a 5 and 7 year old along). We’ve taken in a Bat-Mitzvah with family in Tel Aviv followed by fantastic visits with family in Ranana.  I continue to be astounded by the […]

Filed Under: Blog, Israel by The Crime Traveller July 20, 2010, 10:51 am

Phew!  It’s been a whirlwind few days as our visit to Israel has crammed as much activity as anyone can handle (while lugging a 5 and 7 year old along).

We’ve taken in a Bat-Mitzvah with family in Tel Aviv followed by fantastic visits with family in Ranana.  I continue to be astounded by the quality of children’s parks throughout Israel and Ranana was no exception.  Its MASSIVE “Ranana Park” features a huge pond stocked with turtles, fish, ducks and pelicans and playfully decorated with the occasional sea monster as well.  In addition to the variety of playground equipment, it boasts an amphitheatre and mini-zoo – a wonderful place to spend an afternoon.

We have also spent two incredible days touring Jerusalem.  After making our way through a maze of streets, we parked at the brand new Mamilla Mall. It’s an incredible experience to literally walk backwards in time as you can follow nearly a straight line from the posh modern luxury of Mamilla into the boisterous crammed pathways of the Old City shuk (market) as you approach the ancient stones of the Kotel (Western or Wailing Wall).

On our first day we participated in a guided tour of the Kotel Tunnels.  These amazing excavations reveal the full length of the wall both across and underground — a site rarely viewed by the millions who throng the better known Western Wall Plaze each year.  What people commonly associate with the Kotel is in fact only approximately 12% of its total length and only about 1/3 of its height.  What lies beneath the streets of Jerusalem’s Old City is a fascinating warren of interconnected cisterns, pathways, aqueducts and arches.

How do you top a day spent touching 2000 years of history?  How about strolling over a block to the City of David archaeological park where you can step back another millennium and see how Jerusalem appeared roughly 1000 years before Jesus ever showed up. Here we took in an excellent 3-D movie depicting the area’s growth and change over the last 3000 years and then descended deep into the excavated tunnels.  The highlight is a 600 metre splash through the inky blackness of an ancient aqueduct.  My 5 yr old initially panicked at the chest high water but settled after a few minutes as the water became shallower and then begged the guide to “go again!” when we finally emerged on the far side near the Shiloah spring in the Jerusalem’s Arab Silwan neighbourhood.

It’s been indescribeable to experience so many of Jerusalem’s ancient sites on the eve and day of Tisha Be’av — the historic day of national Jewish mourning when both the 1st and 2nd Temples were destroyed.  As our guide for the Kotel tunnel tours pointed out: you would be hard pressed to name another nation on earth today who still annually mourn the tragic events of 2500 years ago.

We have returned to our home base in Modiin and are hoping (praying?) for the kids to get an early night to bed as we depart for Masada tomorrow morning at 7:30am.

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Gerald Kraset says January 13, 2013,3:24 pm

Really interesting!!!

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Ed Prutschi is a criminal defence lawyer in Toronto, Canada practicing at the law firm of Adler Bytensky Prutschi. When not completely absorbed by the rigours of his trial practice, Ed revels in grabbing his camera ..

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