Trip Start Aug 08, 2008
Trip End Aug 27, 2008

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Flag of Israel  ,
Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Traveling from Amman to the Allenby/King Hussein Bridge border with Israel was about 50mins. The highway to the border and the Dead Sea is called the Jordan Valley. About 80% of the land in Jordan is desert and what I would call stone desert look to it.

Crossing the border into Israel was quit an adventure; it took was about 3 hours to go through all security checks, bag checks, and personal questioning. After all was said and done, I told my lovely military/customs agent "I will take an Israeli stamp on my passport, please" She told that she had been a stationed at Allenby for 2 years and she had never had anyone happy to request a stamp.

The importance of being aware and knowing how people are treated in this region quickly opens your eyes. Being a tourist has its advantages or was it that we were Latin carrying American passports? I remember telling my aunt to display her gold roary neclace as we were waiting to be questioned by border guards. I witness that Arabs were treated differently. They were asked more questions and were made to wait longer to cross (if you were allowed to come to Israel). I also noticed some people were made to wait as their passports were taken and to be questioned again later. Considering the history of attacks on Israel and political turmoil... i guess it's understandable.

Arrival in Jerusalem was about 2pm yesterday. Lodging at the Citadel Hostel provides some of the most amazing views within Old Jerusalem. Staying in Old Jerusalem has given us a spiritual and moving experience as we visit all the Christian sites. Everyday we encounter the physical and spiritual presence of the Devine.

While visiting the Birthplace of the Virgin Mary, we were given earth from a cave deep inside the house and where the Church of St. Anne is now build above.
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