From Tiberius back to Jerusalem

Trip Start Nov 30, 2005
Trip End Jan 11, 2006

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Where I stayed

Flag of Israel  ,
Monday, December 26, 2005

Hello again! I am back in my favorite hotel in Jerusalem. The HolyLand Hotel in East Jerusalem near the Damascus Gate. I've dubbed this my home-away-from home while in Israel. The staff here has been just wonderful to me. It is a modest hotel, good for the budget traveler, but very clean and pleasant. The rooms are spacious and as it is away from the main street which runs in front of the old city wall, very quiet - with the exception of course of the electronic Muslim calls to worship which I've moaned about previously. Though the staff appears to be primarily Muslim, they apparently cater to the Christian tourist also as the lobby has been decorated ever since I first arrived with a traditional Christmas tree and such. There have been a few tour groups with Greek Orthodox priests as part of the group that I've noticed here. Of course, a really big attraction for me is that the hotel provides wireless internet connection free for their guest. Cool! I sit down here in the lobby and watch the activities as I do my internet correspondence and Google searches.

Unfortunately, tourism remains at a seriously low level and that's so truly sad, since Israel is a wonderfully beautiful country with truly wonderful people everywhere - Jewish and Palestinian. The folks I've met on both "sides" are just like all people. They want to work and support their families; they want to live in peace and prosperity; they want good schools for their children. The same things we all want. So, it was good to hear that despite the terrorist take-over of the Bethlehem Municipal Building a few days prior to Christmas, (and just a few days after I had visited there) nearly 30,000 pilgrams made it to Bethlehem on Christmas Eve and all went without incident. Still, it's that sort of thing that keeps everyone so much on edge.
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