Josh returns to Jericho

Trip Start Dec 18, 2013
Trip End Jan 02, 2014

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What I did
Spring of Elijah
Walls of Jericho

Flag of Palestinian Territory  , Jericho,
Saturday, December 21, 2013

Since today is the Sabbath most everything in Jerusalem is closed so we decided to head out of the City for the afternoon.  Our first stop was Jericho which claims to be the oldest city in the world but Jake says is actually the 3rd oldest.

On the way to Jericho we drove through lots of desert and several Bedouin campsites.  How people can live in basically shanties is amazing and apparently they are very happy living the way they do, even if it's so close to the cities and towns.

Jericho is a very interesting place.  It is actually in Palestinian controlled territory but is pretty safe.  There isn't even a checkpoint to go through and they welcome tourists since they need the money.  And do they, it reminded us of some parts of Mexico near Cancun.

We didn't stop in the City but did go to the legendary Spring of Elijah.  This is the fabled spring that was salt water but Elijah performed a miracle and turned the salty water  into fresh water.  They erected a nice little visitor center but it was pretty small and we didn't stay long as it really looked like a quaint little water processing plant with the pipes and stuff to send the water to homes for drinking, etc.

Across the street lies some of the uncovered walls of the old city of Jericho.  Brought back some memories for Josh but last time he was here he had more trumpets (bible joke if you didn't get it).  Also a little sad as it wasn't that well kept up and there was very little to see.  Just two main holes in the ground where you could see some remnants of walls.  Apparently Jericho was last excavated about 10 years ago but there's no money now which is a shame.

There was a nice little fruit stand in front of the entrance to the excavation where we had some fresh pomegranate juice and these little mini-bananas.  We found out they grow corn locally in Jericho and they had some that they recently finished boiling in a pot.  The ears looked pretty good but the kernels were about 2/3 of the way up to the tip and we didn't try any.

After that Sami took us to the Mount of Temptation and we saw the monastery built over the caves where Jesus spent 40 days in the desert.  Basically remote mountains in the desert, not much to see unless we were actually going to go into the monastery, which we weren't.  Its a historical site but again, not really maintained or kept up.  There's a wadi (dry riverbed/valley) that we were looking down into with the monastery above us that was littered with soda and water bottles, and even a set of 3 chairs arranged on the bottom in a circle.  Kind of weird.

We spent about an hour or so in Jericho and then headed over to the Dead Sea for lunch and swim at the beach.

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