Yom Jerusalem

Trip Start May 19, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Jerusalem University College
What I did
Old City
Jewish Quarter
Jaffa Gate

Flag of Israel  ,
Sunday, May 20, 2012

Escaped from Tel Aviv mostly in one piece, fighting against jet lag the whole time.  I swore to myself I wouldn't fall asleep so as to get the body clock adjusted more quickly-we'll see how well that works out.  It was pretty incredible to see just how quickly and starkly the scenery changed from the coastal plains around Tel Aviv up through the Shephelah and into the Central Range where Jerusalem is located.  45 minutes, 3,000 feet and several climate zones.  The best possible serendipitous happenstance happened, as they sometimes do:  today is Yom Jerusalem day, the day that the Jews celebrate the reunification of Jerusalem after the 7 Days War.  Basically it would be like showing up in Washington D.C. on July 4th without planning it.  So everyone was out in the streets waving Israeli flags, wearing white and blue, blue face paint, the whole shebang.  This delayed traffic enough so that by the time we got to JUC, got settled in, and got dinner it was late enough to go exploring.  Awesome thing number 2:  we met up with some other students here from California "Fresno Pacific I think but I'll confirm that" who have been here for about a week, therefore they know their way around a bit better.  They guided us through the Old City from our location as best they could, but due to some celebratory marches and police barricades we couldn't quite get to the Jaffa Gate, but then we met up with some local college students who guided us through the crowd.  It helped that we had the girls with us, what can I say.  We ended up wandering through this amazing outdoor mall, and I cursed myself about every 30 seconds for not bringing my camera on the outing.  Probably a good thing I didn't have any money, or I would have ended up getting way too much junk food-I got like 4 pieces of toast with nutella on them at the JUC at any rate.  It was incredible just walking in the crowd, feeling the festival atmosphere.  Ended the day on the roof of the college, waiting out in the cold in my Masai blanket waiting for a fireworks show which, when it eventually came, made it almost worth the wait.  Now I'm typing this, actually feeling pretty chipper because my biological clocks says it's like 2:30 in the afternoon.  Somehow I bet I still get to sleep.
I know there's not much in here beyond a chronology today-I promise that will change, but for now exhaustion is the enemy I've defeated all day, and it's time to regroup and come back for battle tomorrow.  Planning on getting up at 6:15 to go do a little workout, maybe go for a bit of a run to get to know the city.  Until then, g'nite, peace and blessings.
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