On Monday, I finally achieved my second-time-in-Israel goal. That is, I made the trip to Hezekiah’s Tunnel.
Now, I’ve already mentioned the backstory…so I’ll make it quick. This tunnel was built in the time of Hezekiah…around 700 BCE. He knew the Assyrians would attack soon and didn’t want them to know of their water supply, so he built a long tunnel underneath the city to allow the water flow from the Gihon Spring to the Siloam Pool…all the way across the city.
Diggers dug from each side and met in the middle (which we know to this day because of an inscription that was found in the middle.So basically, this is an underground tunnel that is filled with water. Cold water. Very very cold water. It was truly a blast. I took Daria (my passport twin) and we hiked the underground tunnel together while it drizzled in Jerusalem.At the deepest point, the water comes up to mid-thigh…but throughout most of the tunnel it only reaches to mid-calf.About two minutes in, Daria mentioned to me that she was a tad claustrophobic. Keeping this in mind, I didn’t stop to take many pictures…but here are the ones of us in the tunnel.The walls are, in fact, extremely narrow. I truly cannot imagine digging in these conditions.
The walls (and ground) were entirely smooth except for one or two parts where the diggers might have started going the wrong way. This was simply a chunk of the wall that was missing…so Daria was inspired.When we got to the end of the tunnel, we both felt very accomplished. Her more-so, for going through the tunnel despite her fear. I am quite proud!Having Daria here was quite fun (though it rained the entire time…). My friend Rob actually found a good quote about the weather currently in Israel. I shall share!
“Winter is a season–a real season–in Israel, a state that has almost no seasons. We have summer, ultra-summer, almost-summer, and summer-in-principle-but-with-haze. And then, after a sweaty eternity, when we are certain that this time around it won’t be coming (maybe the bodies that boycott Israel convinced it to stay away), winter lands here for its annual performance, with all of us getting first row tickets.”
So after the tunnel, we were heading back (in the rain) to the Light Rail when we ran into Dan and Mike (another guy from her trip). We ended up at the Shuk eating cheap spaghetti and grabbing food before heading back to the Kfar. We made spaghetti, watched National Treasure and The A-Team (she hadn’t seen either), and all-in-all had a light evening.
Spaghetti and National Treasure is a tradition for me if the weather is a certain way. When it’s rainy and bleh outside…not pouring…just bleh, pajama’s, fuzzy socks, spaghetti, and National Treasure. It’s the way to go. Best way to do it. Promise.
Tuesday morning Daria and I reached the parting of the ways. She went to the Central Bus Station and I went on a field trip with my archaeology class.
The first stop was the Israel Museum which houses the Dead Sea Scrolls…but that’s not what we were there for this time. (Next time…)
Actually, this particular visit was in order to see the Second Temple Model.It’s actually much larger than I initially thought. I wish I had gotten a picture next to it for perspective. =\ Maybe next time. Either way…what you’re looking at right now is Jerusalem around the time of the Second Temple Period (with King Herod for those who are slightly confused. Did that even help? Nevermind. >_>).
What is now the Modern Day Old City is actually much smaller and this model actually includes the City of David within it.Here is the temple that Herod built for the Jews. What is left of the outer wall on the left side is the “Western Wall” or the “Wailing Wall” that is a holy spot for the Jews. The gate that is shown here has been closed up but it was called Mercy Gate. Where the group is standing on the other side of the model is actually where Jaffa Gate is (for those of you who have been to Jerusalem before…).
And here’s a random picture of Indiana Ho (also known as Daniel Ho).From the Israel Museum the group headed to the Kidron Valley (which, if you remember correctly, is one of the valleys surrounding the Old City/City of David). Within this valley resides some of the most holy churches in Christianity.The Church of All Nations is the supposed location where Jesus was praying before being arrested. The depiction on the top is of Jesus mediating between God and Man.
A little further in we spotted the Tomb of Zechariah (carved entirely from the rock behind it):The Tomb of Avshalom (thought to be the burial place of King David’s son Avshalom though it’s proven to be historically impossible due to advanced architecture. Avshalom died around 1000 BCE, the tombs style is that of 70 CE.): And the Tomb of Bnei Hezir:
This tomb has many burial caves within. We actually got to go in and poke around…respectfully of course!It was utterly fascinating…and totally cold. We ran out of time to really scope it out, but our professor did tell us that we could come back and get the keys on our own time if we wanted to check it out more.
Why thank you! I just might!
Wednesday was a lazy day.
As was today.
Don’t judge me. >_> I’ll work on my paper tomorrow….maybe.
Trying to plan a movie outing this weekend….finally.
Until next time,