We were scheduled to leave the marina in Hertzlyia, and Israel in a few days :( and had one last day free to head into Jerusalem. So, Maggie and Levi and I went into the big city to explore while Rachel took "the littles" to the beach to relax.
We decided to try and take the train from the coast which turned out to be the way to go. It was cheap ($13) for a one-day round trip ticket to Jerusalem and back. The train took about 2 hours as opposed to 1 1/2 by car, so not bad there, and the trains are really comfortable. So we got to relax and goof around instead of being stressed in traffic! Good by me! When we got to the last train station, it ends at a huge mall we moseyed around in it for a bit. It has all the global stores and is as big as any mall in the states. 3 stories of consumerism and a food court!
One thing I really wanted to try and do while we were here was a hike in the City of David. It's next to the Old City of Jerusalem and includes "Hezekiah's Tunnel" from the Old Testament book of II Chronicles. It is a hand-dug tunnel that archaeologists still marvel at for it's engineering and accuracy. Two groups started digging from opposite sides and miraculously, met in the middle with only 6% grade for almost a kilometer! It was a hugely strategic water supply for the city and is still a running spring 3000 years later! So, we taxied over and hiked it, it was amazing! The tunnel goes for over 1/2 mile, pitch black, and at times the water is up past your knees! They sell little l.e.d. flashlights for a buck, otherwise, we would have been groping around for quite a while. It was fun thinking of all the soldiers and people who had been there over the centuries and we turned off the lights for a stretch, bonked our heads in the dark to get the full effect.
Afterwards, we feasted on what might be our last falafels for a while, shopped a bit in Old Town for some souvenirs, and moseyed our way back to the train station that afternoon. Part of us didn't want to leave and we took our time wandering around the Old City.
We ended up catching the next to the last train home and didn't get back to the boat until almost midnight, a long and fun, but exhausting, day.
Tomorrow is top off the water and fuel tanks and make ready to sail up to Cyprus and then off to Greece. We're going to miss Israel and are looking for an excuse to stay!