Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Summertime continued

The grandchildren are out of school, some have lots to do, some are “bored”. The telephone rings, “Can you help out with my children?”. Yes, summer is around for a looong time!!

One of the grandchildren took the opportunity to complete the advanced course with the ambulance service Magen David Adom (he did the elementary course last year) so is now volunteering to go out with the team in an ambulance when there is a call. Unfortunately with the quality of driving, there are too many accidents, so there is not too much free time.

This week, prior to celebrating the barmitzvah of a Jerusalem grandchild at the Western wall in the old city, we invested the previous day to take 3 of them on a tour. (Not easy with temperatures in the 30’s C , 90’s F)

We bought tickets to walk on the ramparts around the old city and managed to cover the Christian, Armenian and Jewish quarters. As interesting as the walk was, what caught the attention of the grandchildren, was an incident in the streets below where the police were dealing with a suspicious object that had been left on the pavement. As is normal, the streets were closed to traffic, and the use of a robot to detonate the “suspicious object” created quite a strong shock wave that we felt as high up as we were. What was in the bag was not an explosive device; someone almost certainly put their bag down and forgot to pick it up. Nevertheless it created a talking point as we continued on our way.

After lunch, we then proceeded for a guided tour of the Western Wall Tunnels an unbelievable experience. The actual part of the Western Wall that most visitors see from the Plaza is about 70 meters long. Underground there is another 470 metres to discover. It is a most fascinating experience. One of the stones in the wall underground is so huge that it alone weighs approx 6000 tonnes. Just how was that moved into place during the building of the temple?

After nearly 6 hours of walking around, we all returned home exhausted but returned the following morning for the actual barmitzvah ceremony.

Yes, summertime is exhausting

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