Glorious Jerusalem, Holy Bethlehem

Jerusalem, glorious Jerusalem. By the time we got to Jerusalem, on the 23rd of December, it had been two weeks since I’d been in the city and boy, did I miss it! I had been driving my family nuts talking about all the wonderful things we could do there during our nine days in Jordan. Getting back to Jerusalem was like returning┬áhome.

We arrived late in the evening on Friday night and missed the welcoming of Shabbat at the Western Wall. Instead, we grabbed 7-shekel falafel at a stand across from the Damascus Gate and wandered through the Old City at night. My mother was amazed by the cleaning job that had been recently done on the walls and buildings, and my brother and father were astounded by the beauty of this living and breathing Old City. Continue reading

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Bethany-beyond-the-Jordan, immigration and border scrabbles, and Jerash

It has been a while since I updated my travel/life-in-the-crazy-Middle-East blog because we’ve been moving about so much and I’ve barely had a second to myself. So now, sitting in a kibbutz in the Negev in Israel, I finally have time to look back at what we did in Jordan two weeks ago and write a much-less detailed account.

Our trip to Jordan was cut rather short by some immigration issues I was having with Israel. I had applied for a visa extension a few months prior to leaving the country and I was still waiting for approval. The Ministry of the Interior assured me that, as I was in the system, I was still legally in the country. However, when I left to go to Amman on the 15th of December, the woman at immigration told me that I would need to visit the Israeli Consulate in Amman to get documents allowing my re-entry into the country. It seems the various computer systems are not well integrated. Frustrated by this bit of bureaucracy, we left Wadi Rum and drove back to Amman on Wednesday, knowing Thursday would be spent in offices in the city. Continue reading