Day 1 in Israel: Jerusalem

>> Tuesday, January 14, 2014

It's early morning on Day 2 here in Israel. The 2014 Israman Negev half iron distance triathlon is Friday, and I'm with a group of 4 other guys "from the internet" sent by Kinetis to come see the race and share our experience in Israel.

I got in yesterday morning after not sleeping a wink on the Red Eye. I watched FOUR movies (Wolverine, Man of Steel, The Avengers, and Batman Begins) and worked a bit on my syllabus for next semester.

Superman was better than Wolverine.

One of the other guys on the trip is an acquaintance from the Twin Cities, so Nick (from and I headed out for a 3.5 hour self-guided tour of Jerusalem's "Old City" shortly after we arrived.

The "most empty" shot I was able to get after walking around the market for hours.

We kept walking around the Church of the Holy Sepulture, but we had trouble finding our way in:

Not lost. Just not sure where to go.

We finally found it:

Looking up from one of the lower levels.

This Church is one of the possible sites where Jesus was crucified and buried.

Site of the crucifixion.

Rock of Golgotha.

I waited in line for 10 minutes to take my turn crawling under the alter to place my hand in the rock where the crucifix stood. It was "heavy" to say the least.

It was one of the strangest, most interesting churches that I've ever been in. We're heading back for a bit more later today, and I can't wait.

We wandered around a bit more, and then grabbed a quick super authentic lunch: pizza and a Coke:

Then we took off to find the Wailing Wall (or Western Wall).

It's Jewish tradition to cover your head with a Kippah if you approach the wall to pray, and they had a big box of Kippahs to wear if you weren't Jewish. I stepped up to the wall for a moment, and Nick got a photo of me getting ready to leave:

Following the edge of the Old City wall back towards home.
(We'd just come from the Wailing Wall which is ahead and to the left out of the frame.)

Following the wall up (on the right) with the Dome of the Rock behind me. We tried
stopping at the Dome, but it was prayer time, so we could't get in. (Maybe today?...)

Outside of the Old City wall.

We met up with our group last night for supper.

Adi (from Kinetis who sent us all here), Tim (triathlete and writer), me, another Tim
(triathlete knowledge bank), and Nick (from and

About 6 starter rounds, then a GIANT tray of meat, and then lots of desserts!

After not sleeping at all Monday night, I only got about 6 hours last night (Tuesday night) before waking up pretty excited to keep seeing more today (I'm 8 hours ahead here compared to back home, so I'm writing this before 6 a.m. here and it's 10 p.m. last night back home). We'll be seeing a little more of Jerusalem today, and then it's off to Tel Aviv after lunch. Back with more in a day or 2!


Cynthia @ You Signed Up For What?! 10:35 AM, January 16, 2014  

Incredible - thanks for sharing this journey.

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