Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Jericho and Temptation Mountain



Having had our fill of Jerusalem (for the meantime), the embassy group decided to go to City of Jericho – which was a first for many of us. The bus was occupied to the last seat – obviously there was great interest to see Jericho.

While traveling, Josie, our self-appointed tour guide offered to tell us some facts about the City of Jericho. She said that the City of Jericho is a place of extremes – that it is the oldest city in the world, the lowest positioned city (hundreds of meters below sea level) and the hottest place on earth. Boundaries and nearby places to Jericho are Jordan River, the Dead Sea , and the Allenby Bridge Border Crossing.

Check out the picture above of the Temptation Mountain with Palestinian school girls going down its trail. Temptation Mountain is the place where Satan tried to tempt Jesus, showing and offering him all possible mundane pleasures.

We went up the mountain via cable car – the ride on which was quite an unnerving experience. It was one major thrill ride! The car was violently swaying at some points (so unlike the Masada cable ride which was more enjoyable). I lost my desire to take pictures and just wished we reached the mountain as soon as possible. Still that cable ride to and from the Temptation Mountain made for an interesting ride albeit a very frightening one.

The mountain is just 20 miles or so away from Jerusalem. Some suggested (with me strongly agreeing) passing by Jerusalem. But since we need to go back to Tel Aviv before dusk (some of our caregiver friends still have to return to their employer that day), we passed up on the idea. Too bad, we could have made the most of the day had we visited Jerusalem.

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