While Jeff and Angie went off to find Oscar Schindler's grave on Mt Zion, I went into the Old City.
The Citadel of David Museum provides a great introduction to the history of Jerusalem. A bit dumb to be seeing it on my last day, but there you go.
Guess I'm not the only dolt here: someone whose hourglass was a few grains short came up with quite the name for an minaret from the Ottoman period: "David's Tower." The name stuck, so the city of Florence made the best of an embarrassing mistake and gifted an impressive statue of the shepherd boy with the Big G's head at his feet.
Afterwards, I wandered through alleyways in the Moslem Quarter, then headed over to the Jewish Quarter where a few days ago a Jewish man stopped me, put his small Bible on my head, prayed that I would be protected from the Evil Eye, then stretched out his hand for a donation. I shook his hand, put nothing in it, and moved on.
Today, though, no one accosts me, so I spend an hour in the big Jewish bookshop and read about Kabbala and the Jewish longing for the Messiah.
I've got my return train ticket home but, fortified by some fresh-squeezed pomegranate juice and having a full supply of red and white corpuscles, I decide to walk home.
It is as pleasant as yesterday in every way, including the smell from the bakery. Another doughnut calls my name as I walk past, but I pretend not to hear it since I am a goy who speaks no Hebrew. It works and I get back without adding any calories. I buy a couple of candy bars with my few remaining shekels. For the plane trip, of course. We will get up at 1am and who knows when the next meal will be.
But first we will have our Shabbat (sabbath) meal and service which Rabbi Steve (a gentile) will lead. To our surprise, we gentiles have been given a table in the Jewish dining room, not upstairs as usual. All around us are the sounds of Jewish families welcoming in "Queen Shabbat." We feel a little conspicuous. I want to run upstairs and put on anything black I can find, and wear my kippa/yarmulke I was given at the wailing wall.
There are a few curious looks, but none of them hostile, and soon I begin to relax as Steve starts the service. The wine is quite good and quite sweet. 12% according to the label. "Blessed art Thou O Lord God, King of the universe, for bringing forth the fruit of the vine from the earth," Steve prays.
After the meal, it's off to the room to finish packing, do this post, and get a couple of hours sleep before the big Mediterranean and Atlantic treks begin.