Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Series of Unfortunate Events

Have you ever had a day where everything just wouldn't go right...?
Well, my someone, his family, and yours truly, have recently had such a day. So where do I begin...
I've mentioned we are in the midst of holiday season in my previous posts, and so after we've celebrated Rosh Ha'Shanna & Yom Kippur, it is time for Sukkot. It's an 8 days holiday, which means many many people vacationing and touring the country. Usually that's the kind of time to avoid touristic areas, as you're bound to be stuck in heavy traffic, as well as over-packed crowds wherever you go. But since we were all on vacation at the same time (my someone, his family & yours truly), we decided to brave it and hit the road. I should mention that to top it all, the weather forecast for that day called for an increase in (the already high) temperatures. My someone's parents decided to keep it a secret from the rest of us as to where we were headed. We only knew it was to the Jerusalem area, and we knew it would involve water, as we had to bring a change of pants, and shoes for walking in water. We headed out from our place in Tel Aviv. His parents were in one car, in-front of us, while we were in the second car with his two brothers. Our first stop was in Ramla, an unusual stop as it's not really a touristic city, nor does it have any attractive/interesting spots... Turns out there is one. We arrived at The Pool of Arches which was built to provide Ramla and the area a steady supply of water. We entered the site, and went down to the underground pool, where we were told we can take two boats and paddle.... We then realized it was a 20 by 20 meter space... Nonetheless, as funny as it was, we entered two boats and paddled between the arches. After circling the entire grounds, we docked the boats and continued with our day. We had a short stop at the White Mosque where we climbed up the 30 meter tower, and then escaped the blazing heat back to the air-conditioned cars. We made another stop on the way for brunch at a picnic area in the woods. After brunch we were headed towards Jerusalem.
His parents lead us through some side roads, that run through the forests on the outskirts of the city, which was beautiful. It was also smart as the main road to Jerusalem was over crowded with heavy traffic. Eventually though we had no choice but to join that traffic. So we were on the road, climbing up as Jerusalem is higher, it was about 36 Celsius outside, the air-conditioner at its highest... and our car's temperature was climbing. By the time we were inside the city, stuck in heavy traffic, and no place to hide from the sun, the engine was boiling. We had to stop and open the hood to try and cool it down. After pouring a few bottles of water, we decided to give it another go, and try and get the car to the near by parking structure. Then, at the next light, right in the middle of the intersection, the other car, the one his parents were driving, broke down. Seriously ?!! My someone passed over to his parents car to help them out, while I continued with his brothers in our extremely heated car towards the parking, a ride which in normal days shouldn't take more than 5 minutes, but on that day it was a complete traffic mess and it took us about 20 minutes (and a second stop for the engine to cool down) before we reached the entrance to the parking lot. The engine's temperature arm was almost at it's highest point (that point in which smoke starts coming out...) when we were finally in. We parked at the first spot we found and opened the hood to let it cool off. We waited for a while until my someone and his mom showed up informing us that his dad stayed behind with the other car, waiting for a replacement car (it's a leased car). The leasing company told him there was someone on the way & he should arrive there shortly. After his mom revealed our destination was Hezekiah's Tunnel (Nikbat Ha'Shiloach), we made our way through the over-crowded Old City towards City of David. It was about 2pm when we reached City of David. We bought tickets for all of us (including his dad who was still back at the car) and we waited. We found a few benches in the shade where we sat and passed  the time waiting for his dad to join us. We played a few rounds of 21 questions, snacked a bit, walked around the premises, and the time passed. By 4:45pm we had to make a decision, as his dad wasn't there yet, and after 5pm you couldn't enter the tunnel any more. Though we all said we wouldn't go without his dad, his mom said he'd be real upset if we all missed it... so we went in. There's a bit of a path before you reach the point where you actually enter the narrow tunnel, and the water. That was no problem. But as soon as we reached the water and I put my two feet in I shrugged. The water was freezing! I had just gotten out of a cold and I knew that it wouldn't do me any good to walk in freezing water now, and so I said goodbye to my shocked someone, told him I'd meet them back at rest area, and I made my way out. While waiting for them to return, his dad had finally made it and we waited together. By 6pm we were all together again. We headed back to the Old City to stroll the Mamilla open mall. We found a nice restaurant over-looking the walls of the city, where we had our dinner. We laughed about the days adventures and concluded that all in all, no matter what happened, at least we had some family time together, and we actually had fun!

Photos will follow (on my next post...)


Amie McCracken said...

I loved Hezekiah's Tunnel! But the water was definitely freezing. And it's a little claustrophobic inside.

Memories are only remembered when there's something to laugh this day will go down in history for you just because of the problems.

Almost Precious said...

As time passes even the worst incidents of your perfectly bad day will seem more and more humorous.

Dionne said...

These places all sound marvelous. I would love to go some day! Can't wait to see your pics!