Friday, April 27, 2018

April A to Z Challenge: X is for eXtra Nice Weather and eXtra Stuff

Did you wonder what I would blog about using X? Just FYI - it is a difficult letter!!

X is for eXtra Nice Weather
The weather while we were in Israel this year was truly eXtra special. We experienced lots of sunshine and pleasant temperatures. We left Birmingham right at the end of January and were out of the country for 10 days. We experienced spring like days while in Israel.
When we were in Israel in 2016, I didn’t take a winter coat – just a thin Columbia rain jacket and I almost froze on a couple of days. This year, I packed a winter coat and only wore it for an hour or two during the whole trip.

Gorgeous weather!!

folks wearing coats in 2016

you can see above and below  - they all have on
heavy coats in 2016 - I was shivering!

X is for eXtra Stuff
I can’t remember if I told y’all about the toilet tissue (toilet paper in the south!). Quite a few of the public toilets do not have toilet paper available so I ordered mini rolls from Amazon. They came in quite handy.
Another thing – in many other countries, toilet paper is not flushed but placed in trash receptacles. Just FYI – sometimes this makes the restrooms have a particular odor. I won’t elaborate but imagine this emogi. (this picture borrowed from the internet is a cookie mold – the bathrooms do not smell like cookies and I’m not sure I would want to eat a cookie in this shape).

Now for the other eXtra stuff . . .how about some pictures?

There are lots of feral but friendly cats all
in Jerusalem. We saw them
climbing in dumpsters for food.
They actually appear semi-healthy
and I believe a lot of restaurants
feed the cats the scraps left over
from meals.

Above and below -- the oldest arch in Israel
4,000 years old - in Tel Dan
called Abraham's arch
made of mud and archaeologists think
it was built around 1750 BC.
notice the ancient stone street
that approaches the
this is from the Canaanite period!!

This is the aqueduct at Caesarea. They had no reliable source of fresh water and around 22BC, King Herod commissioned a raised aqueduct to deliver water from the springs 16 kilometers northeast of Caesarea Maritima.

People (not our tour group) climbing all over
the aqueduct

beautiful candles in so many of the holy sites

Did I already tell y'all about loopholes??
Y'all know that we think of a loophole as a forgotten condition in a law, agreement, etc. that allows one to interpret and get around a matter (basically the definition from urban dictionary).
These are loopholes in the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem -- arrows could be
fired through these holes.

Did I tell you about the ladder? It was there in 2016 and in 2018 and supposedly it has been there for about 300 years (anywhere from 260-360) according to huffington post - possibly been there since at least the 1750's.
The church of the holy sepulcher is managed/directed by the Status Quo, which stems from a decree by Ottoman Sultan Osman III in the 18th century. So because everything in the church is shared by 4-6 churches, none can agree as to who has possession of the ladder . . .so it remains!!

see the ladder under the right window??

more candles - folks light them as they pray for others

this was a market scene in 2016 and everyone has on those
winter coats!!

this was in 2016 -- our tour bus was
in the long check point line to get
back across the border from
Palestine - from our day trip
to Bethlehem, etc.


  1. I loved reading about the toilet paper issue! In Europe in 1970 or so we had problems with tp, I thought surely the world would have changed to be more like "us!" Sometimes it was like waxed paper. Or the public toilet attendants would hand out individual squares. Individual squares! One square!
    I'm old enough to remember big city department stores would have pay toilets. A nickle, or was it a dime?
    (You say toilet paper is southern, but I live on the west coast and we've never called it anything but paper. Tissue sounds fancy!)
    I love your photos. Photos make or break a blog for me. The more photos the better!

  2. Some of these everyday facts made your trip come to life. My husband's cousin visited Israel two years ago and is on her way back in November. She loved every minute of her trip but one thing she never told me about were the cats - I will have to ask her about that.

  3. Thanks for the extra tid bits. I'm glad you had wonderful weather for your trip!