Sunday, October 5, 2008

Where the animals and the people play

Minna and I managed to get out of Jerusalem this afternoon for the first time in a bit. We headed east to Ein Gedi (above is a view from where we hiked to; there's an ibex in the distance to the right and the Dead Sea -- the lowest point on earth at some 400 meters below sea level -- in the background). [You can click on the image for a better view.]

Israel is largely a desert country, so spots with water you can play in -- like the pools of Ein Gedi -- are prized. Ein Gedi even has some waterfalls. That's Minna (on your right) standing below the biggest one, David Falls.

After we left Ein Ged -- where the ibex play -- we went to a couple of malls -- where the people play.

First we went to Maale Adumim, which is a very large -- and highly controversial -- Jewish settlement of over 30,000 people to the east of Jerusalem. Minna was struck by just how ordinary this place of so much contention seemed to her. We stopped in a mall there and got a cup of coffee and walked around. Then we went for a bit of a walk in the surrounding neighborhood. We found ourselves in a low-lying park that was populated by some of these guys of all things:

Then we headed back to Jerusalem to the mall and got some kosher Burger King, which was a real treat.

Here are some more pictures from Ein Gedi, etc.:

Here's a woman enjoying the scene by one of the other waterfalls while a friend swims in the pool by her:

Here are a couple of more pics of the ibexes on the ridge:

Here's a nice pic of Minna and me taken by the David Falls:

And here's Minna looking contemplative in Maale Adumim:

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