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Help: Day Itinerary: Reasonable?

North Central...
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Help: Day Itinerary: Reasonable?

Headed to Israel for the 1st time in Sept. We are fast paced, no tour guides (Except Masada area) and we have 5 days set aside for the Jerusalem area alone. We are staying in The Gloria Hotel inside The Old City by the Jaffa Gate. We are on foot.

With help, I've started reworking my itinerary. I'm not sure if this is reasonable for a day. The * are area's we are not pushing to see on the inside this trip/day.

Any advice is much appreciated,

Julie

LovingRodney@bellsouth.net

Day 9: Wednesday:

Outside The Old City Walls:

Dormition Abbey

St. Peter in Gallicantu

Tomb of David

Siloam Pool

Zechariah’s Tomb

Absalom Tomb

Jehospaphats Tomb

All Nations Church *

Garden of Gethsemane

Tomb of the Virgin Mary *

Mount of Olives

Garden Tomb

Jeremiah’s Grotto

Hezekiah’s Tunnels (Kidron Valley)

Zedekiah’s Cave (Outside of Damascus Gate)

Mea She’arim (Another day?)

Haifa, Israel
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1. Re: Help: Day Itinerary: Reasonable?

I'm not familiar with all of the sites you list and their exact locations - but this does sound like a lot to do in one day - you've listed a minimum of 13 sites, which at 1/2 hour each including travelling in between AND seeing each place would pretty much fill up a whole day - and I think that that 30 minutes per site is probably not really a realistic plan, especially if you have to find everything yourself.

I would actually advise that you take a tour of some of these places with a company like Zion Tours (opposite the Tower of David). They are inexpensive and the tour guide will tell you much more about each place than you will find in a guidebook - and they will also lead you between the different sites, with transport where necessary. Even as someone who has been there hundreds of times, I learned a lot about sites in the Old City when I took their tour a couple of years ago - highly recommended. As well as their "classic" 4 quarters tour of the Old City they also do a lot of other options. It's not like being on a big bus tour - they take much smaller groups.

Mea Shearim should probably be on another day - but you won't really see much there other than strolling down the main street (appropriately dressed, of course). You could combine it with a walk down Rechov haNevi'im (Street of the Prophets). Again, take a guided tour if you can - there is really so much historical material to see on that street, but you will need someone to point it out to you...

Avigail

california
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2. Re: Help: Day Itinerary: Reasonable?

Another thing to keep in mind when walking around Jerusalem--it's very taxing on the body no matter how good physical shape you might be in. All the walking is on hard cobblestones and up and down many steep hills. So, what looks do-able on paper and looks close together on a map does not truly communicate the exertion.

That being said, there are certain sites that are close together that can certainly be seen as a group, for example: All Nations Church, Garden of Gethseman and Tomb of Mary are next to one another. They are at the bottom of the Mt. of Olives, so if you have the energy, you can walk to the top for a sensational view. But you might want to take a taxi to your next grouping of sites.

I'm like you in wanting to pack a lot into my days, but you also don't want your next day(s) ruined by sore muscles, painful feet and even blisters.

Paragon
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3. Re: Help: Day Itinerary: Reasonable?

I want to give a big "WELCOME TO TRIP ADVISOR" to my friend, Julie. Glad to see you finally made it here and are posting.

Don't stop with the 1 question--keep on asking.

Remember that I shared with you that you do not want to "run where Jesus walked".....a phenomenon that I have experienced myself. **smile**

What you have listed here is a list that is too long in my opinion and even if you made it through the list you would not remember a bit of what you did see. (This, of course, is my own opinion!)

Hone the list........prioritize it. I would do Mea Shearim for sure...but, not on the same day as these others.

Once again....WELCOME....and I admire your trip planning!

Kathy Walters

Paragon, Indiana, USA

cakywalters@iquest.net

Cincinnati, Ohio
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4. Re: Help: Day Itinerary: Reasonable?

I agree with Kathy (and also welcome you!) You want time to reflect and savor, especially at places like the Mount of Olives and Gethsemane, which are both beautiful and quite moving. Try not to fall into the checklist mentality of "I've got to see everything." You want to experience things, which is different and, in the long run, far more memorable.

Do ask away. This forum is full of people, including a number of wonderful Israelis, who love to help people plan their trips.

Douglas Duckett

Arizona
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5. Re: Help: Day Itinerary: Reasonable?

I agree with everyone -- you won't be able to savor much if you put all that in. I love the Garden of Gesthemane and Church of All Nations, and even though they are small and not very involved, being able to linger and appreciate such places is an important part of the Jerisalem experience for me.

IF you have the option of a day-guide, perhaps put Mea She'arim, the neighborhood around the old Bezalel Art Academy, Machane Yehuda Market and a few more secular things together -- I found our guide's discussion of the history, politics, and stories about people and buildings as we drove around through Mea She'arim was fascinating and unique, and he took us on foot through really cool neighborhoods between the Art Academy and the Market, then escorted us in the bustle of the market itself.

Washington State
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6. Re: Help: Day Itinerary: Reasonable?

You could probably see all this in a day, but if you have five days and are staying at the Jaffa gate, their may be better ways to organize your visit to these sites.

Mount of Olives:

-Get a taxi to the Chapel of the Ascension near the top (interesting site few visit). Then walk down, visiting Pater Noster, Tomb of the Prophets, and Dominus Flevit on the way down. Stop for amazing pictures along the way. When you get to the bottom, visit Church of All Nations, Tomb of the Virgin Mary (not to be missed in my opinion-great Crusader era church), AND the Gethsemane Grotto that is right next to Mary’s Tomb entrance (this is probably where Jesus and his disciples slept when they stayed in the area).

Then just follow the valley south into a dirt path that will lead you to the rock cut tombs of the Kidron Valley (all mis-named). At the point you can either head further south and hope to find a taxi. Or backtrack to some stairs that will lead you to the area near the SE corner of the Ophl area.

I’d do Hezekiah’s Tunnel as a part of a visit to the whole City of David complex (In fact, I think you can only access it through that tour now). This is not to miss site too. Remember, bring good flashlights and some shoes that can get wet. Don’t miss the Siloam Pool when your done.

Dormition Abbey and Tomb of David are all on Mt Zion, about a five minute walk from where you’re staying. I’d see them on a day when you visit the Armenian quarter. (Personally, I find them underwhelming. David is not buried there and the church is so completely modern that it seems out of place). Do also visit the “upper room”, and appreciate it as a Crusader era building, but not really the place the Last Supper was eaten.

St. Peter in Gallicantu kind of sits by itself, but I think you can wander down the hill from Mt. Zion, cross the road and make your way to it.

Any day you visit the Moslem Quarter, walk out the Damascus Gate and up the street is the Garden Tomb (and some good local places to get a cheap lunch). Zedekiah’s Cave is in the area, but remember, this is just a rock quarry – cool is you like big, dark underground space. Just don’t look for a passage to Jericho

North Central...
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7. Re: Help: Day Itinerary: Reasonable?

Thanks to everyone's advice, I am going to slow my pace. I never knew that about the roads and Dog ... you just made my day with your idea. I was working my way up instead of going up then back down. I will repost this day when it's all complete. Thanks so much for the welcomes too. <Smiles>

Blessings,

Julie

8. Re: Help: Day Itinerary: Reasonable?

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