Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Hitchiking to Jerusalem....

We set out for the holy city with our packs and two thumbs. We set out from the tip of the Sea of Galilee, or Lake Kinneret as it is known to the Israelis. After a restless night following the elderly party animals arrival, we went for a morning swim while I continued to stew. They even had the guts to invite us to coffee! Not impressed. If anyone is familiar with 'Bailey' my evil alter-ego please note Bailey was out in full force!

Anyways, made it into town after a trek up to the road and caught a ride with two young guys. Man it was hot! It was only about 8 am but we were pouring sweat. I think it was about 42 degrees celsius and humid. We walked to the edge of town to catchanother ride but we had some competition in town, as there were a few young Israelis also vying for a ride at the designated hitching spot.

"Pulled into Nazareth, I was feelin' about half past dead;I just need some place where I can lay my head."Hey, mister, can you tell me where a man might find a bed?"He just grinned and shook my hand, and "No!", was all he said." -The Band lyrics, The Weight [had to throw this in there, I love this song! If you have never heard it please youtube now!]

We managed to arrive in Beit Shean and waited at the junction with Nazareth. A few rides later, as the sun climbed higher and higher in the sky we found ourselves effectively stranded in the occupied territory of West Bank in front of an army base on highway 90 to Jerusalem. The one girl we were with caught a ride immediatly and we waited and munched on cookies. After a bit, a bus did arrive which was seemingly our only option as there were not very many vehicles on the road. A girl who arrived shortly after us lent us the three shekels needed to fund our ticket and we were off! Arrived in Jerusalem after a long and arduous day, completely exhausted.

Now about that Holy city...Jerusalem is one of the oldest, continuously occupied cities in the world. It is a crucial holy place for people from all three religious denominations: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. In the course of it's history, Jerusalem has been destroyed twice, besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times, and captured and recaptured 44 times. So some people think it's worth killing and be killed for. Some people think it's beautiful, some say it's ugly, some say it's boring, some say it's fascinating. Some say it's holy. You can find here a mixture of people living in a harmony of love and hate to each other. Some of them say this city changed their life. Some went a little wacky.... [I will update you on mine and Jacks impressions!]

Jerusalem Syndrome is a mental illness thats onset is triggered by a visit to Jerusalem. It centres around religious delusions and psychosis, including a belief that they are the manifestation of the messiah, they represent the second coming of Christ or that God has communicated with them. If you do not believe me see Here!

Also, there is an interesting interview about the illness Here! from which the below quote has been borrowed from;

"The malady called Jerusalem Syndrome is no joke. Afflicted tourists have been found wandering in the Judean desert wrapped in hotel bed sheets or crouched at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, waiting to birth the infant Jesus."

Absolutely bizarre! Hahahahaha!

-Signing out, DDDDD


  1. Oh dear.... I do know Bailey...she is not so fun...poor Jack!!!!

    This Jerusalem syndrome is very strange,, All i can say is run run run J&D>>>>>

    On a different note i better stay away from Jerusalem..i fear for my mental well being!!!

  2. hahahaha.... BAILEY!! Oh no! Jack are you ok??? I hope Bailey has now gone back to where she came from to lie dormant again for a while ;)
    Great stories D, i love the way you write!!
    Stay safe little one.

  3. ....
    Crazy Chester followed me, and he caught me in the fog
    Said, "I will fix your rack, if you'll take JACK, my dog"....hehe (SYan) couldn't help myself...one of my favourite tunes...:)
    The climate you suffered through sounds like ours here the past few days...luckily we have a pool to rescue us!
    "Taboo" should do an episode on "Jerusalem Syndrome"
    You should have taken a sip of the coffee as offered to you..then spit in on the ground...to emphasize your general disgust for those Golden Oldies!

  4. I could use a little Jerusalem psychosis right about now.