Still continuing the "day" we travelled from Vancouver to Tel Aviv: Our taxi driver didn't take us directly to the hospice. He hummed and hawed about it being in the Old City, and how taxis couldn't go in. I knew they could get to the hospice and I said so, and he mumbled something about only certain times, certain gates, etc. I said I had heard that it might be difficult (or impossible) on the Jewish sabbath, Friday evening to Saturday evening. February 3rd was Wednesday. Nevertheless, the driver took us from the Damascus Gate to the Lion Gate by way of the Mount of Olives. But as we couldn't get into the hospice just yet, we didn't complain. We enjoyed the view from the sacred place, looking across the Kedron Valley to the Golden Gate. Here began the first of our three hundred plus photos we took on this journey--I plan to get the best of them on this blog as soon as possible. First I have to learn how to do that.
Eventually, though, the driver did take us to the Austrian Hospice, 37 Via Dolorosa, in Old Jerusalem. Our first mistake? When he said, "Pay me tomorrow. I'll take you wherever you want to go. How about Bethlehem?" we didn't object. Of course we wanted to go to Bethlehem. We were too exhausted to argue and too fuzzy-minded to think that this might not be the best way to arrange our visit to Bethlehem. Now, not having paid him for the trip from the Damascus Gate to our accommodation, we were obliged to him. Not a good thing!