I feel really badly that I didn’t get anything written for a couple of days now. I desperately wanted to because I fear that I will forget things, and of course nothing is fresh.
Here’s my hand-written notes from Wednesday, the fourth day of our trip.
Very frustrating. I am glad there is no more visiting with people on this trip. Yesterday we only made it to two (2) train stations, I didn’t manage to keep track of money spent, no proper blog update and the personal care situation leaves a lot to be desired.
I wanted to visit, but it doesn’t work with me having to always choose between my needs and desires and the needs and desires of family and friends. Unfortunately I need more time, care and space than people outside of my immediate family seem to be able to grasp.
On the train from J’lem. I really had a wonderful time but it was too much. We met with a friend at Beit Shemesh and talked rapid fire trying to get the most information out in the shortest possible time.
The track from Beit Shemesh to Jerusalem (and back) is full of curves and ver bumpy. Stunning views out the windows. Just gorgeous.
It is a long trip for Israel – 1/2 hour between stations.
The land is old, worn, but retains a certain majesty. It has seen it all and the hills stand tall.
In J’lem I visited with a friend I haven’t seen in a few years and we slept overnight with my brother. He lives outside J’lem on a hilltop yishuv. We took a bus back to the train. It was a fun trip but impossible to write on a bus.
Our next destination is Modi’in Centre. Changing trains at Tel Aviv HaHagganah. I pushed forward into a regular cabin and commandeered a seat. Had to ask a young woman to move because I can only reach the first set of seats. Right now I am just enjoying the scenery.
Coming into Ramla the wifi stops working. *sigh* A wall prevents me from seeing out. It isn’t an unattractive wall but still. I believe we change trains soon. Ooh, past the wall and suddenly the sun is blazing in my window, almost blinding me.
We finished Farmer Giles of Ham.
Lod Station. Nothing remarkable except an awful lot of tracks calving and (I can’t read what I wrote – heading?) off to what I’m guessing are train yards.
The people at the station in Jerusalem were absolutely marvelous. I am really amazed at the quality of service. I’ve met with a certain measure of native Israeli grumpiness, and there was one station where the employees were generally unhelpful and charm free, but overall the feeling is one of surprized delight. Surprized because I am delighted. Service is not ordinarily something one gushes about. One complains when it isn’t good enough but otherwise one takes it for granted.
The Jerusalem station is below street level, and we had to maneuver around quite a bit to get up to the street and onto the sidewalk. Some more curb cuts would be nice. Still, we managed to get to Malka, the Jerusalem mall (that’s what one sign said.) We were met by my old friend who kindly drove TH and E to meet with my brother. They rode home with him to his apartment and my friend showed me some lovely parts of Jerusalem. She loves the city and I hope I can get back so she can show me some more part of it that I haven’t seen. My experience in J’lem so far has been really unpleasant between traffic, parking, inaccessibility of just about *everything*… This was a treat.
Later my friend drove me to my brother’s apartment. It was a little exciting. I couldn’t remember the name of the place for the life of me. No matter how many times I ask, the name doesn’t want to stay in my head. It is quiet at his apartment, and very pastoral. There are orange trees he can pick fruit from and not many immediate neighbours. If one has to live close to a big city, it is the sort of place I would want to live. Fortunately I don’t have to live near a big city. 🙂
The bus ride back to the city was such a treat! And the bus ride across J’lem, as we had to get from one end of the city to the other to reach the train station.
At that point my cat Kitten decided to move onto the keyboard. More in another post.