I haven’t been able to write much, with my problems with my left hand, and keeping busy with doctor’s appointments and so on. But I have been able to get out a bit, and last Friday I took the youngest son and The Husband to the Armoured Corps museum at Latrun.
It was my first time driving that way. I am getting better at driving with the joystick, and the road (Highway 3) is uncommonly good, with few irregularities and no potholes, at least on the section that I was travelling.
The Armoured Corps museum has a spacious parking lot and was quite easy to navigate. There are tours, but my guys are well enough versed in the history and the tanks that there was no need — they could probably have given the tour themselves.
We wandered around outside for a couple of hours. Most of the tanks and armoured equipment is displayed outside, unsurprisingly. Fortunately it was a warm day. There were some surprises – for me one was a Southern Lebanese Army vehicle, painted sky blue, which had been a tank, but the turret was damaged and it was turned into an armoured personnel carrier. The surprise for me was seeing a tank (or a.p.c.) painted light blue.
Another thing was seeing hoe many different ways they found to use the Sherman tank. On the tank base, there were a wide variety of additions including an observation tower, a crane, and a couple of ambulances.
At first we had no tanks until we captured a couple, and there was one of the same model (not one of the actual captured tanks), and plenty of stories the guys told each other about how we came to have this or that tank. French, Soviet, German, British and American tanks galore. It really was a fascinating place. There were also (of course) the Israeli tanks, with each model of the Merkava in a small display all of their own.
We visited the old Latrun police station, which was a fort, and saw a huge amount of fighting in the wars for independence. Inside there was a display of war chariots (the tanks of their day), photos, art and poetry both about and by members of the armoured corps., and some memorials.
It was almost entirely wheelchair accessible, but not entirely wheelchair friendly. I had no choice but to take the longest routes around everything and in some cases I gave it up and viewed the tanks over a hedge rather than try to figure out how to enter a particular display. I’m not complaining. I was quite satisfied with what I was able to see and do, and it was definitely better than most tourist places I’ve been in Israel. But that, sadly, isn’t high praise.
One other thing is that the museum gift shop was closed when we left. I’d intended to go back and shop a bit, but if I do go again, I’ll know to look at what is available before entering the actual exhibits.
By the time we left to go home I was so tired that it would have been a pleasure to just ride in the back of the van. Unfortunately none of the guys with me had a valid drivers’ license. So I did drive all the way back, even managed to do a bit of late grocery shopping, and when I got home I went right to bed.
I’ve begun physiotherapy, in part in hopes that I will get some of the function back in my left hand. It will make ‘fun’ outings like this one more difficult to manage, as pretty much all of my energy is probably going to be used up in exercises, hydrotherapy, and visits to various medical professionals. Fortunately in just a couple of weeks we’ll have two more legal drivers. And I’ve done p.t. before – I know I can last a year with no life, particularly if it means I can keep this creaky old body going better.
Hopefully there will be a trip to the hot springs in the next week, in addition to going to the chiropractor and another visit from the physiotherapist. Oh, my life is so full and exciting! I hope I can come back here and share some more of my expeditions.
Today I am most likely going to spend most of the day huddled under the covers. And the landlady insists there is no need to upgrade the electricity. *sigh* When you have to choose between heating, at most, two rooms, and cooking, or laundry, or in fact anything else that uses electricity (we haven’t even hooked up the hot water heater to the electricity, we’d spend our lives losing power and fighting with the fuse box), it is time to upgrade the service. Eventually it will be done, but for the moment my full life is going to be lived under the covers as much as possible.