Our family reunion continued the following week when we all met at the Kotel for a tour of the excavated tunnels that run under the current plaza of the Western Wall of the old Temple. We had a fantastic guide who explained the 2000-year-old history that we were experiencing. The tunnels descend to reveal the original walls built by King Herod surrounding the temple mount. The portion of the Western Wall that is visible at current ground level is just a small segment. The rest continues underground and the tunnels run the length of what remains. We also observed old arches that supported bridges across the valley to reach the Temple Mount, that are now named for the British archaeologists who discovered them in the 1860’s. These walls and arches, as well as a Herodian road and aqueducts, are underground because of the layers of civilization and construction that have been built on top of the ancient structures.

Under the kotel plaza, view through the arch to one of the original Temple Mount walls

Esther & Ari




The family, overlooking the ancient cistern. It still collects rainwater.

Noah putting his prayer for baby Laila in the Kotel

Noah at the Kotel

view of the temple mount from the NE corner

After our tour and lunch, we went over to the Cardo, a Byzantine era road, that, like the Kotel tunnels, is now underground compared to the newer part of the city. It was an ancient commercial street and is again lined with shops, but also with the original columns from the 6th century.

By then, Noah was getting tired, so he went home to play with his cousins, while Roy & I went on the Ramparts Walk – a self-guided walking tour up on the walls of the old city of Jerusalem. We entered at the Jaffa gate and were able to look down onto the roofs below and across the city to the sights beyond the old walls.

behind Roy is a family's private mosque, Rampart Walk, Jerusalem

Then it was over to the Worenkleins’ for dinner to celebrate Yitzchak’s birthday. The first of the 3 2005 cousins to turn 6.

Yitzchak, the birthday boy!