My official first full day in Jerusalem started before dawn this morning. So much for shaking the jet lag as fast as possible. Apparently being dead tired does not serve as adequate ear plugs when the Call to Prayer of a distant mosque is sung out at 4:20am. As if I needed another reminder I was not waking up in my own room with queen size bed and air conditioning. Wake up call, on an entirely different level. Since my body thought it was only 6:20pm nap time was over so I decided to write my first blog post, take an iPhone photo of my view to go along with it, snap some pictures on a walk around the block, run 10 sets of stairs, shower, dress and have tea before 8am.

JEWEL dorm housing.

Doorway in Ramot Eshkol neighborhood

We’re talking a new level of productivity for me. Being on time for the 9:30am breakfast was no problem. I should note it’s important to be on time to all meals here. With 40 some-odd girls dispersed among 3 dorm style houses food doesn’t last long. Survival of the fittest. Luckily, foraging is a skill I’ve perfected by watching a ton of the brilliant Jamie Oliver.

With a good start to the day already behind me, orientation, and logistics out of the way, it was time to see Jerusalem by bus with a stop at The Wall. I can’t say enough about the beauty of this city. So I won’t say anything at all, instead I’ve included some pictures.

Jerusalem. Shines like diamonds.

Me. Obviously.

Five years after first visiting The Wall, I’m back! People here seem to be curious why it took me so long to come back to Israel while 8 I’m actually surprised I made it back so quickly. My thoughts have  been that with so much of the world to see it doesn’t make much sense to revisit a place you’ve already been. Except for home. We continuously go home, again and again. And so it would seem Israel is becoming a home for me, one that is worth repeat visits and evolving impressions.

The Wall and Israeli flag

View through the fence surrounding men’s portion of The Wall