Every place is walking distance

…if you have the time.

Terence likes this expression, and I am turning it literal this year. Fridays are my big walking day since Margaret is in school until 1:30 PM. Today I went from our apartment to the Old City, through the Christian and Muslim Quarters and out the Lion’s Gate. That probably took an hour or more. Then I hiked up the Mount of Olives. Even Lonely Planet calls this walk “arduous,” and I was the only pedestrian in sight on the way up. (I saw a couple of college kids on the way down). Giant tour buses belched smoke in my face and taxi drivers looked confused when I declined a lift. Here was the money view from the top:

Why am I doing such “extreme walking”? Being my own transportation satisfies my craving for self sufficiency. It’s fun to get exercise that way. It’s a relief to be able to move at my own pace without children or shopping bags hanging off me. And it’s an interesting novelty to be inefficient. In my “real life,” the limiting factor is always time. Here it is money and energy and tolerance for the heat and sun (mine turns out to be better than I expected). I love that I can choose to do things the interesting way, not the fast way, at least for now.

About hilarymead

Taking two young kids, a great husband, and a whole lot of questions to Jerusalem for a year's sabbatical.
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1 Response to Every place is walking distance

  1. Mary Hill says:

    I entirely understand your walking sessions in Jerusalem, Hilary! I did exactly the same when I was there and walked miles ……..I remember climbing up to the top of the Mount of Olives (meeting no-one) and standing for ages at the majestic view. It is really interesting reading your blog – not only the details of your trips to familiar places – but also your musings on life in a strange country with two small children. It brings back memories of our first year in Amman when Patrick was 5 and Catherine 4….. it was a great time and we made many friends whom we still see, so don’t disregard the fact that the people you meet now may become lifelong friends!

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