Day five is a transition day. We ended our stay at the Jordan Dead Sea with a little spa activity – the girls got their nails and toes done. ‘Professionally painted’ Lily says with pride. Then a few runs down the water slide and and a final jump in the dead sea, which was very windy. It made for a surface current that floated us right back to shore. Showers and packing the 4 suitcases and 6 small bags took an hour before we were picked up at 1pm and driven to ‘The bridge’.
My plan had been to get to Jerusalem early enough to see a few sights. David plans, God laughs. We weren’t even close.
The crossing over the Jordan river (which was barely a creek) between Jordan and Israel was a bigger adventure than I thought. We got dropped off by our driver and wandered into what looked like a busy bus station. Trish stayed with the girls and staked out a corner of space in the crowd for our bags and kids. I went in the main building and asked for the VIP service. OMG it’s $100 per person, I find out. Yeah, whatever. Let’s do it. My passports and credit card are taken by one of the dozen middle-aged Jordanian men running around and I wait about 30 minutes for next instructions. Outside, Emma has stretched out on the dirty floor asleep and Lily is quietly grumbling. We finally get packed in a VIP minivan and driven across the 1 mile bridge to Israel.
The Israeli side is much more pleasant, but strangely, it’s run by teen-agers like that Star Trek episode where the planet is ruled by kids. And most of them have big guns. But we did avoid most of the lines and I have to say it was worth it. Around 4:30, we emerged and our driver is right there waiting to take us to the American Colony Hotel.
The ACH is not downtown, but it’s a classic hotel. It’s like Rick’s Cafe from Casablanca. We are clearly the underclass here, although we get no attitude from the staff. The room has great windows, spacious and high ceilings. The girls could really appreciate the authenticity and they got excited and giggly. It was too cool to swim. I thought the dinner prices were too high and it was american food, so we set out looking for a restaurant nearby. We ended up in a nearly empty local Arab place called ‘Blue Dolphin’ for skewered meat and french fries. Turns out Jerusalem is just damn expensive but we liked the atmosphere and Emma and Lily got into a lively discussion about religion. Perfect.
[Photos by Trisha Creekmore]