May 9, 2013 chartreusian

Trying to leave

running past the Damascus gate as the sun rises over the Old City

Since all we had to do our last day in Jerusalem, was wake up, get the bus to the airport and leave on a 1.30pm flight, you’d think that there wouldn’t be much to say.

well – you’d be wrong.

I got up early to go for a run. I was running along some of the roads that were already closed off for the marathon that was going to be held later that morning. I ran along the ancient walls of the old city. Then I had this striking sharp pain in my chest …left hand side. Strange. Felt just like the fake heart attack I had before.  But then I realized that between the incredible amount of Israeli Defence Forces around, plus the fact that there were IDF and police everywhere to block off the race course- plus there must be medics etc for the race – this would probably not be a bad place to have a heart attack while running. As you can probably guess – it was just another fake one. Lots of fun those…

When I got back to the house I thought we should probably bump up out taxi/bus as there would probably be some delay in getting to us as part of the course was quite close to our place.

the foreboding prophesy of the upcoming marathon

After we called the driver to bump up our pick up time – he called back – about the time he was supposed to be there and said…”I can’t get to you. Come out to main road”

“towards Bethlehem or towards the Old city?” I asked using the only two points I knew of along that road.

“towards Bethlehem”

“Goat rodeo” was the phrase Rob used to refer to the 12 of us running along – not as in ‘along next to’ – but actally as in “running the course” of the Jerusalem International Marathon that morning.
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After running for a long time -we asked some Israeli Defence Forces to call the taxi driver for us (which they did….very hesitantly). We had gone so far – surely we must have missed him – or he was on a side street.  When the IDF officer got off the phone she told us “another 2 km”

uh…OK.

We were now seriously running out of time and had our 8 kids between 18months and 12 years with us each trying to drag their own bags. We had to finally actually cross the marathon  route- not something the race officials really like when you are a heard like we were…but what can you do?

After we found our driver – he loaded our stuff in- quite leisurely  We tried to say that we were in a rush, now that we were leaving much later than expected…but he didn’t really seem to want to be in that much of a hurry.

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He dropped us off at the main terminal with not much time to spare at all. Then we looked up  at the departures board to see which desk we were supposed to check-in, and found that since we were flying cheap-o EasyJet – we actually had to check in at the other terminal. The one that is I think for cargo, and Easyjet. So we quickly found a bus that took us back from the terminal we were actually in  – to the other terminal.  Well – ‘quickly’ after the running in and out of the airport, being sent both upstairs and back down – and finally finding where the bus really was.

making sure he still fits as a carry-on

After going through the 11 steps in security (at least that’s what I counted) we finally made it to our plane and were on our way home.

safely at our gate

We finally relaxed a bit once in the air – and the kids were busy playing and chatting.  Even when we hit turbulence that made the plane drop so much that you were temporarily weightless, and many in the plane were obviously nervous as their cries would indicate – our kids seemed to all be going “whhoooo” and “yeahhh” as if they had just found the best ride at the amusement park.

So perhaps there is no other point to this post than to serve as a warning to those who would one day think of  travelling with us.