Journey to Jerusalem

Nicholas Quirke was enjoying the company of his son Cole, despite the controversy they found themselves continually experiencing over directions. Whilst blame for the wrong road taken was never openly stated, quietly recriminations were being harbored. Yet every destination was reached and any ill feeling swiftly evaporated. it did not help that Nicholas’s bag felt like he had the corpse of a small person inside it. Having located a Cafe which satisfied their dietary needs they walked straight past as it had a different name to the one listed in Happy Cow. They were hungry from the day before and not being able to eat the night before and relief flowed though them when they were finally served their food, till Nicholas discovered that he had not been served the Vegan version and had already eaten a slice of bread. It was all sorted and he got to eat. They went to the beach and took a long walk along the seafront, noting that the national flag was literally everywhere, though that may have been because it was ‘Independence day which meant they found themselves immersed in Israeli culture when at 11am there was a minutes silence. Everything stopped and people got out of their cars to stand and observe the ritual. A very powerful emotive moment. They were getting the bus from the extraordinary complex Central Station and they took an extremely complex route to arrive there. Their Google map reading, their refusal to waste data ensured that they saw some of the interesting sights of Tel Aviv before boarding the bus. One of the things he noticed was how casually soldiers, police, wore guns and he was particularly concerned to see one military man fall asleep on the bus with his gun on his lap. Arriving in Jerusalem, the city rise on he mountain was spectacular and both were excited by the sight. It took them some time to get a bus to the Old, walled city and on the bus they made the acquaintance of 3 elderly but spirited Americans who they thought were going to the gate they needed to get to their hostel and followed to the Wailing Wall. Of course it was completely wrong and they ended up taking 5 hours to get to their hotel on a journey that should have been 2 at most. Exhausted and relieved, they relaxed in their spare room before setting off to a vegan restaurant, 15 minutes from their accommodation. Over an hour later, lost, hungry and tired they sat down at the restaurant only to be served the most meagre portion that by the time they left and night was falling they decided to get a falafal wrap. The night took a sinister turn when the proprietor tried to charge them over £50 for some falafals and salad. They agreed that they would only pay 100 Shekels and things turned nasty. In the argument that ensued the owner raised his fist to strike Cole and Nicholas demanded he called the police. They were marched to the police station and conceded that they would give the owner an additional 25 shekels. The policeman thought this was fair. ‘Fuck You’ said the crook. It was not a pleasant moment and on their return to the Hostel to relax from the stress of their quarrel they played Rummy, listened to music and had an early night before their early start the next Day. Nicholas received a video call from his Russian Instagram friend Alexi who was celebrating his birthday on the 9th of May before calling it a night and going to sleep.

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