From the Egyptian border town of Taba, we crossed into Israel early in the morning. We abandoned our Egyptian driver and tour crew and met their Palestinian counterparts on the other side. The border was a typical scene of excessive Israeli scrutiny and many from our group were thoroughly searched.
We drove north along the Israel/Jordan border and the west shore of the Dead Sea. We stopped at Masada and the site of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls on our way up and into Jerusalem. We approached Jerusalem from the east, passing Jericho and into a tunnel that spat us out on the Mount of Olives with a view of the old city.
We stayed in the BYU Jerusalem Center for about a week. It was great to stay there and consume their abundant food and rest in their comfortable accommodations. Most exciting was the chance to see Cousin Abbie and to spend some fun time with her and her friends. It is nice to be with family on the far side of the world.
The week in Jerusalem was full of trips to important biblical sites and historical structures. If you've heard of it, we probably went there. The highlight for me was Santiago Calatrava’s white Chord Bridge at the western entrance into Jerusalem.