On Saturday afternoon, which was the Shabbat, Goddess and I were roaming the markets of the Old City. We had read and were told that the Old City would be all but shut down since it was the Shabbat. But we found it to be anything but shut down. Not even in the Jewish Quarter, which was a surprise to our friend Shimon and his wife.
While roaming through the Muslim Quarter, we stumbled across the Via Dolorosa and started walking down it. A hundred meters down the road, we happened upon a procession that happened to be walking the path of what was said to be the path of Christ as he carried the cross. A sea of Fransiscan monks, nuns, believers and onlookers were following the steps, stopping to learn a bit about what happened at each location and slowly walking as a monk’s words bellowed over a loudspeaker. It was interesting to see, especially as we worked our way through the Muslim market. But there are pictures and words to go with that story, which will come later.
As the sun set and the Shabbat came to a close, we left the Old City through the Jaffa Gate and decided to walk a different direction back towards the hotel. We worked our way through the Artists Colony and headed into a park as the sun was setting. It was a beautiful sight to see the pinks and reds work their way across the walls of the Old City. While there, we noticed a group of people standing there and enjoying the view. We decided to join them.
An elderly lady mentioned that they were waiting for the lunar eclipse, which was to be a total eclipse at 4:31pm. This news surprised both Goddess and I, since I’m a bit of a geek and usually keep up on news like that. So we stood and waited.
The time came and went. No view of the moon. But that was no surprise, since there were mountains to our west, plus the walls of the Old City.
4:45pm came and went. Impatient people left.
5:00pm came and went. The elderly lady, who happened to be an American expatriate living in Jerusalem, was getting cold and decided to leave.
5:01pm, a full 30 minutes after the totality. I shifted positions and caught a glimpse of a change in shading in the eastern sky. I called to the elderly lady, who was still within earshot.
The moon was barely visible, thanks to it being past totality. The elderly lady still couldn’t see it, so I took a picture of it and zoomed in on the image so she could see the features on the Old City walls the focus her attention. Eventually she saw it.
We all continued to watch it for another 30 minutes before deciding to move on.
It was quite fun to watch the moon slowly rise and grow as it rose to barely clear the top of the Tower of David (to the right of the moon).
And Goddess and I agreed that there likely couldn’t be a more perfect setting to watch such a show.