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Jet Lag = 10K
A morning jog in the Holy Land
It was my first night in Israel, and I could not sleep. So, after rolling over a few times, I went down to the front desk of our boutique hotel and asked the clerk for a key to the gym. While it technically didn't open until the lights turned on at 7am, she let me in for a 4am workout (in the dark) before advising I take a short jog up to Jaffa.
In my mind, I heard Java and, since I could really go for a cup of joe, I stepped out of the warmth of the hotel lobby and ventured north to explore the breezy seaside boardwalk.
The hotel clerk told me to turn left at the beach and jog until I saw a mosque. At that point, I would know I was in the 'old city' and could turn around. Per her brief instructions, I wound my way along the empty pedestrian path, past new construction and old bistros. Once the mosque was finally in site across the bay, my jog turned into a leisurely stroll. Signs of early morning life were beginning to emerge.
One of the most interesting phenomena that I've discovered in my journey over the last four years is my unique ability to 'feel' certain spirits. Passing the seaside mosque brought an oppressive choking sensation, so I prayed for freedom in this land and continued on my way up an interesting alley that led to a long stone staircase.
Up, up, up.
I would continue wandering upward until I found myself in a plaza overlooking an impressive church cathedral. I laid hands on the Franciscan building and prayed again. By this time, the morning rays were peaking through and the skyline began to slowly shift a precious pink hue. A sign for a “city lookout” caught my attention, so I climbed another set of stairs leading to a park with towering palms overlooking St. Peter's Church to the left and the Tel Aviv skyline to the right.
In this elevated position, I took time to breathe.
Then, realizing that I had a warm breakfast waiting for me tucked into the Tel Aviv skyline far in the distance, I began the gentle jog back down the hill and across town. All at once, runners, walkers and cyclists flooded the boardwalk. What was desolate in the wee hours began bustling once the morn broke through.
The morning culture in Tel Aviv is typical of beautiful beach cities, and life quickly sprang forth as I panted through the last kilometer of my brisk adventure.
Had I read our itinerary in advance, I might have opted for a different destination on my morning jog as our group would visit this exact location after breakfast.
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