Jericho; More than the walls tumble down!

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Flag of Palestinian Territory  ,
Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I've been to Jericho twice.  The first time was in January, 2008 and the last time was November 2009.  Jericho is definitely a place I will always remember! Not because of the biblical or historical significance...not because of the beautiful Hebron glass that can be purchased there....not because of the camel rides, or the headress you can purchase at Zacchaeus' tree, or the fantastic fruit!
 I will always remember Jericho because not only did those ancient walls come tumbling down centuries ago, but I also tumbled down that rocky hill and ended up with a badly broken ankle only 4 days into our 9 day tour of Israel in January, 2008!  If you've ever visited Jericho, you probably know exactly the hill I'm talking about...right across from where the gift shop and restaurant is located.
The people at the restaurant were kind enough to bring me a ziplock bag filled with ice to place on my rapidly swelling ankle.  To make a long story short, I really thought I had a very bad sprain, but since it would rapidly start to swell whenever I tried to walk, I spent the rest of the trip in my hotel room, except to go to dinner in the evenings.  Once I arrived home (a week later) I went straight to my doctor for an x-ray and found out I had a very bad break.  A few days later, I had surgery and now I have a plate and 5 or 6 screws in my right ankle...my souvenir of Jericho!
Nevertheless, I was ready to visit Jericho again in November 2009, but I didn't attempt to climb to the top of the hill on this trip.  I figured once was enough!
The fruit grown in Jericho is supposed to be the best in the world and I don't doubt that claim.  If you don't sample it while in Jericho, then you won't find it elsewhere.  According to our guide, Jericho does not export their fruit.  It is so delicious that my mouth begins to water just thinking about it!
On our latest trip to Jericho, we ate at a small restaurant owned by Christians (about 20% of the population of Jericho is Christian) and since it was a nice day, we were served outdoors.  The food was very good and the servers were very friendly and polite. 
We also went to a huge store where Hebron Glass is sold, as well as Dead Sea products and much more.  I thought the prices were a little high, but I do believe that almost everyone in our group purchased a little something.  The salesmen in this particular store tended to be a little pushy, but still remained polite and they did have some beautiful glass and pottery.
While in Jericho, we never felt threatened and the local people were friendly and polite.  I would certainly not hesitate to go back again.
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