Month Visited: July
We are an adventurous family, but we do like our comfort at times. We are willing to step outside of our comfort zone sometimes though, and we will rough it at times in order to see remote places and visit out of the way attractions. We try to pack each trip that we take, and we want to see and do as much as possible while we are traveling. We enjoy hiking and other outdoor activities, and we try to include educational stops whenever possible. We do schedule some time to relax, so that we can take in the local scenery and culture. Our children at the time of this itinerary: 3 children-Boy age 19 years, Boy age 14 years, Boy age 12 years.
Description: The burnt house of Katros is a house that was the home of the Katros family, and when Romans captured Jerusalem this house was burned down. The Katros family was a priestly family, and the Talmud mentions this family. Today the remains of this burned house is an archeological site, and visitors can see a set of rooms that was saved from destruction, and these rooms were discovered and excavated. There is also an exhibit on the site which displays many of the artifacts that have been uncovered here. The residence was originally very luxurious and belonged to an extremely wealthy Jewish family until it was burned down in 70 CE. Today the remains are a museum.
Our Experiences: This was one of the more fascinating stops on our trip to Israel, and the remains and displays that we saw were incredibly interesting. The kids were thrilled to learn about the family that lived here and the history behind the remains of the destroyed house. This was one of the favorite stops, one that everyone in our family really enjoyed.
Description: The underground Herodian Mansions are excavated mansions that allow visitors to see how wealthy people in Jerusalem lived a couple thousand years ago. These underground structures date back to the 1st Century BCE, the time when Herod the Great ruled the area. Visitors will be able to walk through various rooms and discover just how the ancient people of Jerusalem survived.
Our Experiences: The underground Herodian Mansions in Jerusalem were very interesting, and it was neat to think about the people who once resided in these rooms. We saw mosaic tile floors, ancient pottery and furnishings, and rooms that were located completely below the ground. This was a nice way to spend an hour or so and our family enjoyed this stop, but it may not be right for everyone.
Description: The Western Wall tunnels run the length of the Western Wall under the ground, and this is a popular attraction in Jerusalem for visitors and residents both. Almost 1,600 foot of tunnels along the Western Wall can be explored underground, for an adventure that is unforgettable. Along with the many feet of tunnels you may also come across the Struthion Pool, Warren’s Gate, and other unusual features. These tunnels date back many centuries, and they can be exciting and fascinating to go through for all ages.
Our Experiences: Our trip through the Western Wall tunnels was a lot of fun, but also a little spooky at times. Make sure that you bring a flashlight, some areas of the tunnels were quite dark when we went through. At times the tunnels may also be somewhat damp, so you should bring along a light jacket in cooler weather. The kids enjoyed this stop a lot, and they thought it was a cool adventure. We highly recommend this stop for most families, but families with children who are fearful of the dark, those who do not like closed in spaces, or those that scare easily may want to sit this one out.
Description: The Western Wall in Jerusalem, also known as the kotel, the Wailing Wall, and Solomon’s Wall, is a place of extreme holiness according to the Jewish religion, and thousands of visitors travel to Jerusalem from around the world every single year to visit and pray at this religious structure. The Western Wall is believed to have been a supporting structure for the Mount Temple and it is still believed to be the closest physical place to the Divine Presence, a presence which resided in the Temple Mount when it was standing and that many believe is still there today.
Our Experiences: Our visit to the Western Wall was a highlight of our trip to Israel, and a deeply religious and exciting experience for everyone in our family. Just seeing the crowds of people praying or mourning, and being close to this historic fabled wall, was incredibly moving for all of us. We found many Muslims at the wall as well as Jews, and there were also Christians here as well. Men and women had separate prayer areas, and we did hear stories about conflicts at the wall from others, but our time was quite peaceful and we enjoyed this stop very much. The Western Wall is a must see for families from many religions, and most families will enjoy the historic and religious significance of this structure.