You’ll find the Huangshan Hot Springs a short ride down from the west entrance to the park.
Buy a ticket on the bus for 8 yuan. Alternatively , walk down , it’s 1.5km and signposted.
I’d done enough walking for the day.°
Best Western – Huangshan Hot Springs
These springs are run by Best Western. A hotel chain that Franchises residences worldwide.
They aren’t the best hotels, but they do have a good general standard. Some of them are in unusual locations, like this one, and the quality is generally good.
There were a selection of 8 different pools, all fed from the natural hot springs at the foot of the mountains. Each spring had a different property introduced by the owner. There was —
Citrus Spring – Infused with lemon and other citrus. The spring was said to introduce the natural vitamin C through the skin. 38°C
Tea Spring – Infused with green tea. Didn’t see any leaves. Felt like a normal spring. Said to aid the dissolution of anti-oxidants in the skin. 40°C.
Sand bath – Basically, pebbles of sand in a deep pool of hot, sulphourus spring water.
Fish Spring – Filled with tiny living fishies. The fishies come up and eat your dead skin. You have to be careful as not to stand on the little blighters when you get in. Tickles at first. This was definitely fun, and something I’ve not seen before. 40°C
Hot Spring – Just a normal hot spring. 40°C.
Monkey Spring – Hot with a large monkey pouring out water on the Chinese below… Hot 40+°C.
Roman Spring – In a Roman style. Large and opulent. 38°C
Roman Bath – In a circular ‘bath’ style. 30+°C
As well as the facilities which included a steam room and sauna, (my favorite).
Came out of here feeling a lot better for my soak. Took the taxi down to town which cost another 20 yuan.
Comes well recommended if you happen to be up that way.
So much to see within the City Walls, it’s an experience in itself.
Old City is built in a valley, made up of a series of walkways, divided to 4 quarters reflecting the religious persuasion of that sections inhabitants.
I’ve devoted my attention to visiting the three most important sites in Jerusalem Old City:-
Jews – The Wailing Wall [Part of the Holy Temple of David site of the Holy Holies]
Christians – The Church of the Sepulcher [Built on the site of the Crucifixion]
Muslims – The Dome of the Rock
Jews – The Wailing Wall or Western Wall
KML 31.77607 35.23377
Originally making up part of Temple one for David, this Western wall is all that remains of the structure after being sacked by Titus Caesar of the Roman Empire, leaving a small part of the temple wall to give camp to his troops.
It is said that God offered his protection to the Temple in Midrash saying it would never be destroyed for when water ran from between it’s cracks, it symbolised the coming of the Messiah.
Jews approach the wall whilst bowing and kissing, some place hand written notes in the cracks. When they are finished bowing, kissing and praying they must back away still facing the structure.
Built on Golgotha site of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ around 333 by Emperor Constantine and the Bishop Saint Macarius. The church was fully destroyed in 1009 Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah and Control of Jerusalem, and thereby the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, continued to change hands several times between the Fatimids and the Seljuk Turks (loyal to the Abbasid caliph in Baghdad) until the arrival of the Crusaders in 1099.
The church fell back under Muslim control after Saladin who assigned responsibility for it to two neighbouring Muslim families. The Joudeh were entrusted with the key, and the Nusseibeh, who had been the custodians of the church since the days of Caliph Omar in 637, retained the position of keeping the door. This arrangement has persisted into modern times. Twice each day, a Joudeh family member brings the key to the door, which is locked and unlocked by a Nusseibeh.
Located in West Jerusalem in amongst the government buildings, rose gardens and bird watching sanctuaries, the museum of Israel has a small number of exhibits of particular interest.
Airy breaking up
You could be forgiven for thinking you were in an ornamental gardens for there seems to be a certain pride here for all things green. but the gardens are light and airy breaking up the different sections of the museum.
The ‘all in good time exhibition’ – Art
An art exhibition drawn from private collections and national galleries documenting the ‘all in good time’ . There are a number of works of art which have looked at different aspects of Israeli life, some videos which you can sit and watch on your own in quite auditoriums, large two story sculpture of Ethiopian Jews to the backdrop of various smaller works on canvas through different mediums and different countries.
Perhaps by selecting the best of Jewish art, a lot of the stuff is ethnic, culturally original and diverse making it easy to wander round without hurrying from piece to piece, perhaps why they called it the ‘all in good time exhibition’.
A to scale model of the old city of Jerusalem with the important landmarks belie the cities ethnic divisions, Golgoroth the site of Jesus’s execution and other bits and pieces like the Temple and battlements various pools, theatres, houses, stately buildings. Mostly Hellenistic built around the time of Herod.
For this part, you can get an audio guide. Handheld, this can give you some handy information backed up with a map free of charge.
The Dead Sea Scrolls
Probably one of the most important discoveries of the century, parts of dead sea scrolls were available in markets across Asia minor from the periods of the first crusades and before. The old testament is based on them.
The major period of interest was sparked in the discovery of a number of text attributed to the Essenes, documenting the Messianic prophecies of Isaiah, in a cave in 1947, said to be part of true and original scripts of which there were 1,000.
These are the only publicly available exhibits in existence.
The Isaiah Script and the Temple Scroll that lie here in the museum basically talk about:
The Children of the Light
The Children of the Dark
The Son of Truth or Righteousness
The Wicked Priest
The Man of Lies
These are excerpts from the original scripts of Isaiah –
“And, on the whole, from among those who profess to be Christians will rise up then false prophets, false apostles, impostors, mischief-makers, evil-doers, liars against each other, adulterers, fornicators, robbers, grasping, perjured, mendacious, hating each other. The shepherds will be like wolves; the priests will embrace falsehood; the monks will lust after the things of the world;”
“For great jealousy will prevail in the last days, for each will say what seems pleasing in his own eyes. And they will set aside the prophecies of the prophets, which were before me and also pay no attention to these my visions, in order to speak forth from the torrent of their heart.”
Of 1,000 scripts found, those scripts that didn’t fall into the hands of untraceable private dealers were governed by a ‘Secrecy Rule’ up until 1991, when Robert Eisenman and James Robinson published a number of documents followed by Dutch scientist Emanuel Tov laying bare 7 of the scrolls, after which the rule was scrapped and those scripts that are available are mostly published in part, or in the case of the Isaiah Script and the Temple Scroll, in full.
Perhaps this is a story for Israeli Intelligence who striped me and swabbed my stuff for 6 hours on my first entry to Israel.
The Tale of Sodom and Gomorrah is based on two towns of around the dead sea basin. Now no longer in existence.
It goes a little something like this..
Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
The inhabitants were especially cruel and unkind when strangers visited, if they were too short for their beds they would be stretched to fit. And if they were too long, their legs were shawn off.
As well as this, they had a particular jealous streak and sought to violate and destroy the looks of young boys subjecting them to sodomy, cruelty and violence onto the flesh to lessen their natural beauty.
A pretty cruel and jealous bunch, God, through the Jews, said he was going to destroy the villages unless they, Lot and his sons, could find ten good men. Through days of searching, they found not 50, 40 or 30 but just one good man in the whole of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Don’t do backwards
God instructed Lot to leave as he had done his bidding, he would be spared.
With his wife, they were instructed to leave the city, and never turn back.
Unfortunately, on the road away from the city, Lot’s wife turned to view the fire and brimstone which was reigning down on the two cities bringing about their destruction.
Now this country is then so sadly burnt up, that nobody cares to come to it… It was of old a most happy land, both for the fruits it bore and the riches of its cities, although it be now all burnt up. It is related how for the impiety of its inhabitants, it was burnt by lightning; in consequence of which there are still the remainders of that divine fire; and the shadows of the five cities are still to be seen, as well as the ashes growing in their fruits, which fruits have a colour as if they were fit to be eaten: but if you pluck them with your hands, they will dissolve into smoke and ashes
—The Wars of the Jews, book 4, chapter 8.
The sites of Sodom and Gomorrah
Are slightly more difficult to locate than the background text.
You’re going to need and Israeli visa and enter from the Allenby/King Hussein Bridge checkpoint
I’ve marked the two sites on a map. I’ve not been able to visit today, but the story’s a nice one.