Day 13: Wednesday, 26 April 2023 – Jerusalem (32.0494° N, 34.7584° E)

Yom ha’atzmaut sameach!” – Happy Israeli Independence Day.

We all made it safe & sound to TLV airport, and then on to our hotel here in Israel, just outside the historic city gates of Jerusalem. Jaffa Gate, to be exact. We will be here for two more nights.

Will it be Plan A, Plan B or Plan C? It will be Plan A! I had three scenarios planned for our visit here. They evolved as the nightly newscasts did over the last few months. But here we are, and it is Plan A. In a city in throes of celebration.

The 2023 Tribe in Jerusalem

First, the Old News–at least to us. After Peer Review & Road Official scoring procedures, here’s what we know about Leg 4, Georgia’s interesting Par 3:
11th Place: Team Burke’s in Wanderland are taking some RnR.
10th Place: Free2B
9th Place: Hew & Haw
8th Place: Mom’s on the Run
7th Place: Look, Squirrel!
6th Place: Cubs Fans completed 25 scavenges for 1,042 points
5th Places: Team Rayven earned 1,067 points
4th Place: Bar Setters had a great leg doing 3 Bonuses for 1,317 points

A Tie for 2nd Place: Order & Chaos and Trip Tellers earned 1,362 points each
1st Place: The defending champs, Lawyers w/o Borders came roaring back…completing 32 scavenges & 3 Bonuses for 1,408 points!

Congrats to all. Please click here to view the newly minted Official Leaderboard following Leg #4 at the event’s midpoint, with the top three podium-leaning Teams:
5th Place: Cubs Fans at 43
4th Place: Trip Tellers at 42
3rd Place: Rayven at 38
2nd Place: Lawyers w/o Borders at 21
1st Place: Order & Chaos at 14

Three-Things I Learned from Georgia’s Par 3 Leg: analysis, takeaways & fact-checks.
1 – The champs are NOT going quietly into the night.
2 – Middle Teams are getting their bearings and performing exceptionally well…we have an interesting competition brewing.
3 – Resistance to dictators spreads far & wide…and no, we’re not talking about the Ringmaster’s tyrannical ways either.

One-Minute Interview with Team Trip Tellers:

Five Israel-Palestine Leg 5 Sample Scavenges:
● Learn to make hummus.
● Leave a prayer for peace @ the Western Wall.
● Enjoy some shisha with new friends in a Jerusalem Cafe .
● In Palestine Territories, visit the Church of the Nativity.
● Float & get muddy in the Dead Sea.

We will see the Teams again tomorrow night at 9:00PM in the hotel bar for the official check in.

Interestingly, I was asked philosophically last night upon arrival here in Jerusalem…when choosing between the two great cities of Athens or Jerusalem, which would I choose? Well, in a conflict of polarities, I would choose man over false gods, reason & thought over revelation & blind faith, free inquiry over humble obedience, a natural ordered universe over a spontaneously willed universe, Greek thought over biblical doctrine, the scientific method over Scripture, secular humanism over unelving dogma, the human spirit over the holy spirit, and Socrates, Plato & Aristotle over Moses, Augustine & Mohammed. No, I would choose the here and now over a mythical eternity in kingdom of heaven…and wonder over fear. I choose civic protests over religious strife. I choose Athens. Although, I have to admit, the food is really similar.

Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity
Jerusalem’s Western Wall

Jerusalem’s Old City is divided into four quarters — Muslim, Christian, Armenian and Jewish…but a majority of the food stops are in the Muslim quarter…best entered through Damascus Gate! And we did.
The three languages spoken by the locals to a soundtrack of church bells, the call of the muezzins, and the chatter of tourists, are Hebrew, Arabic & Brooklynese. Religion is big here…3,000 years running.

Today is World Intellectual Property Day…our scavenge today is see how many egregious violations of it we can find today.

Stay tuned…
In the spirit of religious & secular giving…please remember that The Global Scavenger Hunt has always been about more than traveling around the world competing for The World’s Greatest Travelers crown in the world travel championship… it is about helping others help themselves through the GreatEscape Foundation. This year, to celebrate our event’s 16th edition, we aim to fund two schools in places that really need them. Co-ed elementary schools at that. So, if you have it in your heart to not eat lunch out this week and make a small one-time $25 online donation during the 2023 event, we know a lot of kids needing an education that would thank you. Thank you all because we know that every little bit helps a lot. (FYI: All individual donation names will be put in a hat, and on 5 May, we will select a winner for a fun special prize—it will be worth much more than your $25+ donation!). Thank you!

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One Response

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