After my lovely experience at St. George's Cathedral, I was picked up from there by Gwen, the manager of
St. Andrews Scottish Church Guesthouse
just within west Jerusalem.
She took me back to her apartment in
named after the famous kibbutz.
At Gwen's, we discussed her impending move back to Scotland, where, together with her husband, she will open a guesthouse near
one of my favourite places
Here are Gwen's new details:
Tel: +44(0)1854 666331
On Friday I went into work with Gwen. And I couldn't help but notice the remarkable atmosphere she has managed to create in the Guesthouse since becoming manager three years ago.
The staff are a good mix of Christians of all denominations, Muslims and Jews, and they get along with each other extremely well.
For instance, I met Netta, who is coming to Haifa University to study Classical Arabic music next autumn. It appears that I will be the only person she knows there to start with. She chose Haifa because it is close to the Galilee, which is the source of much of the music which interests her.
I told her that I had been invited to give a sermon in an Orthodox Synagogue in Jerusalem on June 9th, and although she is Jewish, she was interested to hear that women are now able to do this, in Jerusalem, at least.
Netta used to work at the
Har Zion Hotel
one of our favourites (but probably too expensive, now that it is doing so well), but Charlie and Nasser are still there, she said.
This reminded me of 2002, when only two families were staying there, a French family, who intended to make aliyah because of the anti-semitism in France, and us.
Charlie and Nasser, both Arabs, were truly wonderful and when I returned just to see them two or three years later, they invited me to use the pool as their guest, because they had appreciated us coming to Jerusalem despite the Intifada, which later led to the army being billetted there, as it was close to East Jerusalem:
And Gwen even found time to have a Hebrew lesson with me, which was great fun.
I found her tremendously talented and really enjoyed teaching her, using the method I used to employ with members of the Anglican Church in Manchester.
Later that afternoon, we set off for Haifa, from where Gwen and her husband were going to visit
for the last time before returning to Scotland.
When we had passed
we took a route through
The view was spectacular, actually reminiscent of the best that Scotland can offer, and we also passed through the two Druze villages of
Dalyat and Isafia.
Gwen and Mark really liked my flat with its view of the sea, and I told them that they will always be welcome when they come back to Israel, which I hope that they will, for they will be sorely missed.