Day 18, June 17, Tuesday
(Chris) Ah, Akko in the morning! Fresh trash festering in the narrow alleys. Old trash sinking in the shallows near the walls. What an aura! Actually, Akko turned out to be pretty nice despite its problem with litterbugs. We began by promptly climbing on the walls simply because the signs said not to. We watched fishermen and threw bread to the fish that they weren't catching.
As if climbing Crusader walls wasn't enough, Matt and Joe walked out 100 yards into the rocky surf, risking wearing wet, sandy clothes all day. They navigated the rocks with deft magnificence and came back unscathed by the Mediterranean. The Tumbleweed 6 then walked into the inards of a city that has known many masters over its storied history. A $3 admittance got us an audio tour and an educational movie. From the Holy Family to Crusaders, from Muslim warriors to Napoleon, Akko has seen it all.
(Sam) "Akko, discover it," said the movie, so with our audio appendages, we did. The coolest place was the Crusader banquet hall with its two huge pillars. From here, there was a long drainage tunnel. Our audio said that you could walk through it but it was not illuminated. You could only see a few feet in and after that it was completely black. None of us had a flashlight.
While we were deciding to go or not, another small tour group came up. Their leader had a flashlight so we followed them in. We were so far back that you could see nothing but you knew that there were people in front of you so it was OK. Chris was last in line, then me, and Matt was in front of me. The passage was under six feet high and about 3 feet wide. Along the way, my legs ran into something warm and fleshy. Then it grasped my leg and I knew it was Matt. Chris was also making monster noises behind me in the dark. About 2/3 of the way through the passage, it dead-ended at a wall. It was still pitch black and I did not know which way Matt had gone. I felt the wall go to the right and followed it. Just before we exited, the lights came on and we could see from whence we came. We then went into the Crusader Church which had been filled with dirt like everything else to make a foundation for later buildings. We then took a bath in the Muslim bath house. After we turned in our audio, we ate that unmentionable food for only 5 NIS each. Goodbye, Akko - now on to Haifa and Mt. Carmel.
(Joe) Almost goodbye to Akko. You see, we were still in a dilemma. I still remember a week before we even left on this trip, we were all (except Matt) sitting around my and Dave's house trying to figure out how we were going to get from Haifa to Merca, Turkey. All we were able to discern was that we could cross over from South Cyprus to North Cyprus. The real trick of figuring out how to do this all was now in the making. A ferry didn't leave for Cyprus until Friday. It was only Tuesday, though. And after that ferry ride to Cyprus, it would be another ungodly amount of time to get to Merca. Matt had to figure this all out at a pay phone for about 45 minutes while some guy who wanted to use the phone stood a couple feet away with a knife.
We traveled along from Akko to Mt. Carmel. Dave convinced the Carmelite Nuns that we
were on a pilgrimage and we unloaded our bags. This was by far the best place we had
stayed. $22 this night bought us breakfast and laundry. Before completely winding down for
the night, Matt had to resolve the route to Turkey. After another hour on the phone, it
was determined that we would have to be at the travel agency the next morning at 8:30am
for tickets directly to Istanbul. Matt and I went to call my dad; the other guys departed
for dinner food. The ice cream dessert was wonderful!! But the peanut flavored cardboard
left much to be desired. We did our laundry, said a rosary in the chapel of Stella Maris
and went beddie bye - Mass was at 6:15am.