The Mount of Olives
This is a delayed report, but I’m pleased to finally make my first contribution. I was on an archaeological dig in Israel this last summer, and I was determined at some point during my stay to consume my first summit cheeseburger.
I hiked over 200 miles while there. My first journey was a high-mileage, one night trip from Nazareth to the kibbutz I was staying at just northwest of the Sea of Galilee (not far from Capernaum, the Mount of Beatitudes, etc.). The second leg was a six day, 160+ mile trip from Nazareth to Jerusalem—essentially accomplishing my idea of hiking from Galilee to Jerusalem and seeing a side of Israel tourists don’t really get. Unfortunately, though I did summit a few peaks, some quite famous, I wasn’t adequately prepared to consume a cheeseburger on these peaks. All along, however, I knew there was at least one peak I would get before leaving—The Mount of Olives.
Though the Mount of Olives certainly has holy connotations and contains a number of areas sacred to various peoples, in general it is just a normal, urbanized area. I hope no one finds my selection of peak offensive, but a cheeseburger must be eaten on every summit. Due to the mount’s fame, I thought it a prime candidate upon which to consume my first summit cheeseburger. After hearing my plan, a friend I had made just the day before wanted to be part of this historical moment. Assuming the local McDonald’s was kosher (as many in Israel are), I planned on purchasing some cheese for my burger from a grocer in the Old City near where I was staying. I was pleasantly surprised when the McDonald’s worker asked me if I wanted cheese on my burger. I guess that one isn’t kosher after all. Cheeseburgers in hand, on July 9, 2012, we made the trek across the city and up to the top of the Mt. of Olives. Right next to the top is a great observation point from which we took most of our pictures. Our actions of course provoked many odd looks and questions from other tourists. Though they thought we were strange, we still got a couple to take pictures of us.
I’m proud to finally contribute a cheeseburger summit, especially since I believe it is the first summit to be conquered not only in Israel/Palestine, but the entire Middle East.
Summit Cheeseburger meets Jerusalem