New York City summers can be hellish. But then so can those in other countries that people like to travel to for summer vacations. To enjoy our summers wherever we are, we need to find a way to have fun that involves hydration and water to cool off. One perfect way to do this is via a tunnel.
A lot of countries have cool tunnels. Mozes Victor Konig is familiar with some of them as he likes to take his children out of his Tel Aviv hometown and do something fun that involves exploration and water – the tunnel is the perfect solution. Faced with the seemingly never ending-school holidays, Konig this year took his kids on an air-conditioned bus to Jerusalem where it’s slightly cooler and found indoor activities for them at the cool Western Wall Tunnels.
“I wasn’t sure initially as my kids didn’t seem that excited. But literally within minutes of entering the tunnel they were blown away! They didn’t ask for the iPad once; it was amazing! The thing is, when you think about it, what kid doesn’t want to get wet and explore a deep, dark, unpredictable tunnel? Any kid from 5 can do this tour and it really makes for a fun few hours to explore hidden parts of the Temple Mount.”
Kids – and adults – can check out stone arches, interactive Temple models, water pits (the best!) and even an ancient aqueduct. While you are in it you will be parallel to nearly 500 meters of the Western Wall, and through that you get to really feel what it must have been like for King Herod when he tried to expand the Temple Mount – not easy!
When you’re done with that you can move along to Hezekiah’s Tunnel which is very nearby and is a fabulous place to forget the sweltering heat. This man-made water tunnel is 1,750 feet and offers two different tourist options: one dry and one knee-high. Again, accessible for kids age five and up.
But let’s get back to dealing with the New York summers. One option Konig checked out a few years ago was the McCarren Pool Tunnels. He describes it as a “pool with a difference” which is definitely one way of looking at it! Located at Greenpoint, it is a nice pool (it was recently renovated) with a story that Konig investigated before snapping photos. During the Great Depression, the FDR’s Works Progress Administration commissioned the construction of 11 huge pools around the city.
So today – as well as enjoying a swim around – you can now check out access tunnels underneath the park. There you will see amazing drainage pipes and enjoy other adventures. And the actual pool still has the remains of the some of the original tunnel for those who are skeptical about taking the underground route.
No matter what you do this summer, make it a wet one. It is not worth going anywhere without proper hydration and keeping cool with water. So from Jerusalem to New York, keep cool underwater in the summer of 2019!