We woke up early today, headed down to breakfast, fed milk to the cats, and then got into the car to drive to St. Catherine Monastery. Once we reached it, Dad told us a bit about the wall the monks built to keep persons of unsavory character out, and then we went in.
We went straight to the small museum, where original icons (some dating as far back as the 6th century) are held. Mom looked around the first room as one of the men who helped sell tickets explained to her what everything was. (Mom probably knows better than him).
She asked if she could take pictures, and the man said, "You must go ask the father."
The father is behind a desk. Mom goes to ask him if she can take pictures, please. The father looks her up and down, sizes her up, and then says, "Two pictures."
Mom comes back into the first room of the museum and starts to cry. Two pictures. It doesn't sound like a lot, but being able to take even one picture of one of these icons is priceless. Mom gets to take two.
Studying them is… amazing. I've never seen icons like this before. The Staircase to Heaven, a 'calendar' of all the saint days in the year, it's fascinating trying to figure which saint is for which day.