Today was spent on a good old sight-seeing trip of Jerusalem’s Old City, along with Asya’s family who drove up from the kibbutz for the day.
It’s the first time I had been back within the Old City walls since returning to Israel, and our short meander through Mt. Zion and then the Old City itself only served to remind me how lucky I am to live in the vicinity of this living artifact, so alive with historic, religious, and political significance. If you’re successful in escaping the mobs of tourists groups (we were not) this labyrinth-like city is home to treasures that make for an unforgettable experience: heaving bazaars, religious epicentres and beautiful vantage points. It’s all here!
Try as I might and I don’t think any words I write could really describe the sights, smells and sounds that envelop the different neighbourhoods that make up the old city; here below, at least, are photos from some of the places we passed.
The German built "Abbey of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary"
The crowded forecourt outside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the purported site of the death and resurrection of Jesus. Heavy stuff...didn't feel like desecrating the actual tomb with me taking a photo, so you're all going to have to come and check it out yourself.
Panoramic view out over the Temple Mount (the plaza with the Dome of the Rock) and the Mount of Olives.
The horde of yellow-capped Russian tourists that followed our every move around the Old City.
#1 Hot-Spot for religious tensions. The Western Wall and Temple Mount - 2 of the holy sites most venerated by Jews and Muslims alike. A few moments later I was down in front of the Western Wall (or Wailing Wall) making my own little prayer. Unfortunately getting up onto the Temple Mount is near-impossible if you're Jewish, so I'll have to venture back there alone one day.
View of East Jerusalem and the West Bank.
It may be the "Holy City" but that doesn't preclude the existence of a flourishing tacky t-shirt industry. Let me know if there are any that take your fancy 😉
After a day of sight-seeing it was time to seek out this fantastic Lebanese restaurant; amazing salads, hummus, kebab meat and more. Best of all, I have the plentiful left-overs in our fridge for lunch tomorrow 🙂