Monday, 30 September 2013

Jerusalem, Israel

While we were in Jordan, we decided a visit to the neighboring country, Israel, was a must. Jerusalem is really old and rich in history. Because of Sukkot, a Jewish holiday, we had to book everything in advance as most places were full. We never heard of Sukkot before but we lived it for a few days. It is probably celebrated everywhere in the world where there are Jews but Jerusalem was obviously the best place to be to feel the emotional charge in the air as thousand of people were gathered to pray. This historic city is considered one of the holiest city in the world by three of the most popular religions; Islam, Judaism and Christianity. It is quite amazing to see how all of these coexist within the same walls. The old city actually has 4 quarters; Armenian, Jewish, Muslim and Christian.

We highly recommend the free walking tour offered every day as our guide was extremely knowledgeable. We joined our group close to Jaffa gate at 9:30 AM. It was a two-hour walking tour of the different quarters of the Old City. He made us go through 4000 years of history in that short period of time, this was a lot of very interesting information. In addition to a walk through the four quarters, we saw some roman ruins of what was the main road and market place. We saw the Western Wall. and we walked by the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where Jesus is said to have been crucified and buried. Actually, the whole tour was slightly different because we were not allowed to go to all the sites thanks to military road blocks related to the holiday. After our tour, we explored outside the walls for a few hours. We walked to the Mount of Olive, where we saw the "Grotta", the place where Jesus was betrayed, and also the tomb of Marie right next to it.

Walking through all the small pedestrian cobblestone streets of the old city was a delight with all the different smells and atmosphere of the four quarters. We enjoyed Jerusalem very much and we think it is a must. The city outside of the walls also have a lot to offer from restaurants to shopping as ethnic and cultural variety makes it a place for everybody to enjoy and find what they are looking for.


The wall outside Jaffa Gate
Damascus Gate
Friendly military cadet
Military road block
Western Wall
Rooftop view of the old city
Roman ruins of the old market street




Spice market
 
Inside the Church of All Nations
Dome of the Rock
Western Wall
One of the largest Jewish cemetery in the world
Outside the wall
Olive trees of Gethsemane
Tomb of the Virgin Mary
Grotta
 

No comments:

Post a comment