I am picking up from where I left off with my Israel travel recaps. (If you missed the earlier posts, here's my Israel arrival, Tel Aviv recap, and Jerusalem Part 1).
Ready for a gazillion pictures?
For our second day in Jerusalem, Adam and I got a private guide named Madeleine for an 8-hour walking tour of the Old City. Madeleine was an unending wealth of information. Her expertise gave us a ton of insight into what we were seeing from a historical, philosophical, and religious perspective.
Unless I wrote about 20 posts, I couldn't begin to describe in words everything we covered that day. So here's a photodump of highlights:
|View of the Old City from the Mount of Olives|
|Mount of Olives graveyard|
|Beautiful domed ceiling at the Basilica of the Agony|
|Church of Assumption - the ceiling was adorned with hundreds of these intricate lamps|
|Sign in the Old City displaying Arabic guidelines on appropriate/inappropriate dress|
|Tomb of Jesus at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (sorry for the bad lighting)|
|Festival of Sigd (an Ethiopian Jewish holiday) gathering near the Western Wall|
|Western Wall archaeological ruins|
|View of the the men's side of the Western Wall (and a group of Israeli military posing for a picture) as seen from the walkway to the Temple Mount|
|The Dome of the Rock|
|View of the Mount of Olives and the Church of Magdalene from the Temple Mount|
|The gorgeous designs on the Dome of the Rock|
|The Yohanan Ben Zakkai Synagogue|
|Spice market with incredibly affordable prices - I bought coriander, turmeric, and cardamom and made out like a bandit!|
|Arab carpet store|
- Multiple times each day, we heard the Muslim calls to prayer reverberating throughout the city. It was an ethereal, haunting tone. All the Arab-run businesses closed down during the prayer times.
- Most of the restaurants in Jerusalem are kosher. Since kosher dietary laws prohibit the simultaneous consumption of meat and dairy, many restaurants only serve one or the other. However, we did see restaurants which served both. Those restaurants had two separate menus and the seating areas were split down the middle. Upon arrival, customers informed the hostess what they wanted to consume, then were seated accordingly on the appropriate side. From what I understand, kosher guidelines would also require those restaurants to have two separate kitchens and two separate storage facilities.
- Shabbat was an interesting experience. From sundown Friday to sundown on Saturday, nearly everything closed down and the streets were almost completely empty. As sundown approached on Friday night, we saw many locals rushing to get home.
- Since very few restaurants were open during Shabbat, Adam and I went to Machane Yehuda, the local Jerusalem marketplace, to stock up on food in advance. Here are some pictures:
|Copious amounts of dates, nuts, dried fruits, and spices at this shop|
|The locals perusing the selections|
- A friend of Adam's family, Ellen, invited us to her home for Shabbat dinner on Friday night. It was such a treat to spend the evening with her, her four amazing children, and two of their awesome friends. The conversation included fascinating details about life in Israel. There was also enough food to feed a small country! Many, many, many thanks go out to Ellen for her tremendous kindness, generosity, and helpfulness.
- On Saturday, Adam and I visited Yad Vashem, which is a museum and memorial dedicated to the victims of the Holocaust. While growing up, I had learned about the Holocaust in history class, of course. Visiting Yad Vashem made me realize that as a child, the history lessons didn't resonate with me. As an adult, my understanding and sorrow were much greater in magnitude. It was heartbreaking to learn about the horrors and cruelty.
- We weren't allowed to take pictures inside Yad Vashem so here's a photo from their Facebook page:
- I went for two runs in Jerusalem's very hilly terrain during Shabbat. During my first run, I wandered through some neighborhoods near my hotel. On my second run, I went to Sacher Park, which is a beautiful public park dedicated to English Zionist Harry Sacher. Both runs were terrific in allowing me to observe the locals going about their everyday lives.
I could easily write several other posts about Jerusalem! In summary, it is an absolutely stunning city with so much depth and so much resonance. I could have spent a month there and still barely scratched the surface.
Coming up soon: One more Israel travel post about Masada and the Dead Sea.
Linking up with Lauren, Van, Isabel and Marcella for Wanderful Wednesday; with Chris and Heather, Lauren, Ashley, Amanda and Brian, and Carolann and Macrae for Weekend Wanderlust; and with Lyn, Arnie and Jo, Sally-Ann, Anda, and Anisa and Katherine for The Weekly Postcard.