Friday, May 9, 2014

jerusalem

When in Israel, you have to go to Jerusalem. Possibly the most fought over city in the world, the history behind this place is staggering. We had no idea what to expect as we took the bus from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The first thing we were struck by was how hilly of an area it is. You just keep going uphill from Tel Aviv and then you really hit the hills and you can see Jerusalem in the distance sitting atop the highest ground in the area.  After seeing this, it became quite obvious why this place is so sought after, it is very defensible.

We left the bus station and took the light rail to the old walled city. Going through the city we were surprised to see how different the city looked from Tel Aviv. Almost all of the buildings we made out of some sort of white sand stone that gave the city a very together feeling. We entered the old city through the Jaffa gate and starting wandering through the tight streets looking for the West Wall. Breaking through the tight press of buildings, the West Wall complex finally opened up in front of us.


Andrew's friend told him about a tour of the tunnels that had been excavated below the Western Wall complex. It sounded like a really neat experience, so we signed up for it and took the tour. We had no idea, but we were in Jerusalem on Jerusalem day, which celebrates Israel reclaiming the area during a war in the 70's. While we were waiting for the tour to start, there was a bomb threat at the Western Wall and we were locked in the tunnel where the tour started until they could verify that it wasn't a threat.

The tunnel next to the Western Wall where the tour started from.

The Western Wall below the surface and the original ground level in 0 AD.

Walking along the below ground tight corridors that follow the Western Wall.

The exit of the tour and the Israeli Military that escort you back to the Western Wall through the Muslim district.
After seeing the Western Wall we headed to the other major site in the old city, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. It is the spot where supposedly Jesus was sacrificed and then buried. The Pope had been in Jerusalem the day before, so the approach to the Church was still filled with Papal Seal banners and pictures of the Pope.

Inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.


After walking around the old city for a bit we were ready for a break and headed back outside the walls. There was a park just on the other side that we found a shady spot in and sat down with a bottle of wine with a view of the Jerusalem city walls.


1 comment:

  1. christania’s “cheap bike rentals” bikes are rolling across the city. The system, less than a year old, is funded by christania’s municipal government. It is currently only in one of christania’s 22 administrative districts. Although a 2nd generation system, there are 12 “Houses” in this district, each with around 40 bikes. The yearly subscription cost is the equivalent of $2 US, and allows the use of a bike for up to four hours at a time. In less than a year, there have been 6,000 subscriptions sold. There are larger 3rd generation systems in the world, which do not have a subscription to bike ratio as big as that.

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