Walking tour of Old Jerusalem
Trip Start Apr 19, 2010
46Trip End Jun 06, 2010
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Where I stayed
Inside the walled city, Jerusalem is divided into four quarters: Christian, Jewish, Armenian and Muslim. The old city is remarkable well preserved. We strolled through the winding alleys and by-ways of the city following the footsteps of Christ's last journey through Jerusalem, stopping at the stations of the cross along the way to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre
The journey took us through crowded bazaars loaded with souvenir shops and restaurants. After the Church of the Holy Sepulchre we stopped for lunch and had falafels and a cold drink. Then plunged back into the fray of pilgrims, tourists and shoppers in the narrow laneways. Our guide, Yaniv, took us up stairs to the roof top so we could orientate ourselves and see the layout of the city.
We walked on to the Western Wall, also known as the Wailing Wall, although, no one here calls it the Wailing Wall now. The term began when Jordan controlled this part of the city, along with the West Bank. The Jordanians would not allow Jews access to the wall and so it got the name Wailing Wall. The Western Wall is the holiest place in the world for Jews so not being allowed access was a major problem. The Western Wall is the place that is closest to the second temple that was destroyed by the Romans in 73 AD. The place now has a mosque on top of the location of the second temple. It is called the Dome of the Rock and it is also a very holy place for the Muslims. It is alleged that Mohammed ascended to the heavens from here
It being Saturday, the Western Wall was where Shabbat services were being held. You have to go through metal detectors to get to the wall, taking of pictures and cell phones are forbidden on this day inside the area of the wall. We ended our tour at Mount Zion and visited the burial place of King David. After all this walking we returned to our bus and headed back to the hotel when Yaniv gave us directions to an area about a kilometre or so from the hotel that would be open to serve meals. Shabbat in Jerusalem is observed widely and almost everything is closed.
We walked up to this area with a couple of fellow travels, Jeff and Neal. They called Florida home and proved to be delightful dinner companions.