Monday, March 04, 2019

Friday March 1st 2019

Today we will explore Jerusalem. Or rather explore the Old City of Jerusalem.

The old city is surrounded by a wall and is divided into four parts; one Jewish, one Christian, one Muslim and one Armenian Quarter.

The streets were narrow and filled with peddlers and restaurants, but the four quarters all looked fairly different, which was interesting to see.

In the Jewish Quarter was the Western Wall (also known as Wailing Wall):

And the Christian Quarter is home of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which is apparently the most holiest Christian place on earth.

We walked up and down the streets. The old city isn't big, but it can be hard to find your way sometimes, even with a map! :)

We meant to go in for a closer look at Mount Moriah and the Dome of the Rock, but as we came closer (walking through the Muslim Quarter), a man brusquely grabbed Henrik's arm and pulled him towards the side of the street.

Another salesperson we thought and I started to tell him to lay off.
Then I looked up and saw three masked - and heavily armed - Israeli soldiers!

The man (most likely a civilian clothed soldier) had pulled us aside towards the soldiers, who told us not to approach further since it was Friday; the holy day of the Muslim week (and we were not allowed to enter).

We promptly said that we would go no further and quickly left the same way we came with our hearts beating a little bit faster than before.

After a while, we left the old city and went to the Garden Tomb; the place where Jesus supposedly got buried after his crucifixion. 

Not too much to see so soon after we headed back to the hotel again to relax.

In the evening we went out and ate at the same restaurant as yesterday.
I had some kind of meatballs and rice. I liked it. :)

Then back to the hotel. We went straight to bed since we need to go up extremely early tomorrow.

1 comment:

Henke said...

We had a nice day in Old Jerusalem. It was like going to King's Landing or something. :-)

The one thing I noticed during the day was how many soldiers we saw, on post or moving around. Beginning at the breakfast in the bad hotel, we saw three soldiers with their big automatic rifles hanging casually over the shoulders together with us at the buffet. A very rare sight in an environment like that - the breakfast buffet.

The encounter with the security guys at the gate leading towards the great mosque was a big surprise, something of a jump scare actually.

Very interesting how different the feeling were in the different parts of Old Jerusalem. A new narrow street, and it was like you had been transported instantly to another country...