Jerusalem – The Old City, Eternal City

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Jerusalem and the Tower of David

In the last blog, I spoke about my day in Eilat. The next stop of our conference was Jerusalem. Once at the airport we were ushered to our respective coaches for the drive into the city. While in the coaches, we were told of the history of Jerusalem by our very knowledgeable guide Nadav. He told us about how Jerusalem (Yerushalayim or Yerushalem) also signifies the Old and New Jerusalem, which is yet to come.  We then listened to song “Jerusalem of Gold” (Yerushalayim Shel Zahav, in Hebrew ירושלים של זהב) for the rest of our drive.  For 2 nights, we were at the King Solomon Hotel and I had a good view of the old city from my room. And I was thankful to again be visiting this city that is the home of the Tower of David, the Israel Museum, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Western Wall, Via Dolorosa and so much more.

Scenic view of the old city of Jerusalem.
View of the Old City from my room

We then headed to one of the first Arab neighbourhoods, Abu Ghosh, for lunch at Naura Restaurant. The fresh greens, the hummus, the falafel and not to forget… the meat, simply mouth watering. We returned to the hotel a bit to rest.

Later that evening, we headed to The Tower of David for the amazing sound and light show in the Citadel – The Night Spectacular. It was amazing! A first of its kind in the world, but we were not allowed to take any pictures inside. 🙁

Night view of Tower of David.
Outside the Tower of David at Night

We then had dinner at Mount Zion hotel, while some of the others went to a pub nearby.

Information about Tower of David:
Museum of the History of Jerusalem, Jaffa Gate, Jerusalem, Israel
Mail: [email protected]
Phone: +972-2-6265350
Website: http://tod.org.il

The Israel Museum

The next day we headed out for some sightseeing in Jerusalem where we visited The Israel Museum and saw some miniature versions of the City of Jerusalem from different eras.

Depiction of Jerusalem city in miniature form.
Miniatures of the City of Jerusalem during different eras
Rock carving remains of Zeus as a swan laid with Leda.
Zeus laid with Leda the Queen of Sparta to beget Helen of Troy

The Israel Museum also housed The Shrine of the Book which houses the Dead Sea scrolls and other manuscripts.

Exterior of Shrine of the Book housing the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Shrine of the Book housing the Dead Sea Scrolls
Dead Sea Scrolls.
Dead Sea Scrolls

Opposite the white colored Shrine of the Book is a Black Basalt Wall.

Black basalt wall at the entrance of Shrine of Book.
Black Basalt Wall

The contrasting imagery represents the war between the Sons of Lights and the Sons of Darkness.

Information about The Israel Museum:
Israel Museum, Derech Ruppin 11, Jerusalem
Mail: [email protected]
Phone: +972-2-6708811
Website: https://www.imj.org.il/

Western Wall and Via Dolorosa

After that, we headed to the Western Wall also called the wailing wall, it is an outer wall of the Holy Jewish Temple that existed on the Temple Mount. We spent some time there, said our prayers at this holy site, and then walked down the Via Dolorosa to Calvary. Now lined with a lot of touristy shops selling Crosses, Bible’s, Rosaries and other religious items… Didn’t get a chance to do any shopping though…

The holiest Western Wall in Jerusalem.
Western Wall
Description of the divine presence on the Western Wall.
Historical description of the Western wall

Information about The Western Wall:
Jerusalem, Israel
Phone: +972-2-627-1333
Website: http://thekotel.org

Fifth Station on the Way of the cross.
Fifth Station of the Cross – Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry his cross
Engraved Seventh Station on the Way of the cross.
Seventh Station of the Cross – Veronica wipes the face of Jesus

We then visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, venerated as the Hill of Calvary, the place where the Cross of Jesus once stood, and also the place where He was buried.

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Church of the Holy Sepulchre is also called the Church of the Resurrection or the Church of the Anastasis or Kanīsatu al-Qiyāmah.

Altar where the cross of Jesus once stood.
Altar where the cross of Jesus once stood
Slab where Jesus body was laid.
Tourists posing on the slab where Jesus body was laid

Information about Church of the Holy Sepulchre
Located on Ha Nostrim Street in the Christian Quarter in Jerusalem, entrance to the church is free.

Zedekiah’s Cave

We headed back to the hotel as we had a grand evening planned. Since it was the last night of the trip, there was a closing event with dinner and drinks at Zedekiah’s Cave (also known as Solomon’s Quarries). Dinner It was about 200 meters below ground, and we were advised to wear comfortable walking shoes. That being said, a lot of ladies turned up wearing high heels. It was definitely a sight to see! As for me, most of the trip was spent in sneakers since that was all I could wear, due to a sprained ankle less than a month earlier…

Dinner and Music at limestone rock quarry - Zedekiah's Cave.
Dinner and music at Zedekiahs cave

Information about Zedekiah’s Cave:
Zedekiah’s Cave, Sultan Suleiman Boulevard, Jerusalem, Israel
Phone: +972-2-627-7550

Getting Lost in the Old City

The next day was at leisure. I had a flight to catch later that evening, and decided to do some shopping in the morning. I went to the reception at the hotel where I got a map and decided to go back to the Old City to shop.

Jaffa Gate is one of the seven main Gates of the Old City of Jerusalem.
Road to the Jaffa Gate Entrance

I made my way there pretty easy. I entered through the Jaffa Gate that was closest to my hotel, browsed through a few art shops, bought a few bracelets of the Star of David, the menorah, some olive wood doves and some sheep… yeah toy stuffed sheep for my friend’s kids. In all that, I also did get asked by a store owner if I had a boyfriend and if I would be willing to stay in Israel and get married. That wasn’t a first though. The last time that happened was in Kenya. So I had practice 😉

Art shops at old city of Jerusalem.
Art shops

Anyway, after turning down the proposal, I head toward the Western Wall, said a prayer and decided to head back.  But I got a bit lost and ended up at Lions Gate, which was at the opposite end. But I did manage to find my way back, although I had to pass by and say one more Goodbye to the cute guy who wanted to marry me, and then walk back to my hotel.

Mosaic representation of portrait of the Holy City of Jerusalem.
A portrait of the Holy City of Jerusalem

Security, hmm…

Later that afternoon, we headed to the airport. I must say that the security is the tightest I’ve ever seen. I’m not sure what they saw in my bag, but after emptying my entire suitcase and rummaging around in it, the guard did help me re-pack. That was nice of her…

Relieved that that was over I head to security, and guess what, even after taking off my belt and watch, it beeped… Shoes came off next. But I still beeped. I couldn’t think what else it could be… When I realised that it might be the pin that was holding my ankle bandage together. After taking it off, I finally stopped beeping and yet had to remove the entire bandage to show them that I had nothing else on me and they finally let me go…

My flight back was on ELAL. So I was glad about that, it being more safe and secure than on any other airline. All in all, I had a great experience in the City of Gold! Can’t wait to go back again to experience another part of the Holy Land, Israel.

Other Posts to Read about travel in Asia

Pinterest image of Western Wall and Jaffa Entrance gate.
Pinterest image of Miniatures of the City of Jerusalem during different eras.
Pinterest image of The Old City, The Eternal City - Jerusalem, Israel.
Pinterest image of Visiting the Eternal City of Jerusalem, Israel.

5 thoughts on “Jerusalem – The Old City, Eternal City”

  1. I have visited Jerusalem once but I would like to back and explore more. I thought it was quite fascinating. We were there only for a day trip so I feel like there is still more to see. And I totally agree with the security! Getting out of the country was such a hassle.

    Reply

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