Friday, July 12, 2013

Old Jerusalem

It was hard not to get emotional when Jerusalem comes into sight for the first time. This city in all its white Jerusalem-stone glory gleams in the sun as the road ascends to it. Old Jerusalem is like a city within the city. It is enclosed by its Ottoman period walls and still occupied by innumerable residences and shops. There is no way to really see the old city except by walking. It is best to go first with a guide then explore again on your own. There is also a great walking tour app
Armenian Quarter (St. James Church) // Muslim Quarter (Mamluk architecture)
Christian Quarter (Ethiopian Monastery)// Jewish Quarter
Via Dolorosa//Station V
The Western Wall
(Desks used for reading the Torah on Bar Mitzvahs)
One of the best things I did while visiting Old Jerusalem is to walk the ramparts (the city walls). There is a northern route and a southern route, both starting at Jaffa Gate. This activity is nice because it is not crowded with tourist and affords you a different perspective of Old Jerusalem-inside and out. I did both routes in one day but was pretty burned by the sun and pooped at the end. For those who wants to try the rampart but are afraid they can't make the entire walk, there are exits along the way; but the only entrances are back at Jaffa Gate.
Muslim Quarter-Norhern Rampart
Mt. Olives-Northern Rampart
Kidron Valley-Southern Rampart

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