Israel 2012 Day 12 – Jerusalem

Started the morning with breakfast at the restaurant next to the hotel, Yotvata at the promenade. Bought the vouchers from the hotel reception at a discount.

Breakfast voucher

Breakfast voucher

Restaurant next door for breakfast.

Restaurant next door for breakfast.

Bread.

Bread.

Dips and fruit punch.

Dips and fruit punch.

Orange

Orange

Shakshouka

Shakshouka

Omelette

Omelette

After retrieving our vehicle from the carpark, it’s a one and a half hour drive to Jerusalem. Parked along the road side on the Alcazar Hotel and checked in. The simple room given was a twin and came with a balcony but not much of a view.

Twin beds.

Twin beds.

Room

Room

Simple bath.

Simple bath.

Balcony.

Balcony.

View from balcony.

View from balcony.

The walled city of Jerusalem was a lovely place to visit, the architecture of old seemed to bring the us back in time. The 4 quarters (Muslim, Christian, Jewish and Armenian) that formed the city but each separated from each other by a small walking street. Location of importance to 3 major religions (Christianity, Islam and Judaism) of the world, I felt that there seemed to be a small tinge of tension within the different quarters but it could very well be from myself, influenced by media before coming here. The people just carried on with their day to day though.

Corridors of the old city.

Corridors of the old city.

Souks selling every stuff in the quarters.

Souks selling every stuff in the quarters.

The area of the city was huge and some strategy for walking about would be required to cover as much with as little time as possible. Streets were only as wide of people to walk about and there was so much walking required. We first visit the Western Wall (or Wailing Wall). Men and women were separated at the entrance to their own sides. There were kippas for temporary usage that had to be won to enter these areas. There were many people who come to pray beside the wall. There was also a library beside the wall and there too many were seen praying, some moving about wildly like as if in some kind of trance.

Wailing Wall.

Western Wall.

Disposable kippas for visitors.

Disposable kippas for visitors.

Notes place into crevices of the wall.

Prayers placed into crevices of the wall.

In the library next to the Wailing Wall.

In the library next to the Western Wall.

After that, we went to the Christian side and visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. I felt that it wasn’t easy to find this place as getting here we had to walk into a small pathway from the main street of the Christian quarters and we missed it the first time around.

Though I wasn’t a Christian, I was kinda excited to visit this place (maybe I heard more of the stories than the other religions?). This was the place where Jesus was crucified and laid to rest. Though from the outside, the church didn’t look all too impressive, once inside, we could feel the confusion as it was a huge areas with multiple chapels within, each with their own significance. Tried to follow the map and explored but it was difficult to get close to some of the more significant spots (Edicule, rock of Calvary, Stone of Anointing) as there were lines of pilgrims waiting!

Courtyard of Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Courtyard of Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Edicule of the Tomb.

Edicule of the Tomb.

Mosaics on the walls at Chapel of the Nailing to the Cross.

Mosaics on the walls at Chapel of the Nailing to the Cross.

Chapel of the Crucifixion, where pilgrims go touch the stone of Calvary.

Chapel of the Crucifixion, where pilgrims could visit the spot where Jesus was crucified.

Rock of Calvary, supposedly the site of crucifixion.

Rock of Calvary, supposedly the site of crucifixion.

Stone of Anointing.

Stone of Anointing. Pilgrims pray and kiss the stone. Supposedly the place where Jesus was placed after removal from the cross.

St. Helen Chapel.

St. Helen Chapel, with a huge mosaic on the ground.

Our third place of interest was in Temple Mount, the Dome of the Rock. Entry into this place was limited to just one entry through the Mughrabi gate at the Western Wall, as we were non-Muslims. We had to queue to enter as entry was controlled and entrants were checked. There wasn’t many places we could go into the mosque or the Dome of the Rock but simply admire visually the beauty of its architecture.

The area at Temple Mount.

The area at Temple Mount, with El-Kas fountain in the foreground.

Al‑Aqsa Mosque

Al‑Aqsa Mosque, third holiest site for Islam.

Dome of the Rock.

Dome of the Rock.

From Temple Mount, we could see the shining golden top of Church of Mary Magdalene on the Mount of Olives.

Church of Mary Magdalene seen from Jerusalem.

Church of Mary Magdalene seen from Jerusalem.

By the end of the visits, we were looking for a place to have lunch and so visited an interesting looking restaurant that was within an arch, known as Between the Arches.

Spiral staircase within the restaurant.

Spiral staircase going from the main street level to the restaurant.

Olives accompany the bread.

Olives accompany the bread.

Entrance of Between the Arches restaurant.

Entrance of Between the Arches restaurant.

There were still some more places to go such as the Church of Dormition where it was said that this was the place where the Virgin Mary died.

Church of Dormition.

Church of Dormition.

Inside the Church of Dormition

Inside the Church of Dormition

Lifesize statue of Mary Magdalene.

Lifesize statue of Mary Magdalene.

We also visited Tomb of King David. There weren’t much signages here and we ended up not seeing anything that resembled a sarcophagus. On the second storey of the building was the Cenacle, where the Last Supper was supposed to have taken place. We couldn’t make up where that was too, with only an imagination based on Da Vinci’s paintings.

King David's Tomb.

King David’s Tomb.

At the courtyard of King David's tomb.

At the courtyard of King David’s tomb.

Mihrab in the Cenacle.

Mihrab in the Cenacle.

Statue of King David.

Statue of King David.

We also walked to Oskar Schindler’s grave, having been inspired by the movie Schindler’s list, where he had saved so many lives from the Nazi persecutions during WWII. Unfortunately it was closed and we didn’t had a lot time.

Gate to Oskar Schindler's grave.

Gate to Oskar Schindler’s grave.

There were just so much to see in Jerusalem. There were also ruins of archaeological importance as we walked about. It was rather tiring to absorb so much and walk so long in a day.

Ruins underneath the city of Jerusalem.

Ruins underneath the city of Jerusalem.

Old walls of the city.

Old walls of the city.

What it might have looked like in the past.

What it might have looked like in the past.

One of the gates into the city, Damascus Gate.

One of the gates into the city, Damascus Gate.

Went back to the hotel for a rest before getting out of dinner. There was a modern mall, Alrov Mamilla Avenue, so we went there in search of dinner. Settle in at a restaurant with a view. Thoroughly enjoyed the day in Jerusalem.

Shopping mall, Alrov Mamilla Avenue.

Shopping mall, Alrov Mamilla Avenue.

Having some drinks at a cafe.

Having some drinks at a cafe.

Cafe with a view.

Cafe with a view.

ziyi

About ziyi

A travel addict from the little red dot otherwise known as Singapore. Started blogging during travel to help the aging forgetful mind remember the experience of each destination.

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