A lot of the roads lead up to Jerusalem, a vibrant, cosmopolitan city. Eating out at night, sitting underneath the stars is a must. I couldn’t put my finger on what was so different to eating out here. It was my son who made a connection. The city centre is full of youngsters all having fun. Singing, laughing, congregating in groups around tables and chairs. Sipping their drinks…. and that is what’s so different. Their drinks are all soft drinks. When I think back to the images we have on television of youngsters out on a Friday night, too intoxicated to stand up let alone have a conversation and have fun. I feel very sad to what we have become. Are we letting our youngsters down in some way? Are the role models good ones? I only ask to make you think. It certainly made us think.
However, Jerusalem. A city of two halves. The old city and the clean and crisp ‘new’ one. ‘New’ in the sense that a lot of it is only 100 to 200 years old. We took a walk around the old city walls. Hard work. They were not built for tourists, but the views are spectacular! The photos I took illustrate the city of two halves.
A lot of the walls are from the Crusader times, very structured and castellated . You can see how thick they are… Typical of the design a child here would draw! Jerusalem is also becoming more tree friendly. Back in its history a tree tax was enforced, similar to the window tax in our history. If you didn’t want to pay the tax what do you do? Chop them down!They are now planting trees again!
The old city is split into four, Armenian, Jewish, Muslim and Christian. Christ Church is near Jaffa Gate. It can blow your mind away if you think that it is in Herod’s courtyard and Herod’s palace is opposite! I know the first time I came I struggled with this. Having been several times and wandered around through all the different areas I have never felt uncomfortable or afraid. Whether you walk over the roof tops or meander around the closely packed streets it is a real experience. If someone tries to attract your attention “Shopping? Shopping lady?” a firm “Not this time” is all that is needed. You may get the odd person who is not quite so courteous but that can be said of anywhere.
Christ Church has a lovely coffee shop with cakes to die for! and also houses a Heritage Centre. Conrad Schick, a German architect made a model of the Temple Mount which is on display in the centre. The talk given by the guides is well worth listening too.
So what other little gems did I find? The Museum of Israel has some very fascinating things, but the room that was a must for me was “The Jewish Wardrobe”. Earlier in the year I had the privilege of photographing and handling some Middle Eastern costumes. The cross stitch embroidery on them was out of this world for me. They were at least 100 years old and yes some do need a helping hand and a bit of tlc, but they are stunning. Well you can imagine my excitement when there displayed in front of me were pieces of clothing almost identical to the ones at Hexgreave. The book to go with the exhibition was bought. Photos were taken. And a name given of someone in England who could help us with the tlc! Have a look/see!
“And finally” will be tomorrow’s post.