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2:31pm on Thursday, 2nd January, 2014:

Ye Newe Trip to Jerusalem


Hey, I've finally got around to uploading some of the photos I took in Jerusalem when I was there last year (or, put another way, a fortnight ago).

This is the evidence that they had snow:

It's also the evidence that they didn't know what to do with it. Piling it up so it occupies parking spaces and takes ages to melt is probably not the best approach.

Jerusalem bagels are Not As Other Bagels:

It came with some kind of seasoning that tasted salty but wasn't salt. I really liked it, although sadly not enough to be able to pronounce its name. I know it started with Z and had some As in it...

Inside the walls of old Jerusalem was a warren of streets, most of which looked like this:

They had all manner of shops there, as it is a working city. That said, for every barber's or fruit stall there must have been a dozen selling touristy stuff.

This is the money shot:

So, that golden dome is the Dome of the Rock on Temple Mount, which is holy to all the Abrahamic religions but is controlled by Islam. The wooden bridge gives access to it from the plaza, but for non-Muslims entry is restricted. The big wall separating the plaza from Temple Mount is the Western Wall, which in Britain is better known as the Wailing Wall but the Israelis seem to translate it as the Wishing Wall. You can see why such proximity might lead to some religious friction here...

Given the number of graves on this hill, I'm guessing it's the Mount of Olives:

Apparently, graveyards are regarded as vaguely unclean places in Jewish culture, so people don't really like to visit them if they can avoid it.

This is a close-up of the Western Wall:

Men have to wear a hat when they go up close, but there are free skullcaps available so I did get to go up and touch it. A friend of mine who was in the Palestinian Police after the war told me that before they demolished all the buildings that used to stand where the plaza now is, the Western Wall used to be one side of basically an alleyway. Arab children would sit on the top of wall, and when they saw Jewish people praying down below, they'd piss on them. The hats therefore had some practical value in addition to being some kind of token of respect.

This is the site of the hospital that gave the Knights Hospitaller their name:

They were otherwise known as the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem, which also gave them their name.

This is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which stands on Golgotha — the spot where Jesus was crucified and later resurrected:

That's if you're Catholic or Orthodox. Protestants don't get much of a look-in, and some regard the Garden Tomb as the true site of the resurrection instead.

I rather liked this statue, but it's more reflective of Tel Aviv than Jerusalem:

Finally, here's some kind of a pastry stall:

I ate some of the orange furry goat's cheese. It's a lot more filling than you might think.

So there you are. I go to these places so you don't have to...

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Copyright © 2014 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).