Jerusalem, Israel (The Old City)

Damascus Gate in Old City - Jerusalem, Israel
Damascus Gate in Old City 
- Jerusalem, Israel
Haredi Jewish Family - Jerusalem, Israel
Haredi Jewish Family 
- Jerusalem, Israel
Pat in Old City Streets - Jerusalem, Israel
Pat in Old City Streets 
- Jerusalem, Israel
Restaurant Night West Jerusalem Israel
Restaurant at Night - West Jerusalem, Israel

Old City Jerusalem Israel
Old City - Jerusalem, Israel
Muslim Women Temple Mount Jerusalema Israel
Muslim Women in Temple Mount
- Jerusalem, Israel
Mahaneh Yehuda Market Jerusalem Israel
Mahaneh Yehuda Market
- Jerusalem, Israel
Israeli Soldiers Old City Jerusalem Israel
Israeli Soldiers in Old City
- Jerusalem, Israel
Bustling Market Area Old City Jerusalem Israel
Bustling Market Area in Old City
- Jerusalem, Israel
West Jerusalem - Israel
West Jerusalem - Israel
Kosher McDonalds Jerusalem Israel
Kosher McDonalds - Jerusalem, Israel
Shawarma Meal Old City Jerusalem Israel
Shawarma Meal in Old City - Jerusalem, Israel
Armenian Dinner in Old City - Jerusalem
Armenian Dinner in Old City
- Jerusalem, Israel
Jerusalem (The Old City), Israel (5/17-21/2010) - Jerusalem is fascinating - one of the oldest cities in the world and now capital of Israel.

We stayed inside Jerusalem's fascinating in-your-face (and sometimes crazy) Old City with one of our first sites being the Damascus Gate (see photo).  

You are immediately introduced to a different world! Jerusalem's Old City is authentic, less tourist, market (Suq Khan es-Zeit), where we stayed in the Muslim Quarter, is a journey back in time. Arabs, along ancient stone paved narrow streets selling everything, watch you as you pass, especially the men looking at Pat.

In Jerusalem's Old City, the sights and smells of food and spices engrave a memory we will never forget. Thinking about how these streets looked like hundreds of years ago is not too hard. 

Jerusalem's Old City best exhibits Jerusalem role as the hot bed center of three of the world’s major religions (click her to see our interesting blog post of Jersusalem Religous for details). Within a few blocks you see traditional Haredi Jews with their black suits and hats who live in the Mea Shearim community, Christians on pilgrimages singing and carrying a cross along the path that Jesus last walked, and Muslims in traditional dress (see photos). 

All this is surrounded (and controlled) by groups of armed Israeli soldiers - you can feel the tension! At times Christian church bells and Jews singing holiday songs compete with the 5-time daily eerie Muslim call-to-prayer blaring from sirens around Jerusalem's Old Town. Since we stayed in Jerusalem's Muslim Quarter, Pat will long remember the call-to-prayer waking her very early at 4am each morning.

It was also great to explore the newer parts of Jerusalem returning each day to our distinctive place in the Old City. We were invited for traditional Shevuot dinner at the home of Yael and Norman, a couple we met on the street. This Jewish holiday celebrates Moses receiving the Ten Commandments. This was a special night for us learning more about the Jewish faith and their role in Israel.

We took the Circular tourist bus for a view of West Jerusalem and other major sites around the new city - Mt. Herzl, Russian Orthodox Church, Mount of Olives, as well as East Jerusalem (see photos). Walking through the bustling Mahane Yehuda Market was an exciting adventure. Also fun was lunch in Zion Square, having a late night at Cat’s Square, and our hole-in-the-wall Shawarma lunch place in the Old City. The owner was very proud of his trip to Canada and showed us faded photos.

Western Wailing Wall and Dome of the Rock Jerusalem
Western Wailing Wall 
and Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem
Map of Old Jerusalem
Map of Old Jerusalem
Some history... Jerusalem is the capital of Israel with a population, predominately Jewish and Muslim, of about a million in the area. Volumes have been written about Jerusalem’s history so to summarize it in a few sentences is beyond my ability. Despite Jerusalem's turbulent history starting over 4,000 years ago, the city looks pretty good considering Jerusalem has been destroyed twice, besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times, and captured and recaptured 44 times. First a Jewish city, then a Christian city, and until the recent migration of Jews from around the world, for 1,300 years Jerusalem was a city of Islam. Today it stills remains a keystone to the evolution of history on this planet.

For more about amazing Jerusalem, please see our other blog post: 

Israel Jerusalem - Religious. 

Please see our other 7 blog posts about this historical and interesting country:

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  1. Hi Wayne and Pat - just got myself updated to
    "where in the world are Wayne & Pat" and marvel
    that you are into your 2nd year! Wow! What a
    wonderful experience & your commentaries are
    excellent of each place you visit. Are you both
    planning to write a book or have a Travel TV
    show as your next endeavor. Happy Traveling!
    Marilyn & Bob Thorne, NYC

  2. I am really excited to travel to Israel and especially to see Michael, who will be my host.  חבילות לחול


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