A trip to Israel without visiting Jerusalem is not complete so I could not not go. I researched some options to go there and I ended up going there on a day tour which also included a visit to the Dead sea which I will tell you about another time. From Tel Aviv to Jerusalem it is only 60 kilometers but the drive there took about two hours due to the heavy traffic on the one and only road there. Next year they will be finished building a train connecting the two cities so I suppose many of the commuters will go by train instead making the highway less congested. At around 10 am we arrived. I made up a scenario that there would be a lot of security in Jerusalem with many police and military people. Of course I saw a few but it was not that many. Maybe some secret agents walking around, who know?!
Jerusalem is really a special city. It is the holy city to the Jewish, Christians and Muslims. I am not an expert in the history of the city although I know a bit but before going there my best advice is to read a bit about the place to get more out of the visit. I had a great day sightseeing around the city so here come my ten highlights from the day in Jerusalem.
1. Mount of Olives
Mt Olive is the place to go to have a lookout of the holy city. One thing that is significant for Jerusalem is that all buildings are white which makes it very special.
2. Mount Olives Jewish Cemetery
If you are rich, Jewish and dead you have the possibility to end your life at the cemetery with your fetes facing towards the holy city. The cemetery is located at the hills of Mount Olive and worth a stop.
3. Watching the details
You probably recognize the above thing from the religious classes in school like I did but I never seen it for real before. I had to google and it is called “Mezuza”. It is located to the right of door post in Jewish places and homes to remind you about God. If you want you can also kiss your fingers then pet on it to get luck. I think that one of the best things with traveling must definitely be that you learn so much about nothing and everything that is great to know whey you play TP.
4. Jerusalem old city
Visiting the old city of Jerusalem inside the walls was very interesting. In an area of 1 square kilometer Jewish, Christian, Muslim and Armenians exists side by side having their own quarter. Holding the map is the guide of the tour I went to. A really fun French woman not caring about religions at all. She was like “They are all humans, the only thing differing them are that some goes to the synagogue, some to the church and others to the mosque and that they sell different souvenirs in their part of the old city”. Why make it complicated?
5. Religious outfits
I think that religious and cultural outfits is an interesting topic. I love people watching and especially I love seeing Jewish people since I rarely do so at home. The Jewish people wearing hats could be my worldwide favorite close after the Arabian Thawb and Japanese Geisha clothing.
6. The Wailing Wall
To see the Wailing Wall in real life was one of the main attractions of my reasons to visit Jerusalem. But it was just a wall where men and women were separated to different sections. There were loads of people in front of it and someone that went crazy when touching the stones. Pretty fantastic that a wall of stones can be world famous.
7. Bar Mitzva
To host a Bar Mitzva at the Wailing Wall is popular and gladly I was there on a Thursday so I could see it. If you have forgotten from the religion classes I can tell that it is like a birthday party that takes places when a girl becomes a woman at the age of 12 or when a boy become a man at the age of 13.
8. Church visit
In my life I been to so many churches I cannot count but this Christian church in Jerusalem was something special. The interior was very unique and I also learnt that Jesus was got crucified at the place where the church is located. Guess this is one of the most historical places I been to.
I ate my second falafel in life and it tasted really good. Worth saving some place in your tummy for.
10. Street style
I just love things making streets or places unique. In both Jerusalem and Tel Aviv there are loads of things making the places special. This picture comes from a stickers wall I spotted in Jerusalem.
Yes, Jerusalem is worth a visit. There is not loads of things to see and do if you don’t want to explore every cornerstone but it is quite big so if you are not going on a tour I would recommend staying overnight because it takes a while to go between the different places. Jerusalem is not located near the beach so if you stay over and want to cool off the summer heat you should stay at hotel with a pool. Questions on that?
/ Pernilla in exploring mode