My Mommy has finally arrived! Now my twin and I are taking her around to see the sights. We’ve started here in Jerusalem which my brother knows very well. He has been volunteering at an archaeological dig site next to the wall for the last five months. So we are very lucky to have our own personal tour guide. We dove right in to site seeing on the first day. It was made easy by the perfect location of our hotel, right on King George St., in the center of all the action. The name City Center Hotel doesn’t lie. This hotel is perfect! Superb location, great staff, and the rooms are modern, clean, with the comforts of home. I would call this place a hidden gem, nested in the heart of King George St. in the center of Jerusalem.
It’s surrounded by restaurants and cafes, the light rail is just around the corner.
It was lovely to wake up in the morning, walk outside and find a cafe to sit at, and enjoy some coffee.
On the first day when we went for a walk, we found ourselves quickly at the Jaffa Gate of Old City. Walking through the gate a transportation back in time happens.
The old city is bustling with people, vendors, tourists, locals, religious people of different kinds. The old city walls are filled to the brim with life and culture.
So much color! Spices, pottery, clothing, so much to look at and take in.
The place is like a maze, a lot of narrow walk ways, twists and turns, thankfully there are lots of signs pointing you in the right direction in case you don’t have a tour guide like my brother.
He led us though the maze to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. It is believed that Jesus was crucified and resurrected at this church.
Our next stop was one of the most famous walls in the world, the Western Wall of Temple Mount. My brother and I had been many times, but for our mother it was her first. No matter if it’s a first time or a tenth time visiting I think it is a special experience every time.
The energy in the air is hard to miss.
People come from all over the world to pray at the wall which at one time at held the first and second temples of the Jewish people.
Children from my mom’s synagogue had given her their wishes on paper to put inside the wall. Because so many prayers and wishes are written down and placed in the crevices of the wall they have to be taken out to make room for the new. I have heard that they are then buried.
If you are visiting Jerusalem and the Wall you must, MUST, go on the tour of the Western Wall caves.
Underneath the Arab quarter there is a whole underground tunnel network. Calling upon my memory from the tour: after the destruction of the first temple the muslim Marmaluks lived outside of the Western wall. Since Temple Mount is on the side of a mountain that had to climb up five times a day. To fix this problem they build a system of arches to raise the ground level, covering 1/3 of the western wall. So what once was out in the open is now deep under ground, including a market street, Jewish ritual baths, cisterns, and the bottom of the western wall, which gets holier as one gets closer to the creation stone. It was unbelievable! Walking through these narrow passages surround by rock and the original stones of the wall. We walked on what was the market street that existed in the time of Jesus. With nothing modern around it was easy to make believe myself right into another time.