Part 2 – The City of Jerusalem
Following on from my post last week, we travelled to Israel last month to our friend Lior’s beautiful wedding in Jerusalem.
When we visited Paris, a few weeks before the wedding, Lior shared some wise words with us. We had two choices for our trip; we either go along with our party hats on for the weekend and leave bubba at home. Or, we make a holiday of it and take Lex with us.
Jerusalem is somewhere we had never been before, and it’s unlikely we’ll have an opportunity like this again so we made a one-week holiday of it.
I was overwhelmed by the beauty of Jerusalem. Beyond the Old City walls is a very quiet, sleepy but oh-so-beautiful neighbourhood called Yemin Moshe. This, with the help of Air BnB, was our home for the week.
Yemin Moshe is the Old Jewish Quarter where the Jewish population in the City Walls in the 1890s became so large, they built this neighbourhood just outside, to cope and accommodate the overspill.
With it’s cobbled streets, stunning steps and abundance of flora (not to mention jaw dropping houses with super door goals), I was in my element.
As we opened the front door, we were met with the City Wall, just a stones throw away and less than 5 minutes to Jaffa Gate. Location for me is everything, and this accommodation hit the spot.
The rest of Jerusalem is a little more modern, but the buildings are sympathetic to the culture and era with eave shaped windows and large rustic stone. And the flowers…beautiful vibrant flowers everywhere; Hollyhocks, Penstemons, Geraniums, as well as more exotic kinds which I’d never seen before.
Beyond all this, let’s not forget this is a city steeped in history. In between our parties, parental duties and the unforgiving mid-day heat, we drew up a hit list of three places we definitely had to visit; The Holy Church of Sepulchre, here Christians flock to where the tomb of Jesus lies. The Western Wall, which has been a place for Jewish prayer and pilgrimage since the 16th century. And the Holy Temple, one of the two most holiest sites where Muslims flock pray.
In each place of worship you really felt the importance of what they mean to so many different people. Never have I been somewhere that so many different faiths were so prevalent and strong, yet so contradictory. It’s an amazing city. And yes, it doesn’t come without its tensions.
It’s sad that such a city can’t be at peace and it’s people live harmoniously alongside each other. Alas, despite the conflict, I definitely recommend a trip here. As I sit here on a cobbled street at 11pm sipping wine with the scent of jasmine for company, the only interruption to the tranquil evening is my fingers tapping on the keys.
Jerusalem, you have surpassed all expectations and have offered vibrant colour, history and beauty. In the buildings, the neighbourhoods and the people. Thank you for having us.