Nivi's Adventures

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Avi's World Famous Tour of Jerusalem

So after a slightly later than anticipated start (which became a bit of a recurring theme) Asaf, Rick, Tom and I met up with Asaf's dad Avi for a bit of a tour. We started just out of Tel Aviv and made our way to Jerusalem. Avi was a brilliant tour guide - he gave honest views and opinions with little or no bias which is hard to come by when a local is giving you their take on their city/country, let alone in a country that's had such a controversial past.

After our tour finished, we headed to Ayala's flat. Ayala used to flat with Asaf back before he left Israel and she kindly offered to host us all :) After watching sunset we headed out for an amazingly meal (at a organic vegetarian soup place) and then a few drinks in Jerusalem. Wicked times!

Saturday was an amazing day where everything just seemed quite surreal - perhaps it was the the slight sniffle I'd acquired or the lack of sleep but it was more than likely the simple fact I was in Jerusalem!!! I seriously had to catch myself quite a few times and remind myself I was in the Holy Land!

So as you'll probably understand, I took a huge number of photos. I've tried really hard to cull them but forgive me for still having quite a few...


Avi at the starting point of the tour. This rather unassuming spot is where Israel's border was when it declared independance/Britain's protectorate expired in May 1948. This '48 border (just out of Tel Aviv) meant that 1948 Israel was tiny and Avi speculates, may well have remained so if it hadn't been for the 1948 War of Independance

Driving through an Orthodox Jewish area with the streets deserted as it's Shabbat (Sabbath) and you're not meant to drive.


A few people yelled at us as we drove by, angry that we were driving...


Perhaps the prettiest building I've ever seen...


Jerusalem, viewed from the Mount of Olives. Check out all the tombs in the foreground.


If I recall correctly, Avi wsa saying a plot here could be yours for a cool $ 500,000 US


Father and son :)



Gethsemane - This is where Jesus had his last supper. How trippy is it to think that Jesus really walked around these parts, albeit a few years back...


A corner of the walls of the old city which shows the different parts built at different times. King Herod's beautification work can be identified as the stones have a frame on them. Great quote from Avi "Well you can see the bits on the top are quite new... Well relatively new, they are from 6BC"


Looking back up to the Mount of Olives, looking over all the tombstones


These are the earliest tombs dated approx 1000-500 BC


The name Wailing Wall refers to the Jews mouring the destruction of the sacred temple, Holy of Holies on the Temple Mount, of which only this wall remains.


It's good luck to write notes and stick them in the wall...


The wall, straight up!



The 'streets' of the old city


A quaint furniture shop


Avi buying us some fresh figs to sample


So the V on the bronze plaque shows it's the 5th Station of the Cross. Not for the first time I felt a sense of pity that I was experiencing Jerusalem when Hinduism is arguably the only major religion which has no affiliation with Jerusalem. Especially considering I know quite a few Catholics that would have loved to walked along Via Dolorosa! It definitely didn't go unappreciated though!


Had to take a snap, this was such a picturesque moment.


Church of the Holy Sepulchre Most Christians believe the ground on which the church stands is where Jesus was crucified and also contains the place where Jesus was buried (the sepulchre).






The Sepulchre (thing on the right that all the people are looking at).




Tucking into a most delish lunch of flat bread, heavenly humous and great coffee. Soooo tasty!




The old city has been built upon in areas so this is looking down onto the pathways of the walled city.





Looking onto the western wall complex. The gold dome is the 'Dome of the Rock' which we later visited.


Rick enjoying the sunset :)


Dinner at the funky soup place.

3 Comments:

  • Oh Niv... all I can say is WOW! How lucky you are to have visited such an amazing place - a place which has been in my mind and heart for a while and has now moved up on my list of 'must sees' after seeing your photos and hearing of your experiences! WOW!

    By Blogger Bex, at 3:41 AM  

  • Cheers for your comments Bexy, glad you enjoyed reading about it :)
    Niv

    Also a comment from Asaf:
    It's not just 'good' to write notes in the wailing wall -
    you write your wishes and they come true! That happens to be a fact. It happened to me - I wished for a bicycle and got it about 5
    days afterwards! (Telling your parents what you wished for also
    helps...)
    Asaf.

    By Blogger Nivi, at 12:47 PM  

  • Hi Nivi

    Well Done.

    Too Good To Be True!

    Avi

    By Blogger Prof. Avi, at 10:35 PM  

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