Holy City

Trip Start Mar 01, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Israel  , Israel,
Monday, August 6, 2012

I need to start getting up earlier.
Arrived in Jerusalem at about 3pm (next time I will check the schedule) and got caught in rush hour traffic. It took about 1.5 hours to get from the train station to the Old City (the same amount of time as the train from TLV). But time passed pretty quickly. I have learned that the quickest way to befriend a kid is to let them play games on your phone... Deliay (not sure how to pronounce her name) could only speak Arabic but had no trouble learning bowling!
Walked through the Arabic Quarter and enjoyed all the beautiful food carts- falafel (I tried a delicious version stuffed with spicy onions), pickled vegetables- the purple cauliflower was so pretty. And the pastries...! The nice man behind the pastry cart gave me one for free. Everyone was buying by the tray full. He probably didn't know what to charge for the single piece I requested. Pop my head into a bakery and watch them preparing a special "pretzel" for Ramadan. I try one later that afternoon- kind of like a semi-sweet, sesame cracker. Not bad.
Made it through the tiny, twisty alleys to the Western Wall. Even though the security guard says I'm fine (Security like an airport at the entrance. No surprise, but a little weird), next time I need more clothes. I had my trusty scarf to cover my shoulders, but even with bare calves I felt uncomfortable. The believers' faith is palpable. It's moving to watch the emotion of the men and women (separated, of course) rocking back and forth, deep in prayer.
Visited the Hurva Synagogue. It's very pretty. Walked by the Tower of David. Entrance was closed for the day, but on Thursday nights they have live music.
Walked up Jaffa Street to the Mahane Yehuda Market. Not quite as lively as the internet promised, but I'll go back on Friday afternoon. See if my China mob skills pay off...
Ask Alon for directions to the train station and he's going my way, so I have nice company all the way home.
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