Jerusalem Journals

Jerusalem, the golden city

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A November 1999 trip to Jerusalem by Amanda

Wailing Wall Photo, Jerusalem, Israel More Photos
Quote: Jerusalem is a city with a siren call. Lusted after by many religions and nations over thousands of years, it is still a beautiful, spiritual, and disputed city.

Jerusalem, the golden city

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Overview

Quote:
The old city is a fabulous place indeed. You can spend weeks here, soaking up the atmosphere, watching the devout of many religions at prayers, and visiting some of the most beautiful, special places in the world. Top places within the old city are perhaps the Wailing Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and the Al Aqsa mosque. The Mount of Olives is also a fascinating place to visit, with a great view of the city as well. The whole city, even the modern blocks of flats in West Jerusalem, is built from a honey coloured stone that catches the light and warms the whole atmosphere. There are a number of good day trips out of the city, too. Israel’s a small country, and Jerusalem handily...Read More

Ein Gedi Guest House

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Hotel

Quote:
The Ein Gedi Kibbutz hotel is a peaceful haven. The kibbutz has set up and runs a hotel on its own land, creating a luxury series of one-story rooms, separated from each other by paths, cactus, and small trees. In a dry area of the country, the kibbutz has somehow created an oasis of green, mostly from tough, frugal plants that suit the environment. The accommodation is cool, clean and inviting. Each room is set in its own small semi-detached building, with a front door, bathroom, and bedroom. There are televisions, a kettle, coffee, and mugs, and phones in each room. The rooms we stayed in were tiled throughout, making them cool and perfect for returning to after a dip in the swimming pool. The...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 13, 2001

Ein Gedi Guest House
Ein Gedi, Dead Sea
Jerusalem, Israel
076594222

Holy Sepulchre

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Attraction | "Church of the Holy Sepulchre"

Holy Sepulchre Photo, Jerusalem, Israel
Quote:
Jerusalem has no shortage of religious sites, but the Church of the Sepulchre is regarded as the most important Christian location. It is within this deceptively large structure that the last five stations of the cross lie and where Jesus was put to death. The first church was built on the site by the Roman emperor Constantine in 348 AD. The church was destroyed and rebuilt several times but the structure which exists today was built by the Crusaders in 1099. The small entrance conceals the true size of the church , and as you enter, the vast 11metre high Rotunda quickly absorbs you in it's spacious and cool atmosphere. Here you will find groups of pilgrims from around the globe creating a cacop...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 30, 2001

Holy Sepulchre
Christian Quarter
Jerusalem, Israel
+972 2627 3314

Eating Out in West Jerusalem

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Attraction

Quote:
The centre of new Jerusalem, not far from the Old City's Jaffa Gate bustles energetically as a rich mix of European and Middle-Eastern style. The pedestrianised area off Zion Square offers fantastic food at reasonable prices, where Middle-Eastern cuisine can be enjoyed with Parisian chic as you sit in the open air, seeing and being seen. Along the main pedestrianised Ben Yehuda Street, buskers fill the evening air with violin solos, arias and traditional Yiddish music from Eastern Europe. The standard of musicians is generally very high, and some of them have been part of the local scenery for a number of years. The large scale immigration of Russian and Eastern European Jews to Israel, which o...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 30, 2001

Eating Out in West Jerusalem
West Jerusalem
Jerusalem, Israel

Wailing Wall

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Attraction | "The Wailing Wall"

Wailing Wall Photo, Jerusalem, Israel
Quote:
Walk up, touch it, feel the rough texture of thousands of battles, hear the echoes of millennia of prayers, see the honey yellow glow of past civilizations. Then step back, take a seat, and feel its presence, feel that which is beyond words and confined to the world of the spirit. Bask in its radiance and majesty, so unexpected of a wall of stone. The wailing wall is the last remain of the Jewish Second Temple, destroyed by the Romans in 70AD, and as such is the holiest Jewish site in the world. It has significance to Muslims too, not only does it stand adjacent and supporting the al-Haram from which the Profit Mohamed ascended to heaven, but it is also considered to be the site where he tethere...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 25, 2001

Wailing Wall
Old City, Jerusalem
Jerusalem, Israel

Old City of Jerusalem

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Attraction | "Safety in the Old City"

Old City of Jerusalem Photo, Jerusalem, Israel
Quote:
Jerusalem has never been the safest destination on the map. It has been a flash point for confrontation for millennia and, the way the peace process is going, will remain one of the world's more volatile places. The danger to tourists, however, is not as serious as many assume. Throughout the recent disturbances in Israel and the Occupied Territories, tourist have not been targeted. Serious fighting or rioting which happens from time to time also tends to be localised and can be easily avoided. The key is to seek local information and take heed of advice. There are also daily television and radio news programmes in English, French and Russian. Generally, trouble spots are effectively cordoned off...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 25, 2001

Old City of Jerusalem
Inside The Walls
Jerusalem, Israel

Mount of Olives

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Attraction

Quote:
The Mount of Olives features heavily in Jewish and Christian traditions. Overlooking the Old City of Jerusalem, it offers splendid views. One can easily imagine how in biblical days this was a spot to which people could withdraw from the bustle of the city and literally look at their lives from afar. From here Jesus ‘beheld the city and wept over it’ (Luke 19:41). It is no wonder that this hill should be considered somehow closer to God. Various religious monuments are built into and onto the Mount, not least the Tomb of the Prophets, believed to be the burial site for the last three Old Testament prophets. Further down the hill is the Chapel of the Ascension, holy to the Christian faith as...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 29, 2001

Mount of Olives
Mount of Olives Road
Jerusalem, Israel
Not applicable

Ein Gedi Spa

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Attraction | "Ein Gedi Spa (1)"

Quote:
Dead Sea mud is famous throughout the world for its cosmetic properties – go to any big department store or spa resort, and I’d put money on you being offered products that contain it. The good news about being in Israel is that the mud is available everywhere on the ground around the sea, instead of being sold at £50 a pot! There are several places around the Sea with huts and bathing facilities, but one of the best is the Ein Gedi Spa, which is owned by the nearby Ein Gedi Kibbutz. The group I was with (my mother, my boyfriend, and I) was staying at the guest-house owned and run by the same Kibbutz nearby, but it’s equally possible and feasible to come to the Spa on a day-trip from Jerusalem. ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 28, 2001

Ein Gedi Spa
M.P.Dead Sea
Jerusalem, Israel 86980

Ein Gedi Spa

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Attraction | "Ein Gedi Spa (2)"

Quote:
Once we’d done the sea-bathing thing, we rubbed off any tenacious patches of mud, and headed back to the club house. There are fresh-water showers to clean off any mud stains, and to remove the top layer of salt from your person. (Bear in mind that this is a low rainfall area, so water is a fairly precious commodity and shouldn’t be wasted.) After that, you can dress and leave, or take advantage of the tanks in the club house, which are included in the price you pay to enter the Spa anyway. We did this, so after washing off any left-over mud, we headed to the pools. They are like a series of small swimming pools, or large baths – about 15 by 15 feet, perhaps, and there are about half a dozen of them. ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 28, 2001

Ein Gedi Spa
M.P.Dead Sea
Jerusalem, Israel 86980

Walks

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Attraction | "Walking around Jerusalem"

Quote:
Israeli towns and cities were built to withstand the hot climate. You soon become accustomed to the abundance of air-conditioning, parasols and the easy availability of cold drinks. All this goes to hide the fact that the semi-arid Judean hills can be fatally inhospitable. In the summer, temperatures in Jerusalem frequently rise to the high 90s, which is bad enough, but once you head down toward Jericho and Ein Gedi the temperature can go over 100. In short, any travel outside towns or the main tourist sites requires some basic preparations. Firstly, water. You should carry substantial quantities of water with you. Even if you are driving, you should carry several pints of drinking water i...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 14, 2001

Walks
Jerusalem And Surroundings
Jerusalem, Israel

Masada

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Attraction

Quote:
On the banks of the Dead sea, less than two hours from Jerusalem, stands a proud flat-topped mountain dripping with history and ideological zeal. As you look up from ground level, you can see just a mountain, but a mountain oozing with bloody history. It draws you closer and the tough climb to the top feels like a predestined pilgrimage. Or for those with a more technological approach to such things, there is a cable car which takes you almost to the top. Once there you realize why you made the effort to reach the top; for all around you, on this windswept, sun-scorched rock in the desert, is the stage of the last act of the Jewish War against the Romans. The Fortress was first built by Jonathan ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 14, 2001

Masada
South District overlooking Dead Sea
Jerusalem, Israel

Wadi Qelt

Attraction

Quote:
Midway between Jerusalem and Jericho lies Wadi Qelt, a 35km long crevice carved through the rocky Judean ground. This Wadi, meaning creek in Arabic, once formed the main route between the two cities. Now it is popular as a hiking location. Once you leave the road you can walk down the steep sides of the Wadi, teaming with an array of desert life which thrives on the numerous fresh water springs. The Wadi still provides water for the city of Jerchico using old aqueducts. This is really a place for exploration. Along your route you may find some of the caves inhabited by Christian monks some 1600 years ago. There are also ruins of ancient monasteries, Roman aqueducts, cliff-side murals...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 15, 2001

Wadi Qelt
Near Jerusalem
Jerusalem, Israel