Within the walls of the Old Jerusalem there are sites of the world’s most significant religious sites, all split into quarters: Muslim, Armenian, Jewish and Christian. All with layers upon layer of history just waiting to be uncovered, touched and experienced in full and total immersion. They say that a trip to Jerusalem changes you. Well, that was according to my boyfriend. Benjamin Disraeli said, “The view of Jerusalem is the history of the world; it is more, it is the history of the earth and of heaven”. So you can just imagine my excitement when we finally made the 3-hour drive from Shlomi to Jerusalem. I was delighted to finally be visiting the city after dreaming about it for so long. To be taking the route that Christ took carrying the cross on his shoulders before crucifixion. Now, I don’t think you have to be religious to understand just what an important city Jerusalem is. Its a place of intense sanctity for Jews, Muslims and Christians. Considering how significant this place for many religions it is a real shame that we can’t all peacefully enjoy or benefit equally from it without many of the conflicts that have spewed here.
On our visit we spent much of our time by the Wailing Wall (Western Wall) as I hadn’t arranged a visit to Temple Mount in advance. Temple Mount stretches across most of the old town and contains the golden Dome of the Rock. Exploring the the interiors of the Temple Mount requires advance arrangement(for non-Muslims) which we hadn’t done in time for the trip, although the courtyard around it is accessible. The Western Wall is separated in two parts; men and women each have their own sections. This place holds an important position in Jewish prophecies, one being that the Holy Temple will eventually be reconstructed. This is in reference the Holy Temple which was destroyed in 70CE by Titus and the Roman legions. The wall was filled with people pushing little slips of paper with prayers into the cracks of the wall. It is amazing just the number of people that pass through here and just how visiting this place fills you with such a sense of emotion. I don’t know whether it’s the wall that has that effect on people or whether that was due to the visit being even more special for me as I was visiting during my mother’s memorial. So part-taking in prayers at this Holy site, also on behalf of my sisters for my mum’s memorial was a little more personal than just a visit at a ‘tourist site’. I think, regardless whether you are Jewish or not, the power this place holds is truly undeniable. One of those things I guess you certainly have to experience yourself.
Where to stay in Jerusalem: For hotels and hostels in Jerusalem check out Booking.com, Agoda or Trivago to compare prices.
A weekend in Jerusalem. 48 hours in Jerusalem.