Thursday, April 20, 2017

Jerusalem- So Much More Than I Expected


Jerusalem has holy sites and much more

During a visit I made to Jerusalem in March, I was treated to history and a lot more by iTravelJerusalem and other local sponsors.  The event was a Travel Blog Exchange conference and it was four action-packed days of speakers, tours, and special events. Naturally we made our way through the ancient, walled city to see holy sites, like the Western Wall, often called the Wailing Wall where Jews pray and fold up notes to be placed in cracks along the wall. But there were many surprises too.

Jerusalem is full of artwork.  From the murals at a renovated marketplace to the modern graffiti by local street artists, you will find a variety of beautiful paintings.

A portion of a larger mural at Cardo, a collonaded area
More of the Cardo, which is being renovated

Local artist Dan Groover creates a piece before our eyes

 Food stands and a fashion show by some of the city's top designers was held at a place called The First Station. They turned an old station for train travel between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem into an outdoor mall. If fashion is your thing, you might review some of the articles in TimeOut about fashion and where to find it. Eclectic, modern, beautiful, elegant. So many words to describe the gowns coming from this region.
Look at the evening designs by Persy
And talking about shopping...the city is full of shops with everything from tourist goodies to high quality gold and clothing. Spend a morning walking through the various quarters of the city to enjoy the markets.  Then walk along some of the city streets for pedestrians only.  More on top shopping destinations to get you started.  Walk slow enough that you can look at windows.  Sometimes you'll find hidden bargains.  You will undoubtedly see street performers too.

The Market in the Muslim Quarter

You can buy all kinds of food at Machane Yehuda. Eat as you go.
Carry coins to tip the musicians who will gladly play for you

Even a ventriloquist for all ages

Stop at a cafe for coffee thick enough to eat with a spoon
The highlight of the week was a music festival held on city streets and parks, and then an outdoor light and sound show at the Tower of David, called the Night Spectacular. Jerusalem is a city of festivals.  Who knew that it could be so hip and fun? I really enjoyed every facet of the outdoor night time experiences.

Projections on the wall tell the story

Ths Tower of David at night is quite beautiful and a great place for a city view
It was easy to get around during my stay. With buses, a light rail, and plenty of walkable spaces I found everything. People were eager to help tourists with questions and everyone spoke English. I used Googlemaps for instructions on what bus line to take and where to walk. Taxis were plentiful but quite expensive.  A trip just a few miles in length cost more than a shared van from the Tel Aviv airport.

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