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Friday, May 21, 2010

Where Nations Meet

Following on from my review of, I thought I'd write a short travelogue about Jerusalem.

Often referred to as the centre of all the world religions.

A place where, on a day-to-day basis, in the vibrant buzz of the markets,  Arabs and Jews mix without the tensions that the media portray.  That isn't to say they don't exist, but as a tourist wandering the historically rich streets; one can't help but put those thoughts to one side and soak up the atmosphere.

As we entered through Damascus Gate at the north of Old City, it's like taking a step through a time machine.
The colourful displays of traditional dress and food mixed with the tourist souvenirs of t-shirts and fridge magnets.

Eventually, you will come to the Western Wall (the Kotel). It's a sign of the times that you have to pass through security not unlike that at an airport; but such is life today. When you do walk into the Plaza, the effect is immediate.
To stand in a place that is so revered and so holy, the feeling cannot be imagined.

The last remaining wall of the Second Temple, with its personal messages pushed into the cracks and men (and women) praying, it's an important Jewish religious site.

Over the top of the wall you can see the top of the Golden Dome of the Rock; which is certainly a reminder that this is where the religions of the world meet.

The history, the buzz and the noise stimulate a sense of the past; and it's just wonderful to witness.

Of course, Jerusalem isn't just about religion and the past.

Outside of the Old City walls a modern city is alive and kicking, with fashionable shops and modern art.

But it's the history that will bring many back, time after time.

To barter in the suks (markets) and ponder how life must have been in biblical times is an experience to behold.
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