A Travellerspoint blog

Amazing first day!

I got up early and headed out. I am literally across the street from the Old City. I headed to the Jaffa Gate which is the main entrance to the Christian Quarter and where the free walking tour begins. I had some time before the tour so I wandered over to the Western Wall. The Bar Mitzvah ceremonies were already underway with many, many lined up. It was interesting to observe - proud fathers and shy, uncomfortable looking boys and watching from a closed off area, very, very proud mothers. I then wandered around some more and met up with the tour. It is a good introduction to the Old City and the guide was a combination of history professor, aspiring archaeologist and cautious theologian. We covered the top line of each of the quarters. I left the tour back at the Western Wall to go see the Kotel Tunnels. Excavations that started in 1968 and continue today show the layers of the Old City. The tunnels open to tourists follow the Western Wall all the way to the "lake" which is a huge cistern that was the main water source for the city when Herod was King. I exited the tunnels into the Muslim Quarter and once again wandered around. Found the Via Delarosa and walked 8 of the stations of the cross, got lost, decided to have lunch, got lost again and miraculously ended back at the Jaffa Gate!!! Chatting with a Danish couple at lunch I learned that there were more stabbings just inside the Damascus Gate yesterday. So sad. There were Israeli police at all of the gates and at several other places but I assumed that was normal. The city is very clean and I thought everyone was very friendly and welcoming. I am going back tomorrow for a few hours before heading to Tel Aviv to join my tour.

Bar Mitzvah's at the Western Wall

Bar Mitzvah's at the Western Wall


Doorway in Armenian Quarter

Doorway in Armenian Quarter


Western Wall

Western Wall


View of Jerusalem from Old City rooftop area

View of Jerusalem from Old City rooftop area


The Damascus Gate

The Damascus Gate


Via Delarosa

Via Delarosa


Early morning along the Via Delarosa

Early morning along the Via Delarosa

Posted by CWalts 17:00 Archived in Israel

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