From the sin city of Tel-Aviv I arrived to Jerusalem. There’s no mistaking it as the view changed almost 180˚– from the shortest of shorts to the longest of skirts. The religious men in black suit and white beard walked about are all over. I naturally head over to the old city first but was immediately lost and overwhelmed. So I decided to take a guided tour. It’s the way to go to get the best experience, especially in historical site such as Jerusalem.
TIP: There’s a FREE TOUR (3 hour walking tour) every day at 11 a.m at the Jaffa Gate. You’ll find a guy in red shirt holding a sign that says FREE TOUR.
So while it was the “Free Tour” sign that lured me to the group, I end up joining the 4 hour Holy City tour where in addition to the stories, you go in to all the main sites like Dome of the Rock, Temple Mount, The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and many more.
I remember going to the Universal Studio in L.A. and was told that this and that was filmed in this set. Cool. Last year I went to 66 Perry Street in New York to take a look at Carrie Bradshaw’s Sex and the City Apartment. Nice.
Jesus Christ Crucifixion Site
But to be told, “This is the site where Jesus was crucified. This is the marble tablet that he was laid on. This is the path the he walked on his last days, the way of the cross…”
I never read the Bible stories as history book. So while fully aware where I was going to in Jerusalem, it blows your mind anyway. It’s crazy to imagine that the events in the Bible New Testament actually took place, for real, somewhere–Here, where I stood.
The Western Wall
The Western Wall is located at the west side of the Temple Mount, the most sacred site for Judaism. It has been a Jewish site for prayers and pilgrimage for centuries. It’s the remnant of the ancient retaining wall of the Holy Second Temple, built by Herod the Great, destroyed during the Roman Siege. Alternate name, Wailing Wall is derived from the Jewish practice of coming to the site to mourn and bemoan the destruction of the Temple.
Temple Mount / Dome of the Rock
The Temple Mount is probably the most contested religious site in the world. It is considered sacred by both Judaism and Islam. For Judaism it is regarded as the place where the Divine Presence rest and 2 Temples were built on this mount. For Islam, this is the place where Muhammed ascended to heaven to have meeting with God.
Today the site stood the majestic Dome of the Rock, an important Islamic mosque.
Dress Code: ladies and boys, make sure your shoulders and lower necks are covered. And that your skirts or shorts are below the knees. Yes, boys too. But if not, no worries, you will be allowed in with a sarong they sell for 50NIS. I heard that they have become more strict these days and business is thriving. ;D
Jerusalem: A Living City
Unlike other ancient cities, Jerusalem continues to be alive and is home to many people today. You’ll see children playing in the street and people coming out of these narrow alleys to go to work or open a shop.
Travel to Jerusalem
Jerusalem is the capital of Isreal. Philippine Passport holders do not need visa to travel to Israel.