Visiting Jerusalem for me seemed somewhat of a surreal experience honestly. The adult in me knows it’s a city full of the usual hustle and bustle with people going to work and driving their cars and so on. But the little boy in me from my childhood knows it as the land of Jesus, making it a somewhat mythical place. Like it couldn’t really exist because I’d read about it in the bible (don’t worry there is no messiah complex coming up).
I could have spent
days, months wandering the streets trying to work out how old a building is and meeting the people who make up this place easily. After all that’s the big draw card for me in Europe, to explore buildings and places that are far older than my little Australia and meet the people who have grown up there. You can only imagine what it was like TO BE in one of the oldest cities in the world, sort of blows your mind a little.
So what did I see in this holy of holy cities with the time I had?
As well as touring East Jerusalem, Mount of Olives, the Jerusalem City Council offices, Yad Vashem – Holocaust Memorial and even planting my own tree in the Jerusalem Forest. Not too bad for a couple of days as a tourist I’d say.,AND I’ve not even covered all the different people I met there yet.
It’s easy to see why Jerusalem is the most visited city in Israel when all the above holds so much religious meaning and can be seen in such a short time frame as well.
For me visiting Jerusalem merged the memories of my childhood and adulthood into one. While I’m not very religions (sorry mum) you can’t go there and stand before the Western Wall or enter the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and see the Tomb of Jesus without feeling somewhat connected to something.
With everything I heard and experienced visiting Jerusalem (and I won’t go into it to much now) and knowing the human need to believe in something and champion for their own cause/belief/religion it’s hard not to expect some sort of conflict to rage on here for longer than anybody will ever want. You just have to look back at Jerusalem’s past to see its been going on for centuries, after all how many other cities have endured that sort of past….
Millions of people come from all over to worship at this one tiny part of the world, lets hope many more millions can come in the future without the knowledge of time as we know it today.
Many thanks to the Ministry of Tourism, Stand With Us and the Once In A Lifetime 2.0 students for inviting myself and the other bloggers to see Israel with them.
How could you leave out hanging with some awesome new friends, guzzling beers and shots, and eating an awesome burger? 😉
So great seeing Jerusalem (and all of Israel) through your eyes, mate. Glad you had a once in a lifetime experience. Now come back and make sure that it is not REALLY just once in a lifetime! 🙂
hahaha Joel didn’t you read my post… I said there would be more on all the people I met there 🙂
Was great meeting you mate and maybe next time I come back I’ll get my name on a menu, how about Aussie Nomad’s Surf an Turf??
Well, not so sure if surf n turf would fly here, but would HAVE to be better than putting an Aussie Nomad Vegemite Sandwich on the menu at HaGov!
awww low blow my friend, just you wait and see the video footage I have of my new Israeli friends trying vegemite…. they umm loved it honest 🙂
I mean come on Chris!! They have their names the menu of restuarants!! lol Shame on you
Sorry Chris. Marcello is just jealous! 😉
What a great post. I completely relate to how you were affected just be being in Jerusalem. It is an extraordinary place.
Rakhee you said it, Jerusalem is most definitely an extraordinary place
I love the Old City in Jerusalem so much. I always stay inside it when I travel to Jerusalem, and I hardly even leave no matter how long I am in the city. It is extremely powerful because of all the religious sites as well as the cultural and political clashes. I am SO glad you got to experience it and are writing about it!
Sabina is there anywhere you haven’t been 🙂 The old city was really amazing, especially walking the alleys on the way to the night tour under the wall.
Staying at a hotel in the Old City was one of the best decisions of my whole trip. I spent hours just wandering, especially in the Souq area, where my hotel was. It allowed me to beat the crowds, which usually thinned out in the early mornings and evenings. I visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre at 5AM to beat the mob, and also at 7:30 PM. When I arrived it was Friday night and I headed straight for the Western Wall after dropping my bags. It was the epic ‘I am really here’ moment watching all the Orthodox Jews descend on the wall for the Sabbath festivities.
It is a great city, and I agree, months could be spent there without exhausting all it has to offer.
Erik so jealous you managed to beat the crowds. I was unfortunately there in the thick of it and while it was still an amazing experience I know to be able to do it with nobody around would have been so much better.
I totally agree, Erik. I was strongly advised not to stay in the Old City as a solo female traveler, by the Israel forum on Trip Advisor. I’m SO happy I did it anyway. It is a whole different world behind those stone walls. I’ve been back to Jerusalem twice since my first visit and have stayed each time in the Old City. It makes me love Jerusalem all the more.
What an awesome opportunity – like you say, Jerusalem is somewhere you read in bible stories as a kid so you kind of file it away with the Magic Faraway Tree as places that surely can’t exist in real life – must be incredible to see it in person. Lovely shots by the way!
Thanks Jeanne it really was an OMG can’t believe I’m here moment for sure. If only Ray could have seen it with me 🙂
So cool, glad to hear that you enjoyed it! I was raised Jewish, and while I don’t actively practice, I still feel a strong connection to it. I would love to go there someday. But I am a bit concerned about safety…I know there are sadly a lot of bombings.
Emily I can honestly say my whole time in Israel I never felt worried for my safety once. You have all of the israeli army guys going to and from work with their guns like they are carrying a messenger bag but that’s as close as I came to any form of danger.
It’s a LOT safer than the world makes out in my opinion, at least for the more tourist populated areas I visited thats for sure.
My brother just got home from a backpacking travel in Israel, maybe you have met, he told me about some aussie friends.. 🙂
Nice blog dude, I lately have started to travel blog too, but I do it in a more narrative and wellbeing way, I’d appreciate your connection to my blog to! I mostly blog in italian but sometimes in english too.
have a nice trip!
Dujour congrats on the blog I’ll be sure to check it out. In my experience their are aussies everywhere as I’m always running into them.
Where abouts in Italy are you? I’d love to get back there and see more of the country.
It’s a travel dream of mine to someday visit Jerusalem. I was raised Catholic, and while I don’t feel any great affinity for the church I was raised in, I’ve still got an abiding fascination with the historical significance of locations like Jerusalem.
Very jealous of your experience haha
I had only heard of that place. I literally saw it today through your post. Amazing writing, and such amazing pictures. Gotta visit Jerusalem some day for sure. Great peice of work. Keep it up.
Awesome Post! I went on birth right to Israel (free 10 day trip just for being Jewish!), and ended up going back for a month. There is just so much to see there, and regardless if you’re Jewish, Christian, Muslim, it all began there. Like you said, nothing in Australia is THAT old, and it’s the same thing in the US where I hail from, but to see ruins from a building 10,000 years old is just mind boggling!!!
Your poor mother will be heart broken that you aren’t very religious – bad Chris, bad! 😛
Did you go whisper on the Western Wall?
(I’m behind in my RSS reading so I’m sorry if you’ve already covered it!)
I’m totally jealous of your Israel trip – everything I’ve read and the photos I’ve seen so far look amazing. 🙂
Nicole I think I already knew this. Lucky he is good to his mother.
Glad you had such a positive visit to our wonderful city – nice pic of the sound and light show btw!
I lived in Israel for 4 months and the old city of Jerusalem was one of my favourite spots. So full of culture and history. And like you, I never felt unsafe once…
Hope you don’t mind my linking here, but figured it was appropriate…
I have a new blog post (or actually a 3-part post) on the Top 10 Things to do in Jerusalem:
Your post is awesome! I can imagine how wonderful it was. It has to be a wonderful City!