The source of less trouble than you'd think, although Sharon did manage to spark a four-year uprising with a poorly planned visit. The Dome of the Rock
, which dominates the profile of the Temple Mount
, covers a stone implicated in numerous Man-God interactions throughout the Torah and Quran. Below, Jews pray at the Western Wall
, the only remnant of the Temple destroyed by the Roman legions in 70 CE. 2005:03:04 14:17:15
It was discovered that my Ukranian roommate had never visited Jerusalem in his several months here. My Jewish American roommate was already planning to spend the weekend there with friends, and suggested we tag along. Thus early Friday morning -- but not quite as early as we'd planned -- it was off with us to the bus station.
Early was a necessity since Shabbat begins an hour before sunset Friday afternoon. Jerusalem (and Israel in general) being the sort of place it is, with the arrival of Shabbat the buses stop running and most Jewish-operated businesses shut down. While cabs can still be caught during Shabbat, they get scarcer and more expensive. This made the Old City a logical base camp for our wanderings, since it's dense with interesting things to do and see. After all, there's just not that many genuine walled cities left in the world.
It's a quick bus ride from the central bus station to the Old City, but we'd gotten a late start and there had been some nastry traffic getting out of the Tel Aviv area, so it was pushing well into afternoon by the time we arrived at the Jaffa Gate. Falafel was in order. It should be noted that, like everything else near the Jaffa Gate, the falafel is overpriced and subpar. Still better than any meal you can have in Rehovot for 10 shekels.
Having a couple of days to kill, I took quite a few photos on this trip. In the interest of length and presentation, I'll post a selection of them over the next few days. Below, the narrative overview of my weekend.