An iconic, biblical heartland, there can’t be many people in the world who don’t have a desire to visit Jerusalem, with reasons varying from worship to an understandable curiosity. Sadly, the Israeli capital is situated amid an ongoing internal battle, and levels of safety fluctuate almost daily. It’s not an easy place to visit, nor a risk free one, but if it’s a chance you’re prepared to take, you’ll be rewarded with a glance into a mixed and varied archaeology and an equally enticing cultural blend.
Be it Muslim, Jewish or Christian – a debate we’re certainly not going to get into here, aside from to say that you can find all three juxtaposed across the city – one thing’s for sure: Jerusalem is very much about religion. Whether it’s the infamous Wailing Wall – Jerusalem’s biggest attraction – or the Dome on the Rock (the Muslim world’s third most holy shrine), many of the sites you stumble across are inevitably associated with one belief or another. The Holocaust Memorial is both an in depth library and a pointed reminder of the atrocities of the mid 20th century, while the crumbling Temple Mount invites yet more deep thinking.
In fact, it’s easy to become so bogged down in history in Jerusalem that your trip can become more of an exploration that a vacation. That’s all very well, but seeing how Jerusalem functions in the modern world is also a must. For this, try one of the free walking tours, which take you safely through the streets for an insight into both the attitudes and modern lifestyles of locals. In the Old City, meanwhile, you can sample the still functioning history of the city’s churches and mosques before tucking into Israeli cuisine, a style that’s become internationally noted since Israeli’s started descending on India and South America following their compulsory military service. Falafel, hummus and stuffed vine leaves are particularly essential experiences.
Jerusalem is a name every true traveler wants to tick off their list, and few locations symbolize more. From historical tours to the popular farm-based Kibbutz working holidays, there’s plenty here to try on for size.
"Dead Sea is as old as the Jordan rift vally, part of the well known Syrian – African rift. Some say it is 60000 years old, some say less some say more, but this doesn't affect …