Wait, wait, wait... Go! (to Jerusalem)

Jerusalem Travel Blog

 › entry 5 of 13 › view all entries
View of Tel Aviv from Jafo's old port area.
Hello All,
I woke up this morning ready to go.  I want to get to Jerusalem today to see the sights.  Unfortunately, I am stuck in Tel Aviv for the morning at least.  I plan on visiting Cairo on this trip, and in order to do so I will need a full Egyptian visa.  The only type you can get at the border with Israel only allows you to visit the Sinai Penninsula.  So I needed to be at the Egyptian Embassy between 9-11am this fine Sunday morning to get said visa.

I had to come back at 1pm to pick up the visa, and I was on the road to Jerusalem by 1:45pm.  The little Hyundai rental car was pushed to 120kph and higher on the mostly uphill run, but got me there quickly.
The Damascus gate entering the old city in Jerusalem.
 I drove around for a while trying to find a nice hotel close to the old city that had parking, and ended up paying more then I wanted too.  No problem, I was in a very good location, and it was only 4:15pm by the time I walked towards the old walled city.

I was a bit disappointed when I was denied entrance to the Dome Of The Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque, but was very happy to arrive to a full blown celebration at the Western
Wall.  It was the ceremony for the lighting of the menorah candle for the 6th day of
Hanukkah.  There was a large religious gathering going on, and even though the place is also called the Wailing Wall, there
was an air of joy.  There were speeches by rabbis and other religious figures, praying, and singing.  It 
was an amazing thing to witness.

On the walk back to the hotel, I was engaged by every sales pitch in the world.  Most of them start with 'Where are you from?".  Although a good number started with "Are you from Russia?" in Russian.  In the time I have been here nobody has correctly guessed I was an American.  So far I've gotten Russia multiple times, Czech, Slovakian, and Polish.  So I guess I either really look eastern European, or it's just the dominance of tourists from that area around here.

I also took part in my favorite travelling activity on the way.  Street Food!  I had a few schwarma that were awesome, and bought some RC Cola's and snacks for the trip to the Dead Sea tomorrow.

The bed felt good at about 9:30pm.

Later, Phil
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View of Tel Aviv from Jafos old p…
View of Tel Aviv from Jafo's old …
The Damascus gate entering the old…
The Damascus gate entering the ol…
The Wailing Wall.  Note the huge m…
The Wailing Wall. Note the huge …
The ceremony continues at the Wail…
The ceremony continues at the Wai…
An Armenian Church in the Old City.
An Armenian Church in the Old City.
photo by: daynnightraveller