A Panoramic Beginning
Jerusalem Travel Blog› entry 4 of 18 › view all entries
A new morning, a new day, another opportunity for adventure.
Today, we had a tour so we were up early. We had bought some yogurt, fruit, and juice to have for breakfast on the run.
The shower was terrible, Rob had hot water and I did not. Also, as the shower was hand held, I had to stand in the cold in between spraying myself with the cold water!!! Oh, I’m just complaining.
We met our tour group in front of a hotel outside the
We first made our way up the hills to the south to a spot that afforded a wonderful panoramic view of the
We didn’t get out of the bus but stopped long enough for a view and some nice shots.
Soon, we were back in
We went back to the hostel for a quick drop off of souvenirs, washing the swimsuits (covered in salt), and change into more festive clothing.
We set out for Shanty, a restaurant the as recommended by Evan. It was a hole in the wall bar ( with great atmosphere) and amazing food ) but, that would come, later.
We walked out Jaffa Gate and into the New Town.
The project was initially conceived shortly after the 1967 Six Day War, and the run-down Mamilla neighborhood, just outside Jaffa Gate, was cleared away: the businesses moved to the Talpiot industrial zone, and the residents to N'vei Ya’akov.
The new pedestrian mall, in the shadow of David’s Tower and the Jaffa Gate, has place for 140 stores and cafes.
The feel is light and airy but stylistically in keeping with the
While walking through, we passed several young military girls with big guns. Rob mentioned that we should get our pictures taken with them. I thought that this was probably not a good idea, to ask such a thing but, he said that he saw some of them taking pics with tourists at the Western Wall. So…….we turned around basically chased them down. Rob asked and they seemed happy to oblige. A lady close-by even offered to take our picture…..odd but, very nice of her. The girls told us to have a Happy New Year and we wished them the same.
It took some work finding our way through the mess of constructions and alleys but we found Shanty. At first we were told that they didn’t have a table as all were reserved for the evening. They said that we could have a table until , which was an hour and a half for dinner. As we are American…..”European altered” for the last 3 years but……not a problem for us!!!
It had a good feel, a warm color, balloons and low lighting. The hostess and waitress were very friendly and helpful with the menu….
We decided to have a nice walk. We stop for a mirror mosaic sculpture of a cartoonish griffin. It was quite a piece. There was a sign next to it that miniatures were for sale and the proceeds were going to charity. We thought that we should stop another day and see if we could buy one.
Continuing our walk, we approached a mosque with a lighted tower behind it.
The tower next door was decorated with multi-colored lights strung down to the building below.
From there it was a short walk through a part of
We crossed the street from there and walked into another park area and to the Yemin Moshe and the Montefiore Windmill.
Erected in 1857, 18 meters high, for that time the Windmill was an ultra-modern one for grinding grain into flour. Despite the curses of local Arabs not happy with the competition, it continued to turn until steam-powered mills made it obsolete.
During the War of Independence it served an observation point for Jewish fighters.
There are about 130 houses in the picturesque neighborhood of Yemin Moshe, which was first established outside the
During the War of independence, Yemin Moshe was completely surrounded by the enemy for months, but it held out heroically. The border between
After the Six Day War, the quarter was renovated and it has since attracted a number of artists whose works are sold in the area's galleries.
The view from the terraces is that of the
We continued our walk and entered the
It was around and we’ve had to now decide what we wanted to do. We were both tired but…it was New Year’s Eve and we were in a fantastic place. We decided to walk to the roofs of the Jewish Quarter and find a great view of the Western Wall.
I didn’t know if there would be any type of fireworks or festival at or near the Western Wall but, at a minimum, it was be a place of great reflectance for our ending of one decade and the beginning of a new.
Rob, pretty easily, found his way back to the rooftops…..he’s so good at that. We were the only people crossing the rooftops…they were all ours to enjoy. What a special experience. The Dome of the Rock was lit and dominantly taking center stage.
Continuing across the rooftops we were routed away from the panoramic area but soon found a smaller terrace that happened to have a prime view of the Western Wall and the area surrounding it.
Soon, the clock stuck . The many churches bells were ringing in 2010. In the distance the sky was lit up with a few fireworks. It was not a big display but, a colorful display to mark the new year……just for us! The people at the wall seemed unaffected as they continued with whatever they were doing. When we were sure that no one was looking, we stole a kiss in celebration.
We had a great day….wonderful dinner…..and private yet spectacular place for our celebration. I took a little video of the fireworks to share.
We made our way down from the rooftop area and into the Muslim Quarter’s souk alleys. We walked and walked….and got a bit lost. As this city’s maze is an extreme jumble of ancient paths….
We lay down, tired from the day and full of amazing memories as it was quite an extreme day. It was definitely a New Year’s Eve like none other.
Happy New Year,
Happy New Year, World!