|Jerusalem from David's Tower|
So far, in my Middle Eastern adventure, I have survived border control (post 1), toured Jerusalem and visited Nablus (post 2). Today we stick to Jerusalem again, and head just across the road to where we are staying, the David's Tower Museum. The views from the tower are some of the most spectacular in the city. It helped that it was a beautiful day.
|View of the Citadel, the King David Hotel. Points for those who can spot the windmill.|
Interestingly, the Tower of David is a misnomer. It was not built by David, but by another character mentioned in the Bible: Herod of the Slaughter of the Innocents fame. The tower was one of three that protected Herod's palace, which you can see the ruins of in the museum.
We had lunch at the Christ Church guest house (where my parents were staying). The lunches there are really good quality and for a really good price. I'd definitely recommend it.
Afterwards, we tackled the Via Dolorosa. This is the journey that Jesus allegedly took from being tried to his crucifixion. Most historians would say that it was incorrect, and he probably started at Herod's Palace. However, it was a good reminder of what Jesus would have gone through, although they did seem to want to drive the point home with the amount of times he fell and his extra-biblical encounter with Veronica.
|The Ecce Homo Arch on the Via Dolorosa|
|Ethiopian Monastery on the top of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre|
However, what doesn't become a ghost town is the Muslim quarter, especially after the prayers have finished on the Temple Mount. We tried to enter back in to Jerusalem through the Lion's Gate (the closest to the Haram al-Sharif) but we were prevented by thousands of Muslims pouring out of the gate. We eventually had to walk round the city, to the Jaffa Gate.
|Damascus Gate after prayers. Lion's gate was even busier.|
We went back to the Western Wall to see what it was like as Shabbat began. As a child I always imagined it being a really sombre, eerie place, due to it's other name, "the Wailing Wall". However, this was filled with singing and dancing, and had a vibrant, electric atmosphere. Jerusalem is a city of contrast, conflict but also, it seems, misnomers.
Top tip 1: King David's Tower Museum. Brilliant.
Top tip 2: Check your guide book for opening times. Both Friday and Saturday are the trickiest, although a lot of museums seem to be closed Tuesdays.
To see more photos go to Israel and Palestinian Territories 1 or Israel and Palestine 2