It was not easy to decide how we would spend our time in Jerusalem. We wanted to make the most of it. We planned, researched and this was the result of what we managed to do in 4 full days in this incredible holy city, which also served as a base for other tours to Jordan (Aman, Jerash and Petra), Bethlehem and Masada / Ein Gedi / Dead Sea. <3
The arrival in Jerusalem was quiet, after the initial feeling of discomfort at Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv. I say this, because I was approached by security agents as soon as I left the plane, and still in control of passport, for another so many minutes. My impression is this over-control was due to the fact that I arrived in Israel by myself. Do what!? Young women traveling alone are still seen in a “different” way in countries not as “closed” as Israel, so we can imagine …
Leaving the Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv, just to the right, I picked up a Sherut, which is like a small bus that you indicate where you want to stop. In my case, I signalized that I would go to Jerusalem and stay at The Post Hostel. And so it happened.
The first impact when arriving in Jerusalem was to see the sun reflect on those predominantly beige buildings, especially on the walled part of the city. Beautiful!
After I stayed at the hostel, I did not even feel like exploring the city. It was cold. Yes, Jerusalem in March, to my Northeastern brazilian standards, is a cold city.
So, I decided to go into the Middle Eastern cuisine and ate a shakshuka, in the hostel itself, which was delicious.
In Jerusalem, at some moment, there will be necessity to contract a guide service. So I took advantage of the Free Walking Tour that left the Jaffa Gate, one of the best known in the city, to get an overview of the place.
It was a 2 hour tour, where we had the opportunity to pass through the Armenian, Jewish, Muslim and Christian districts. They are connected to each other. The differentiation among them will be noticed due to the constructions and the profile of people that you see walking the streets. Amazing!
In that same day, I took advantage of the fact that everyone was preparing for the Shabbat, a period of time guarded by the Jews, which basically begins at the sunset of Friday and finishs as far as the first 3 stars appear in the sky, around 7 pm, and hired a “Shabbat experience” to get to know more about Jewish culture. Absolutely interesting experience.
After a day and a half in Jerusalem, I began to adapt a bit more to the rhythm of the city. I do not know how to explain. Maybe that’s exactly what I heard from an expatriate in Jerusalem. She said there is so much “energy” together, referring to the religiosity of the people, that, eventually, certain things may not work normally, like the TRAM that stops because someone had a “crisis” inside some of the wagons. This I witnessed!
On the third day, I made the Via Dolorosa.
On the evening, we went to meet the “Old train station”, set of bars and restaurants a little away from the walled city.
We discovered “a must see view” of Jerusalem at the Austria Hostel, which is near one of the stations of Via Dolorosa. In order to have access to it, a value must be paid.
Following, we went out to explore a little more the Holy City through a guided service. We visited again the Wailing Wall, the Dome of the Rock, Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Via Dolorosa, the gates of Jerusalem, the Holy Supper room, etc …
Due to a change in schedule, we spent a little more time in Jerusalem, where we had to visit the Holocaust Museum called Yad Vashem. We spent a good few hours, circling through so many sad memories of stories and lives that have been changed forever by the unscrupulous power project of a few. The entrance to the museum is free and it is easily accessed by the TRAM that circulates around Jerusalem.
As hard as we tried, we could not see everything we wanted in this amazing city. Already aware of this, we did not get frustrated and took advantage of it as much as we could. If anyone asks me, yes, I would like to go back. Jerusalem is the place to be no matter the weather, the age or the reason. <3