Ancient Walls and Jerusalem’s Old City

This morning we took a quick visit out to the archaeological site we’re going to be working on. I was amazed at how beautiful the location was, and that 10th century BC walls could just be standing there. I think I’m going to enjoy work! The site is located on a hill with a view to the west of the ocean, and to the east green rolling hills. There’s a gentle breeze and, since its spring in Israel, the wild flowers are amazing.

Ancient wall in the sunshine
Ancient wall in the sunshine
More old walls
More old walls and wild flowers

After our site visit, we were lucky enough to score a guided tour through Jerusalem’s Old City with the lead archaeologist. Heading into Jerusalem, we first stopped in the New City to visit the market – fresh bread, cheese filled pastries, and sesame paste sweets to give us energy for the afternoon. The Old City is not huge, but its a lot of sites to take in. We started at the Jaffa Gate and worked our way through the Armenia Quarter to the Jewish Quarter and the Western Wall.

The streets of the Old City
The streets of the Old City
Western Wall and Dome of the Rock
Western Wall and Dome of the Rock

After clearing through security, you can go up to the wall – men on the left and women on the right. Then we headed out into the Muslim Quarter, which has lots of street vendors and a few more people out and about. Plus it has some interesting carvings and old water fountains.

Street in the Muslim Quarter
Street in the Muslim Quarter

From there we headed to the Christian Quarter and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.  This is the site where Jesus was crucified, buried and later resurrected. Lets just say it was a pretty popular place! You can see where he was crucified (on the upper level), rub oil on the stone, and then visit his tomb to light some candles.

Cross on the top
Cross on the top
The dome above the tomb
The dome above the tomb

After all that (5 hours in total) we were pretty tired (or at least I was) and in need of some shawarma. Thankfully, Israel is not lacking in the food department, and I was soon shovelling in greasy meat products and ice cold lemonade. All in all, a fairly decent day in the Holy Land.

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