Jerusalem stands as the older, stricter, had it harder type sibling to Tel-Aviv and rightfully so as the city aka City of David dates back over 3000 years and has seen its’ share of everything, actually! The modern city is as you’d expect, modern, however, the way the streets are lined and with the trams/vehicles sharing the road, Jerusalem is well laid out for such an aged place.
The apple though, the actual reason I came to Jerusalem was for the Old City – a walled in 4-quarter fortress that pays homage (respectively) to the four faiths that remain inside these walls. That, aside from what the media portrays, blend with one another in an otherwise perfect harmony, respecting each others space and of course, faith.
You have Christians, Jews, Muslims and Orthodox Armenians and historical, mind-blowing landmarks such as the Western Wall, Dome of the Rock, Church of the Holy Sepulchre and even the, alleged birthplace of the Virgin Mary which, oddly enough is down the street where Jesus Christ was imprisoned shortly before his crucifixion. Among these religious spectacles are various merchants selling their wares to locals and tourists alike. Different aromas of different cuisines flow past your senses and everyone seems quite inviting and kind, even the soldiers.
Outside the walls are remnants of the time of King Solomon and across the street you can see Mount of Olives who’s cemetery hosts the graves of 150k+ and is a sight of great importance and pilgrimage. This entire place, claimed by both Israel and Palestine is just a plethora of history, of love, of hate, of every conceivable emotion you can feel bundled in one and although there is a negative aura that has, in my opinion, been unfairly shun over this great piece of land…I got to say, being there, being in a part of the world where the road to the modern world, more or less, began, was awe-inspiring and quite moving and I relish as the notion that I will be back once again and see it all like it was the first time!