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Jerusalem, Israel – 26/4 – 4/5/14 2014

 

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A few pictures and fewer words from my stay in Israel last week.  Jerusalem was the undoubtable highlight where I spent 3 days.  Never before have I seen such an mix of religion in such a small space.  Whilst I didn’t pick up on overt tensions in my first day or two, it became clear they were bubbling beneath the surface on the Friday with the presence of groups of armed police, military and security teams patrolling inside & outside the old city as Jewish families walked in their dozens through the old city towards the Western Wall for the start of Shabbat.   From what I’d read in recent news reports and had been told by the locals Friday appears to be a flashpoint for problems.  As well as holding the start of Shabbat it is also a Muslim day of prayer, recent weeks have seen youths riot at the Temple Mount.

 

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The golden dome of Temple Mount in Jurualem Old City is seen background, with the Jewish cemetary on Mount of Olives in the foreground

 

 

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Outside the Damascus Gate on the northern side of the Old City

 

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Jewish families make their way through the Muslim Quarter to the Western Wall for Shabbat

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Outside the Armenian Catholic Chapel

 

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The Western Wall

 

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A lot of enjoyment is to be had exploring the Old City, and a must-visit destination has to be the Tower of David, below.   The museum inside gives a great sense of the history of Jerusalem throughout the ages, and the views of the old and new cities from the roof- and tower-tops are oustanding.

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The Tower of David at the west side of the Old City

 

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Words of advice if you want to visit Temple Mount – get there early as there will be queues.  We made it in on our first afternoon there with minutes to spare before closure, and queued in vain on our second day only to reach closing time with us still 10 feet from the door.

 

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The Via Dolorosa is held to be the route through Jerusalem that Jesus walked carrying his cross on the way to his crucifixion, along 12 key ‘stations’:

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