Last Day in Jerusalem

Minaret in the citadelIt seems I'm here at the worst time, with religious Jewish, Islamic and Christian days between Friday - Sunday, everything is closed down. It's a good thing I chose to stay here for a few days. Though I still haven't seen the Dome of the Rock. It's supposed to open tomorrow.

It's been pretty relaxing today. I was in no hurry as I walked around the old city. I made my way to the Western Wall, where I was disappointed to find out that photos weren't allowed. I guess it's a recent rule, even note taking is not allowed. I asked the security where I could take a photo of the wall and they pointed me to a high spot just above the grounds.

Security is everywhere here. I suppose it's needed with so many religious groups butting heads. High security is present at every entrance in the old city and seeing 20 year olds totting rifles is quite common. There were five or six on the bus that I took here. Yesterday a street was closed off because the security thought there was a bomb. It turned out to be nothing.

Streets of the Jewish quarterI left the old city for a bit, hoping to check out some restaurants, only to find everything closed. On my way back I stopped by the Dormition Church, which is known as the place where the Virgin Mary died and where the Last Supper was held. The church is pretty interesting from the outside. On the inside it's pretty modern looking and lacks the atmosphere and art contained within the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Around noon I decided to rest for a bit. I find the light the worst for photos around noon, so I took care of some necessities, like getting my laundry done and putting some food in my belly. I also checked out of the hotel I was in for one that's a little cleaner and has free internet.

My last sight seeing for the day involved touring the old city citadel, which is now known as the David's Tower Museum, and I also walked along the ramparts of the western and southern walls. The museum was more interesting than I thought it would be. Rooms are broken into different time periods of Jerusalem, such as the Crusader, Islamic, Mamluk and Ottoman periods.

Tomorrow I'll make one more attempt to see the Dome of the Rock before boarding a bus to Haifa where I'll transfer to Akko (once known as Acre).

Western Wall with the Dome of the Rock in the background:

Damascus gate with shops set-up around it:

Dormition Church:

Old Jerusalem's David Street:

View of the Citadel from the Tower of David, the minaret in the centre is often confused for the Tower of David:

Streets of Old Jerusalem :

Security at Jaffa Gate:

Ethopian priest near the Church of the Holy Sepulchre: