Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Old City

As I've mentioned many times before, we love to go to Jerusalem's Old City. It takes us close to an hour to walk there - I'd say it's maybe three miles away from where we live, but that's just a guess. This is the part of Jerusalem that pretty much made up the whole of the city until some time in the mid 1800's, when there started to be settlements built outside the walls. The wall goes all the way around the Old City, so you have to enter through one of the gates - I think there's 11 gates, but only 7 of them are currently open.

It''s divided up into four quarters - Jewish, Christian, Muslim, and Armenian. We mostly go in through the Damascus Gate, which is on the north side, so it's kind of in between the Muslim and the Christian quarters.

Looking down on Damascus Gate (FYI - the walls were built from 1537 to 1541).

The rest of these pictures are in the Muslim Quarter. I'll have to post more pictures of other quarters as I compile them. I'm not including specific religious sites. I'll have to do separate posts for those.

There are big tractors and trucks that drive right through the tiny walkways - they seem to be either hauling goods in, or taking garbage out. One wrong move and I swear they would just run right over your foot. Sometimes you have to kind of run and scramble to find a place to back into a corner.

A spice shop with a an impressive little spice mountain. Hey, it drew me in.

Meat shop - bleh.

I should have put my hand out so you could see the size of these suckers. That middle one was huge.

The ones above and below are just your typical view as you walk through the narrow "streets". A lot of the ground floor buildings consist of shops, with cramped living quarters above and behind.
That's a Muslim dress shop on the left.

This video was taken just inside the Damascus Gate. You're hearing just a little segment of the Muslim call to prayer over the speakers. We were very close to some of the speakers, so it was VERY loud.

P.S. If there's ever something you want me to post about, just let me know...like a specific site, or maybe aspect of living here. It's getting weird to think up ideas because a lot of this stuff feels pretty normal to me already.


Jared and Tara said...

how amazing! i think i watched the video of the call the prayer about 15 times already. are you and the kids picking up any of the language? i saw falafal (i know that's spelled wrong) in the grocery store today and wanted to buy it sooo bad! i'd like to see some recipe's posted of what you guys like to eat. that's all. miss you guys!

Megan said...

sooo cool. it kind of reminds me of china. i also want to know what's typical meals for you to eat every day.

Taylor said...

It all looks so beautiful and interesting! I really am jealous that you all are getting to have such a great adventure. I hope you're really enjoying it! :)

Shaun and Cyndy said...

Amy, I was excited to see your next post after the grocery store one. I was afraid that you had never returned! I thought the video was fascinating, too. I love seeing the pictures. How about some of your day to day life, apartment, walk to the store, church, etc.