Sunday, June 12, 2011

Free Day in Jerusalem

We started our free day by heading to the cleaners which was down the block from the Inbal Hotel. These pictures were taken in the front of the hotel.


Have you ever seen such beautiful hydrangeas?


From the look of my eyes, I should have probably stayed in the room with cucumbers on my eyelids. Ha! Did I mention that our first day in Jerusalem was a very long and tiring day?

You can see the entrance to the hotel behind me. There was always a security detail at that podium who checked our nametags/identification before we entered the building. We saw a rabbi being checked with a metal detector. There was never a delay or a problem entering the building. It is just a way of life.




We decided we would walk downtown to Ben Yehuda Street, the shopping district, so that we could get some of the local “character” of the city. This was a hotel that we passed. I loved the flowers growing from every balcony.


It was an overcast and rather chilly morning.




We bought a few t-shirts and looked at additional luggage (which I should have bought since my suitcase weighed 70 lbs.!)




We kept an eye out for the golden arches and a Burger King, just in case we needed their facilities.



Iced coffee is very popular in Israel. There were a lot of little cafes where you could purchase one. They typically cost about $5. We went to the moneychangers for the first time here because we wanted some coffee and this was the first store that did not take American dollars.


As you can tell from my pictures, I love shutters and flowers on balconies.


When we were through downtown we walked back toward the old city. It drew us like a magnet. The part of the wall you are looking at is the Armenian quarter.


This is the Citadel, or Tower of David, the highest point in the old city. A series of fortifications built here in the course of more than twenty centuries, protected Jerusalem from the west and also overlooked and controlled the entire city.To the left of the tower is the building that houses David’s tomb. It wasn’t until I got home that I realized what these buildings were. Oh well, another reason to go back!




We’re about to enter the quarter through the Jaffa gate, which is actually to the left. Looking straight ahead is the Citadel. A series of fortifications built here in the course of more than twenty centuries, protected Jerusalem from the west and also overlooked and controlled the entire city.


This is again looking toward the Citadel. Many concerts and events are held outside the wall in this area.


This is looking across the valley to the “new” part of the city. There is a windmill that you can faintly see on the horizon to the left of the picture. Our hotel was near this windmill.


Inside the Armenian Quarter… It’s good if you know how to bargain and you need to know how to say “no” firmly, but nicely.


We walked through the edge of the Armenian Quarter back to the Jewish Quarter where we met up with people in our group for lunch at Hurva Square. We had pizza that really hit the spot along with a coke. I think I need to leave my sunglasses on to hide those puffy eyes! Ha! It was a lovely lunch. The birds were singing and you could hear the children playing in the square behind us.


We did have a little time for shopping. We bought a few things at Shorashim’s Biblical shop which opened onto Hurva Square. Moshe Kempinski is a favorite of Kay’s. (Check out the website for some very interesting articles.) Of course, there were many stores in which you could buy Judaica. There were a lot of our tour members who went home with shofars and prayer shawls.




We’re walking back toward the Jaffa Gate.



Still having a problem with my eyes…but you can at least see the flowers!


This is the King David Hotel where kings and presidents have stayed down through the years. There is a lot of history associated with this hotel.




Orange trees in someone’s yard on the way back to the hotel.


Back at the hotel, I was sitting in the lobby waiting for dinner.



Guess who ate at our table? What a precious lady. (At least I had my eyes open for this one!)


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