Monday, 12 March 2012

Jerusalem (continued)

Reet, to continue where I left off....

I just realised glancing over the last post, I didn't mention the museums we visited in the New City.

Tuesday afternoon/evening
Originally the plan was to visit The Israel Museum, Rockefeller Archeological Museum, and The L.A. Mayer Memorial Museum of Islamic Art.  Every person we spoke to advised us to avoid these museums, branding them as wastes of money and disappointments.
Now I thought most people just felt like this about museums, and where just hating on us Museum lovers! So we chose just two museums to visit (because of the price of the taxi's getting there!) and decided on the Museum of Islamic Art (I was very excited about this) and The Israel Museum.

Now in my head I envisioned the Museum of Islamic Art being extremely grand and filled with beautiful Islamic calligraphy  from all over the world! To our disappointment, it was just a two story building with pictures, a few coins and some little bits and bobs from different muslim countries around the world :/

It was completely underwhelming.  I wasn't allowed to take any pictures inside, but to be honest, it's not like you lot are missing anything.  There wasn't really much to take pics of :(
BUT!!!! I discovered I can get student discount outside of the UK :D 
So university students who are planning to go israel, make sure u pack your student card! 

So then we where gunna pop to the Israel Museum, but the taxi driver told us if we were not impressed with this museum, then going to the other museum would just be a waste of time for us, so we just headed back to the Old City to our hotel and got some food and chilled in our room.

The taxi drivers were right about the museums, they where pants. And I think in the UK we are very lucky to have a variety of amazing museums that are actually free to visit! E.g. The Museum of Manchester and the Museum of Science in Industry in Manchester (I'm assuming they're still free) And the V&A and amazing Natural History Museum!! <<< This is seriously the best museum I have ever visited in my life! I would love to get married in here!!

Reception room of Natural History Museum.  Who wouldn't want to get married around a Dinosaur!!?

 Now in our naivety, we had so many things planned for wednesday! We definitely wanted to visit the west bank, and originally planned to go to Bethlehem, Ramala, Hebron and Jericho, but due to the location of them all from each other, we had to narrow it down.

We ended up just going to Jericho due to timings and other things (cash being one of them, Jerusalem is expensive!!) 

So the history around Jericho:
Jericho is thought to be the oldest constantly inhabited city in the world! And the lowest inhabited city on earth!
It's in the west bank of Palestine, and is located near the  salty Dead Sea.  you can see Jordan from some parts of Jericho, as they are neighbouring in location.  It is a 30-40 min drive from Jerusalem to Jericho in clear traffic.  

The Tomb of Moses is located in the outskirts of Jericho (The tomb of Abraham is located in Hebron), and in Judeo-Christian tradition, Jericho is the place of the Israelites return from slavery by the Egyptians.

Jericho is also home to a Monastery in the mountains know as the Mount of Temptation. This is where Jesus, known in arabic as Isa (pronounced ee-sa) (AS) came to fast for 40 days and nights to avoid temptation from the devil. A Monastery was built around the cave in the mountains he was thought to have taken shelter in.

There is also Hisham's Palace (Khirbat al-Mafjar), The archaelogical remains of a palace buolt by Al-Walid ibn Yazid, Caliphate of the Umayyed empire, built in 743-744 CE.

Considering when it was built, the remains look absolutely amazing! The palace was a winter home, and was destroyed by an earthquake some years after being built (I'm not sure how long after). The palace contained a courtyard, bath house, mosque, plant and animal enclosure and still has the sophisticated underground pipes that where constructed to provide hot water to the palace! Some bloody places don't even have that now! Let alone back in 800CE!

Halal Sweets :O

View of Jericho from cable car

Monastery of Temptation 

View of Jericho from Mountain

Stairs to Monastery.
The LONGEST climb of my life

STILL climbing....

View from the top

FINALLY THERE! But I donts speak greek :(

The Mountains on the right are Jordan!

Inside the Monastery 

Where Isa A.S. (Jesus) is thought to have fasted for 40 days/nights :O

Down time

Another shot of the Monastery in the Mountain 

Hishams Palace

What the palace was thought to have looked like before it was destroyed.

Dead Sea!


Another dead Sea pic.
You can see Jordan on the other side.
There is NO WAY you's ever see a pic of me floating! And it would be rude to put pics of random people floating about, but you really do float! 

Church of Maria Magdalene 

Church of All Nations

Chicken and Chips...Jerusalem style!

Al-Aqsa (left) and Dome of the Rock (right)

 Now this last pic is the wall that is built surrounding the west bank from Jerusalem and the rest of Isreal.  It is very very difficult, near impossible actually for people from the west bank to pass an Israeli check point and visit friends, family, or holy sites in other parts of their country :( 
Apartheid in the 21st Century.

So thursday was back to reality! We visited the Al-Aqsa mosque one more time before we left and headed back to Tel Aviv to come back to Manchester :D

We had an amazing time, and had such a wonderful experience.
If you are thinking of going, ignore what people say about it being dangerous and blah blah.

yes there is tension and confrontation their, but theres trouble everywhere you go! 
The people are wonderful, the whole city is beautiful and drenched in so much History!

I honestly think that even an un-religious person would feel how spiritually charged this place is!

It's not everywhere you can see a Mosque, a Church and a Synagogue on the same street :)

I was so happy to come home to my own bed though!! I can never sleep as well anywhere as well as I do at home <3

Hope you enjoyed the pics gang and if anyone hopes to go in the near future let me know! I'll pass on useful information on taxi rates and other less obvious places to see etc. 




  1. Even though I hate the sun, and heights, I think that's an amazing place I would love to visit.

    1. I love both sun and heights so am not really fussed, but I think you'd be distracted by the beauty of the place to notice both :D

  2. I just keep getting more envious. I haven't traveled much in my life because traveling withing the US is terribly expensive,and traveling outside of the US requires time. I have seen Canada and Mexico. That is all. And while Mexico is lovely (Canadia is okay, I guess), I want to see more.

    1. I've always wanted to go Mexico, Canada doesn't seem that interesting but I may be wrong!
      I feel you about the prices. I'm lucky in the UK we have cheap airlines like easyjet and Jet2 where you can get pretty cheap deals, I mean the flights are horrible, no leg space, overpriced food and shitty atmosphere but hey! you get what you're paying for i suppose!

  3. WOOOOW Iam sooo jealous, Jericho looks Amazing as Jerusalem & the view & pics are fab! It is so sad that the separation wall has gone up & the palestinians are treated so badly, Amazing u got 2 see the West bank aswell as Jerusalem....WOW gr8 post! thanks 4 sharing your experience & lovely pictures!

    1. I know we are ery lucky to be able to say weve been to palestine :D
      Glad you enjoyed the pics :D

  4. beautiful post again. you had me sighing all the while! and it's pretty brilliant how history still LIVES in israel. even the mosques!

    again, lovely post.
    thank you!