Hello from Jerusalem and a new In Israel blog, for news about touring Israel.
The Mayor of Jerusalem recently gave an interview where he described his vision of increasing Jerusalem tourists to 10M annually by 2020 (up from around 2M.) Israel Inside Out fully supports this initiative.
Evidence of the popularity of Jerusalem was provided when the newly re-opened Israel Museum reported that in the first 6 months it has hosted more than half a million visitors. Another major Jerusalem museum has been in the headlines this week – Yad Va Shem – The Israel Holocaust Museum, announced a partnership with Google to place its photo archives on line – more than 130000 are already available online here.
Jerusalem unveiled a new piece of history with the completion of a new archaeological tunnel (from the Second Temple period) that runs from area of the Davidson Center to the City of David. We hope that the plans to open it to the general public happen quickly.
As reported in the last In Israel Blog the plans for the Jerusalem Light Railway have advanced a small step with the closure of Jaffa Road to all vehicles. Unfortunately, this resulted in far fewer passersby – although in recent days things have started to pick up again. There have been more sightings of the train on the tracks and so it is hoped that Jerusalem will soon start to see the benefits of this long project.
It has also been a busy time on Israel Inside Out as we started our official launch. The word is starting to get out and please feel free to tell family and friends about us. We have also added a lot more content, for example a new section on Zefat – The Mystical City. Safed is one of our favorite places and we cover the Old Jewish Quarter and the Artists’ Colony.
This week’s featured place is the walk between two of the Jerusalem Old City gates from Zion to Jaffa Gate – but, outside the Old City Walls. Although easily accessible to all tourists it is often overlooked in favor of the Rampart Walk or meandering on foot inside the Old City. It is an easy, short and pleasant walk, right next to the walls – you get a sense of how imposing they must have been when Suleiman the Magnificent built them. As you turn the corner towards Jaffa Gate you get some great views of Mishkenot Shananim, Montefiore’s Windmill and the modern part of Jerusalem. Enjoy the grassy trail and how the view towards David’s Tower changes almost with every step.
Since I last wrote the weather has been generally delightful although this weekend it has been wet and I overheard a discussion outside the supermarket today; predicted snowmen by Tuesday in Jerusalem. Sadly, I think that this is unlikely; but I will be sure to post some photos if it happens.
Wishing you a (hopefully) very wet week!