In Israel Blog – An Insider’s Guide to Touring Israel – November 22

 Jerusalem

IMGP0057Recently, I attended the Emek Refaim Street event (photos here) – it was a great combination of street performances, music and stand-up, throngs of people, food & gift stalls in the street. There was a great atmosphere and as far as I could tell a good time was had by one and all. Emek Refaim puts on these events a few times per year – and long may they continue. My only question is who was the guy dressed as a monkey swinging from the trees and was he official or just having some fun?

 

In general Jerusalem is really active at the moment – you may recall the recent Jerusalem Knights event in the Christian Quarter of the Old City (see photos here and my blog here).

 

IMGP0139Last week I visited the Davidson Center in the Old City and took a look at the impressive Herodian Street and walked up the steps towards the (now blocked in) Hulda Gates. There is also very dramatic evidence of the destruction of the Temple. The finds here are truly unique and it is a very special feeling to walk up the same steps that the pilgrims used when visiting the Temple all those years ago. You can read more about the site here, and see more photos here.

 

On the tourist front in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City, archaeologists have found a pool dating from year 70 with the insignia of the Tenth Roman Legion – another impressive find from that period apparently showing the extent of the city at that time. The pool was apparently part of the military’s leisure facility (Read The report in Haaretz here) 

 

2010 has proven to be a record breaking year for tourism in Israel, with over 3 million visitors to date since the start of the year. (Read The report in Haaretz here) We at Israel Inside Out are delighted and look forward to helping to welcome many more tourists, but showing them the unique insider view.

 

IMGP0165On a more serious note a couple of weeks ago marked the 1600 day of Gilad Shalit’s captivity. His family are in a constant vigil in Jerusalem and the tents were bathed in yellow (the protest movement’s colour) light. The energy that we devote to the individual is part of what makes Israel a special place and we certainly hope that the magic release formula will be found very quickly. Although he is one soldier his fate determines the wider politics of the region.

Until next time…..

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