Saturday, January 1, 2011

First Day in Jerusalem

It is fascinating that on one side of the highway the homes have black tanks on the roofs to hold water in case the supply is shut off. The other side doesn't have to worry about whether they will have water. And this is in the city of Jerusalem.

Robert Frost said something like "something there is that doesn't like a wall." well I was completely offended by a walled-in Jewish settlement we accidentally came upon while trying to drive up to the Mount of Olives. The settlement walls at one spot seemed far higher than those across the way for the old city walls across the valley and are of ugly concrete.

The views at the top are lovely. Some peaceful gardens of olives going down the hillside, the gilded-domed Russian Orthodox Church of Mary Magdalene, the old walls with Lion's Gate, the Dome of the Rock, and little boys trying to sell olive branches and a man with his camel selling rides (or getting money to take a picture). Tour busses would have gone a totally different way so tourists would not likely have seen what we did.

I left my camera behind, but I'm sure we will return during the Palestine of Jesus class which starts Wednesday at St George's College. I'm curious what we will learn about the settlements, though, if anything.

My friend, and host for the next couple of days, Doug, cooked us a wonderful slow cooked roast beef dinner. That and a glass of wine knocked me out. Of course I had been up for over 24 hours with some sleep on the plane.


Grandmère Mimi said...

Amelia, I'm glad you arrived safely. Keep us posted on your time in Jerusalem. I want to know more about those walls, too.

motheramelia said...

To end on a more positive note. I forgot to mention that we went for tea afterwards at The American Colony Hotel. What a lovely old place. It is just down the street from the college. It is still decorated for Christmas and has a nice English bookstore. I know I'll be back there.

The walls are disturbing and so was one house on top of the hill at the Mount that was flying a huge Jewish flag on a monster metal flagpole. This is smack in the middle of a Palestinian neighborhood.

Brian R said...

Praying for safe travels and will be interested to learn more.

Rick+ said...

     Thank you for blogging while you're on your trip! It's fascinating to hear about Jerusalem directly instead of through the news outlets. I would also love to see any pictures you take. Godspeed!

motheramelia said...

I just tried to upload one on my iPad and it is not behaving.