Israel Retrospective, 12Jan2014

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Look where I was today!  This is the Dome of the Rock on Temple Mount, Jerusalem.  That’s my friend Maria in the picture, looking at the mosaics.  Temple Mount is open only for a few hours for non-Muslims, so I got up at 0700 to get in on time.  Unfortunately I was not allowed to go inside, but the outside was incredible enough.  The mosaics are stunning, and the Arabic calligraphy around the top is beautiful.  You just can’t beat the Muslims when it comes to architecture.  I’ve never seen such beautiful buildings in my life.

One of my favourite things about Jerusalem is the mixing of cultures.  On Taglit I only saw the Jewish side of things, but I’ve been staying in the Chain Gate Hostel in the Muslim Quarter, and I’m loving every minute of it.  The people are very friendly, always saying hello on the streets, and offering to help with directions.  I’ve had two marriage proposals already!  Basm, the owner of the hostel, gives us tea and coffee anytime, breakfast in the morning, laundry anytime, and accommodates any special requests to the best of his ability.  Tonight he gave me dinner and chocolate as well, because according to him we are now friends, and I can ask for anything I want.  I’m definitely staying here again when I come back to Jerusalem!

I’ve been trying to pick up a little Hebrew while I’m here, so here is the sentence I learned today.  Ani mevina ktsat Ivrit.  (I understand a little Hebrew.)  More accurately though, ani lo mevina Ivrit, ani mevina Anglit.  (I don’t understand Hebrew, I understand English.)  Tomorrow I will learn the alphabet so I can start to sound out some signs.

Salaam from the Chain Gate!

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