Sunday, March 25, 2012

A little taste of Jerusalem (and home!)

For one of our "free days" we went on the Ramparts Walk. After paying eight shekels (a little more than two dollars), we were free to walk on the walls surrounding the old city. From there, we got some beautiful views of Jerusalem, many of which are things I'm blessed to have the opportunity to enjoy every day. I thought I'd share some of these with you, so you could better imagine what we see here. This is mainly a picture post, but the captions should explain most everything.

Ramparts Walk! In Hebrew, English, and Arabic

This is the street we walk up every time we want to go to the Old City. Further up on the left from here is Damascus Gate, where we enter the City.

Barbed wire is everywhere here. Without sophisticated means of security, people use what they can. In some places it's broken bottles that have been lain into cement, or other times just piles of thistle. 
Me with the Church of Mary Magdalene, a Russian Orthodox church, in the background. We went there a few weeks ago--it's a beautiful church. They have a small glass box displaying what appear to be human bones, and which they claim to be Mary Magdalene's. As to the truth in that statement- who knows. In the end, I don't know if it matters all that much whether or not it's the truth, so long as we're able to experience or learn from it. 
A view out over the beginnings of West Jerusalem. This city is very divided between East and West Jerusalem. Upon first getting here I wasn't sure if I'd be able to distinguish between what was what in order to comply with rules such as, "Be out of East Jerusalem by dark." However, we quickly learned to differentiate. 
A shot of the Jerusalem Center!! This is where we live!
A view looking back towards the Center
The Dome of the Rock--probably the most recognizable landmark in Jerusalem.
Right after entering in through Damascus Gate. We walk through here at least twice a week.
The Old City is filled with hundreds of small merchants, all of whom have the "best deals around"... especially if you're "Mormon! BYU!" Then you get their special "Mormon price." And, if you're lucky enough, you'll hit the shops at "happy hour," which, magically, seems to be whatever time you feel like shopping.
A view into the more residential area of the Old City. Notice the black tanks on the houses--in case their water supply is stopped. One of the easiest ways to recognize a Palestinian home.
After our enjoyable Ramparts walk, we took some time to explore the Jewish quarter of the Old City... and get some food! I've gotten as good at eating as I am at naming the parts of a Byzantine church... and that's really saying something. :)
One of the many streets in the Old City, this one being a little less crowded than most. Sarah and her cute hair on the left.
While in the Jewish quarter we saw this guy- hilarious. Tefilin are the small boxes, containing scripture, and straps that  many Jews where to keep the scriptures close to their heart and their head. It was fun to see this, understand it, and find the humor in it.
We then found some huge and delicious donuts in the Jewish quarter. So. Good.
And, finally, a big highlight for me. I am definitely a "beef" kind of girl, and all the kosher beef here just doesn't cut it for me. However, we heard that McDonalds here, though kosher, tastes somewhat normal. Additionally, McDonalds in Israel is known to have the largest burgers out of any McDonaldses, anywhere in the world. That was all anyone had to say to get me to walk all across West J, in new leather flipflops that hurt like heck, and dole out 50 shekels to get myself a "Big America" burger. So worth it. It's really fun getting to try so many interesting foreign foods, but living in a foreign country is a lot different than visiting one. Eventually, you have so much of the local cuisine that you just need some good 'ole greasy McDonalds fries to hit the spot. And oh boy, did they.
Tender and Juicy, 100% Beef. With a Diet Coke. Hallelujah.
The people I was with were a little skeptical as to whether or not I could finish off all of my  food. I told them they had no idea how much McDonalds I can put away. Guess who won that one? :)


  1. Love this post! Do you remember McD's in Kyiv? Salmon nuggets and potato wedges. Yum!

    Just dashing off a quick post before work. Wanted to give you the website of that hair straightening product:

    Love you, my daughter who will be home soon so her mommy can hug her :-}

  2. Mama!

    Yes! I do remember the McDonald's in Kyiv! Hahaha, oh boy. They did have potato wedges at this one too though! Pretty cool.

    Thanks for that website! I watched the videos for the product-it looks really sweet. I'll have to look more into it.

    Read this article and thought of you:

    Haha. Love you! Hope work was great.


  3. Haha! *That's* why I like popcorn so much - because I'm so healthy! That was great. I think I'm going to go pop some now . . . I'm sure that any day now they're going to discover why it's healthier to pop the corn in oil than in an air popper. I'll just keep eating it popped in oil and then will cackle with triumph when they make the discovery.

    Thanks for that. Made my day.


  4. Mommy!

    Awww, you're so sweet! I'm glad that you got to watch that video again. :)

    So sorry that I didn't get your message about the gopher play in time! I'm glad that you got it figured out though. :) I'm sure everything went really well! Can't wait to hear about it. :)

    Less than three weeks till I get to see you!!! LOVE!!

    Sissy fissy