Jerusalem, A Fascinating, Spiritual Uphill Adventure…

Jerusalem is an amazing experience.

We arrived on Friday by 9am from Tel Aviv.

American Colony Hotel

Our hotel was a serene, magnificent Jerusalem stone mansion with a delicious swimming pool surrounded by flowering plants and bougainvillea, a gorgeous bar garden and probably the most horrendous service I have ever experienced.

It was the equivalent of a snotty Beverly Hills woman…exterior (after extensive work) very attractive, but absolutely nothing going on inside.

That be as it may, we hit the ground running despite the 100 degree heat.

Mahane Yahuda Market

We hopped the light rail train to the vibrant Mahane Yehuda market which opened in the late 19th century and has over 250 vendors.

Mahane Yehuda Market
Bread at the Mahane Yehuda Market

We strolled and admired the produce, spices, breads and frenzy of the marketplace before the Sabbath.

We perused the narrow, winding streets of the Nachaot neighborhood and then talked our way into the most popular restaurant in Israel.

Machneyahuda Restaurant, Chef Assaf Granite

Never say never because I had valiantly tried to secure a Friday lunchtime reservation weeks in advance from the States, but my attempts were thwarted.

We showed up at 11:30am and our wish was granted.

What a joyous, happening place and the food is spectacular.

Fatoush Salad

We ordered a Fatush salad which was fresh and delicious ($13).

Red Tuna Ceviche over Watermelon

The Red Tuna Tartar on a bed of Watermelon was fabulous ($15).

Corn Polenta

The clincher was the Polenta with wild mushrooms, fresh baby asparagus, parmesan and truffle oil…unbelievable $13).

The music was loud and nonstop…patrons were dancing in the aisles.

Steak

The steaks were obscene ($38).

Wailing Wall at Midnight

After lunch we climbed every mountain and spent hours winding our way through the Old City with a stop at the Wailing Wall to make some special requests.

Christian Section Marketplace in Old City

Security is heavy duty.

The men and women pray separately at the Wall and there is a great deal of head banging and clutching the wall.

We spent time in The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, dating back to at least the fourth century and one of the holiest sites in Christianity.

It was necessary to step over genuflecting bodies and block out the religious orgasmic crying.

Drenched, we had a freshly squeezed orange juice cocktail and took the train back to the hotel.

Unfortunately, the hotel failed to tell us that on the sabbath the light rail bypasses our stop so after hours of walking in the draining heat we had to walk two miles back to the hotel…uphill.

We threw our dehydrated bodies into the pool and marinated in cool water for a very long time.

That night we dined on divine salads and fresh Jerusalem artichoke pasta at Satya.

We took a private tour of Jerusalem by night and then proceeded to have drinks in the garden under the stars.

Saturday dawned even hotter.

View from top of Mt. Olive

Actually, it was the first 100 degree day all year and we walked for 6 hours, beginning at the elevated Mount of Olives located east and adjacent to the Old City.

The mount has been used as a Jewish cemetery for over 3,000 years and holds approximately 150,000 graves which you can note in the photo.

The view was spectacular and we were thrown in with 500 senior citizens.

Joy to the world.

We took off running and outpaced all the wheelchairs and metal walkers.

We left them in olive grove dust.

View from bottom of Mt. Olive looking up

Upon reaching the bottom, we had a vertical climb to the appropriately named, Dung Gate which brought us to the Wailing Wall a third time…I had several important messages for The Almighty.

Wailing Wall Messages

From there, we once again toured the souk and were on a mission to find the Austrian Hospice.

After many wrong turns we discovered the oasis rising above the Christian quarter.

View of Temple on the Mount from Austrian Hospice

Peace and serenity reigned in the garden patio and for 5 shekels ($1.50) you bought yourself one hell of a view.

Descending into darkness again we found our way out of the market and headed to the German Colony which showcases some of the nicest homes in Jerusalem.

From there we went to Chakra, a fabulous Jerusalem restaurant.

Prawns

We sat at the bar and had a great time with the bartender, shoveling in a salad and terrific jumbo prawns from Vietnam.

He treated us to shots of Arak which is very similar to Pastis and Ouzo.

Fortified we toured the newest hit in Jerusalem, the highly stylish, luxury Mamilla Hotel near the Old City.

Jaffa Gate
Mamilla Mall

They have developed a gorgeous outdoor Mamilla Mall which begins at the hotel and drops you off at the Old City’s Jaffa Gate.

American Colony Dining Garden

Exhausted, we took a taxi back to the American Colony Hotel and spent the next 3 hours at the pool, followed by a light dinner in the garden.

Jerusalem is a physically challenging venue, but worth every step…what an awe inspiring place.

One Comment

  1. Just WOW. A joy to read! I filled up with emotion and tears just looking at the photo of The Wailing Wall and The Church of the Holy Sepulchre.. Beyond incredible. Thank you for posting ❤️

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