Edit Blog Post
Published: December 25th 2006
Women praying at the Western Wall, which is all that remains of the Second Temple. Written prayers are stuck into the crevices.
Well it's that time of year when one pigs out and gets merrily pissed. I'd like to wish a Merry Christmas and a happy and safe New Year to all my family, friends, workmates, fellow travellers and bloggers.
It kind of felt appropriate that I spent the lead-up to the holiday season in the Holy Land.
I loved walking around the different quarters (Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Armenian) in the Old City of Jerusalem. Most of the religious activity centres around the Temple Mount area where the Western Wall and Dome of the Rock are located.
Also took a trip into Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus. It was eerily quiet with nary a tourist in sight. Normally there would be heaps at this time of year. Possibly people have been scared away by the huge security fence that separates the West Bank from Israel, or the recent Lebanon conflict, or the current Palestinian political infighting including the assassination attempt on the Hamas president last week and the unrest in Gaza this week. I hope it picks up for Xmas or else the residents will really be doing it tough. I read somewhere that 51.5% of Palestinian households live below
At an underground section of the Western Wall Tunnels next to a menorah (candles lit for Hanukka)
the poverty line.
I have felt nothing but safe travelling in Israel, and had a fantastic time visiting this country.
Tot: 3.214s; Tpl: 0.053s; cc: 36; qc: 162; dbt: 0.0823s; 3; m:saturn w:www (220.127.116.11); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.6mb