Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Touring, pt. 1

Last weekend my group went on a tour of Jerusalem and the desserts in Northern Israel. When we arrived at the old city of Jerusalem on Friday morning, the gate our guide intended us to enter through was closed. Instead we traversed the wall around the old city, up and down many stairs, to next point of entry.

It was an amazing experience because we had a wonderful view of the area around the wall and a birds eye view of life in the Armenian quarter of the old city.

Although it's not the most attractive picture, the scene above really struck me. It show so clearly the convergence of old and new, of serious religious observance and living people's need to play. (Note the golden dome in the top right corner.) In a spot a bit further on, we saw a group of Jewish boys playing soccer in full traditional dress. We saw them again a few minutes later crawling through a gap in a fence on their way back from their game.

among the pious at prayer, old stones, tourists, guards with guns, and the other students in my group, I was constantly amazed by how small the old city of Jerusalem really is.

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