Who would think the quiet sounds of Jerusalem parks would be a good thing? But children are back in school after a long year at home. Public parks are hosting group activities again, not just providing for family health and sanity with a break out of the house during the day.
At Takhana Rishona, First Station, on a recent Friday morning, deliveries arrived early for open area dining, and inside seating dining as well.
An outdoor yoga class in the center tent area was happening,
as the aroma of fresh brew from the new coffee bar filled the air.
I was off to meet with Daniel and Yedidia Schwartz near JETH – the Jerusalem Entrepreneur Tourism Hub. A perfect location for their new tour innovation to begin.
Great seeing other groups also as we set off on foot from the Takhana.
The first stop was the Khan Theater, where Daniel, a professional tour guide, told us that the site was built in 1853 as a silk factory. However, it became a night hostel (a khan in Arabic) for Christian pilgrims on their way to Bethlehem, and Jewish travelers on the way to Rachel’s Tomb and the Cave of the Patriarchs. Since 1968, it has been a popular theater venue.
Minutes away under the St. Andrew Scottish Guesthouse, near the Menachem Begin Heritage Center, is an archeological site of importance.
A burial area from First Temple times, featuring posters with excellent explanations concerning the finds, including silver amulets with old Hebrew Birkat Kohanim, the Priestly Blessing engraved on them.
Daniel’s tour of Ketef Hinnom and the First Temple period burial site added a new dimension with additional and interesting information.
However, what distinguished this tour from others was the music. Daniel and his brother Yedidia, a professional violinist with the Jerusalem Symphony, entertained us, providing relaxing interludes along the way.
At one of my favorite off-the-street locations, there was time to sit and appreciate nature,
and historical sites, including the Tower of David, along the way to Yemin Moshe and Montefiore Windmill.
Yemin Moshe is a perennial favorite, who can’t but enjoy its beautiful lanes.
Near the Montefiore Windmill, deserted for so long, people were enjoying the spring-like weather and being out and about again.
In the park area behind King David Hotel, the history of the hotel was retold as nearby groups were getting in their partying before Ramadan.
Celebrating graduation 2021 – and oh what a year it was.
The Lion Fountain had children splashing in the cool water again.
Tourists were learning about the Templar Meeting House next to the Orient Hotel. Tours are for Israelis, with most in Hebrew, as international visitors are limited until May 23rd.
After the Templar houses of Emek Refaim Street, we left for what was advertised as the “Secret Garden.”
In 1880, Martin Pauser built this building as a baker, and he also sold ice cream. During the War of Independence, women and children from Kibbutz Ramat Rachel took refuge here, on what is now called Patterson Street.
In the garden, the tour ended with more music – and wine. I refused to drink so early in the day. But seated in the lovely garden, I felt like I was on a holiday vacation far away – but yet so close to home.
At each stop on the tour, people who walked by would take out their phones and cameras to record the lovely sounds. This tour group was recording us at the last stop, so I finally decided time to take their photo in return.
But really, who could blame them?
The sounds of music and beauty were a treat to celebrate the opening up of Jerusalem streets after a year of repeated closures.
Jerusalem Photo Walks are starting again, in real life and online.
As a guest of Tour de Sound, another way to enjoy the Jerusalem streets
Also new – the municipality announces bike rental stations!.
Hope to see you all in Jerusalem one day soon.