Jerusalem Moving Outside – but Aquarium?

Jerusalem Moving Outside – but Aquarium?

Jerusalem, Israel has completed most of the spring exhausting holiday season.

A very different holiday season it was!

Sunday, May 3, 2020, slowly some businesses and classrooms reopened.

Jerusalem Knesset at night

Finally, lights were on inside the Knesset Building, not just holiday lights strung on the street.

View of prayer plaza of Kotel divided for COVID-19 prayers

The Kotel, Western Wall was divided into smaller prayer areas.

Gan Sacher park empty on rainy day

Gan Sacher, Sacher Park, was empty for Yom Haatzmaut, Independence Day,

instead of being crowded with families and friends gathered for the usual mangals, BBQs.

Tourism is a huge factor in life in Jerusalem and its economy.

The municipality is looking for ways to slowly get back to “normal.”

Jerusalem Botanical Gardens

Jerusalem Botanical Gardens is one large open area where people could social distance.

Jerusalem Gazelle Valley opening day

Gazelle Park is another large open green space.

Entrance to Jerusalem Biblical Zoo

The Biblical Zoo, as the Tisch Family Zoological Gardens in Jerusalem is called, is another popular open area that could be reopened.

Entrance to Jerusalem Israel Aquarium

However, the new Jerusalem Aquarium which is further down the road from the zoo might be one of the last sites to be fully open again to the public.

At the end of January 2020, I finally got to the Aquarium.

I have had it on my list to share and now seems like the right time.

Remember that cute video of penguins walking around an aquarium after it was closed?

Sorry. It was not the Jerusalem Aquarium but could have been.

Near entrance to Jerusalem Aquarium

The Jerusalem Aquarium is an accessible and temperature-controlled space.

The inside venue would have been perfect for a hot summer day visit for all ages.

Fish tank in Jerusalem Aquarium

Beautiful tanks of fish and underwater flora line the walls.

Sections are divided according to Israel’s local bodies of water.

Dead Sea section of Jerusalem Aquarium

The Dead Sea exhibit will have to be updated.

Recently they have found life in the freshwater sinkholes.

Sea Horses in Jerusalem Aquarium

I could have spent hours watching the seahorses.

Large fish tank in Jerusalem Aquarium

There was an area to take a break and rest and listen to trained guides.

Jerusalem Aquarium long horn cowfish

Have you heard of the LongHorn Cowfish before?

Elmo exhibit at Jerusalem Aquarium

Can you find Nemo? Especially for children of any age or size, there is a special tank. You can get inside to search for and be photographed with the real fish that famous animated feature  Nemo was based on.

Jerusalem Aquarium

Coral reefs provide background in one of the seas.

Large fish in tank at Jerusalem Aquarium

Large tanks of large fish,

Colorful fish in Jerusalem Aquarium

and small tanks of colorful fish are inside the Aquarium.

There’s much more to see and to do to keep all ages engaged.

Jerusalem Aquarium

It was a wet wintry-like day when I finally got to the two-year-old tourist site for the first time.

Sure hope it is not another two years until the giant seahorse outside greets visitors.

Who could imagine that an enclosed and interactive space would be a problem?

Large and small roses in a vase

At least the cold wet weather and this most unusual spring was good for the roses.

Stay well and healthy.

Hope to see you all on the Jerusalem streets one day soon.

 

Jerusalem Streets Go Virtual for Passover Pleasure

Jerusalem Streets Go Virtual for Passover Pleasure

Jerusalem, Israel this time of year is usually one of the busiest.

Pesach, Passover, has many other names, including the holiday of spring, and the holiday of freedom. Streets are usually full of people, rental cars, tour buses, and holiday pilgrims.

This year the yearning for freedom from home isolation was felt around the world as the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic kept people inside their homes.

This year with Pesach and Easter coinciding streets should have been packed.

Instead, they are empty.

Three years ago this was the scene at the Kotel, Western Wall for Birkat Kohanim, Priestly Blessing.

Ten men prayed together at the Kotel and recited the blessing today.

A tiny microbe has done what wars, stabbings, suicide bombers, car-rammings and other forms of terror could not accomplish.

However, if nothing else, Israelis are resilient.

Moving off the streets and online, here are five suggestions to experience Jerusalem over this holiday week.

  1.  Instead of sharing places to go and things to do in Jerusalem, Fun in Jerusalem is offering at home ideas.

2. The Tower of David Museum has virtual tours free for this week, check out one introductory tour HERE

Or take time and explore the site for other tours HERE

3. The Jerusalem Cinematheque is closed. Last month when I went to a special performance, already concerned about the virus, I heard a woman coughing. Quickly I went in ahead of and away from her. Hard to believe that was just over a month ago and one of their last events.

However, the Cinematheque is offering a wide variety of entertainment links, from first-rate old US movies to ‘Peter and the Wolf’ performed by the Royal Ballet and Metropolitan Opera mega productions: HERE

4. The Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem is also at work getting more content online: HERE you can see the video from Yemen exhibit.

5. Experience the Western Wall Tunnel Tours from home:

Sadly the exciting Jerusalem night shows are on hold.

But here is a bit of the introduction to the Tower of David Night Show.

And the City of David Sound and Light Show Finale.

Hoping all stay well, wishing you a healthy holiday.

Let’s keep in touch virtually, until we can see you again soon on the Jerusalem streets.

From Jerusalem Shabbat Shalom HaGadol

From Jerusalem Shabbat Shalom HaGadol

The Jerusalem streets are quieter than usual during this a major holiday season.

The Shabbat before Pesach, Passover, is called Shabbat HaGadol. 

In the past years, announcements for major Shabbat HaGadol talks by famous rabbis would be plastered around the Jerusalem streets.

However, this year is not like any other, and many of those lectures have moved online.

matza baking before Pesach

There will be no public matzah baking in Kikar Safra,

Pesach crowd in Kotel plaza after Birkat Kohanim on Pesach

no huge crowds at the Kotel, Western Wall,

Kotel for Birkat Chohanim

for the Birkat Kohanim, Priestly Blessing,

Gan Sacher picnickers on Pesach in Jerusalem park

no family reunions in parks,

and no big family seder meals.

Street sign Happy spring holiday

This year is a time to remember years past,

I heart Jerusalem sign

and look forward to the future.

Shabbat shalom with flowers

שבת שלום

Shabbat Shalom

Pesach sign Happy Passover

Next Year in Jerusalem!