The tourists are arriving!
Finally, after two years of corona closings, the spring holiday season is starting to feel normal again. However, there are some people who, after a few days, realize they are not suffering from allergies but go into isolation after testing positive for corona. The virus is still a part of life on the Jerusalem streets as is the annual spring pollen count.
Oh, what a day in the Old City it should be! Sunday, April 17, 2022, Passover, Ramadan, Easter, and Orthodox Palm Sunday are to be celebrated.
In this busy time preparing for Passover, I decided to share some of what’s new with the old on the Jerusalem streets with you.
The Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives goes back thousands of years but was not accessible from 1948 to 1967 because of Jordanian occupation.
Har Hamenuchot opened in 1951 instead as the main Jerusalem Jewish cemetery. It was visible on the right side of the road as one drove up to Jerusalem on the old winding Route One. Today there are new modern highways to arrive in Jerusalem.
Rising above the expanded Route One, are those new “buildings” on the hilltop. New apartments under construction below near the highway, and burial sites rising high above cover more of the mountain top.
With land scarce all over Israel, other cemeteries have also built new above-ground burial structures.
This was a regular Sunday morning at Damascus Gate, before the start of Ramadan. Did you hear of trouble there at night as thousands of Muslims come out after breaking their daytime fasting?
A regular Sunday morning at the Kotel, Western Wall, men’s section.
A regular Sunday morning at Kotel, Western Wall, women’s section.
On a regular Sunday morning at Kotel, this is the Western Wall egalitarian section in the distance. They started working on the section where the Second Temple stones were left at the bottom of the western wall of the Temple Mount.
This view of the work being done next to the women’s section shows why the sections were not connected and expanded in the past.
New is the excavation of the Kotel Plaza exploring what is above ground.
At the Givati parking lot nearby, the excavation has gone down exposing centuries of history just outside of the Old City walls.
Coming soon, there will be a new restaurant on top of the current visitor’s center at Ir David, the City of David.
Work has progressed under the Jerusalem streets, on the Pilgrim’s Path.
The route is being prepared for visitors to Jerusalem.
Remember the story from a visit in 2017?
Now one can go up the steps up from the Shiloah spring without wading through the water.
Along the new/old route taken by visitors to Jerusalem is a shop, a model of the shops that were available for the pilgrims who went up to the Temple Mount.
France Square’s dedication was in last week’s Tips for Touring in Jerusalem.
A new dedication stone was placed near the previous location,
with the former mayors’ names in Hebrew and French and the 2008 date.
Not all vacant lots in Jerusalem are building sites; some are prepared for much-needed parking spaces.
There are so many more cars and trucks on the Jerusalem streets!
The new tunnel from Gush Etzion is open and the old one is being repaired.
The new Pesach, Passover festivals, and activities are beginning soon.
New signs are posted to welcome visitors to Jerusalem for the holidays.
The last old wrecked house in Yemin Moshe along my photo walk route is being renovated, with the new roof resembling the old Templer tiles.
Visitors will be surprised to see so much new with the old.
Also, they should be pleased that behind those old post boxes in the Yemin Moshe parking lot, is one of the new public toilets. An important new and welcomed addition to those spending time on the Jerusalem streets.
Many challenges this past week, but also many good events to celebrate.
Hope to see you soon!