Jerusalem: Walk, Run, Ride, Skate and Eat

Jerusalem: Walk, Run, Ride, Skate and Eat

After the winter rains, when the skies clear over Jerusalem, Israel,

Valley of Cross after winter rain in Jerusalem

open spaces like this one under the Israel Museum turn green.

Kalonit blooming in Valley of Cross in Jerusalem Israel

Instead of driving south to see the kalaniot, the red poppies, popping up,

Kalonit blooming in Jerusalem park

I love to walk through the paths in the Valley of the Cross,

Jerusalem Valley of Cross kalionit blooming

to see the wonders of nature right here in Jerusalem,

Wild flowers in Jerusalem Israel Valley of Cross

and see those red flowers that open up in the sunshine.

Valley of Cross wild flowers Jerusalem

As the wild flowers peek through the rocks and weeds, often I am alone walking up the hill towards the Israel Museum and the Knesset.

Nursery Shabat party in Jerusalem Park

However, last Friday morning, nursery children were having a pre-Shabbat party with their parents.

Children running in Jerusalem park

School children were also appreciating the wonders of spring.

Man running on path in Jerusalem Valley of Cross

Not all were walking, this man was running down the path that leads to

New bike and walking trail in Jerusalem Valley of Cross

this new walking and cycling path that will lead to the  Jerusalem Marathon finish line.

View of Old City Jaffa Gate with banner for Jerusalem Winner Marathon 2019 Israel sport

The Jerusalem Winner Marathon to be held on March 15, 2019 was launched last night by new Mayor Moshe Lion.

Jerusalem Israel walking and bike path

The full marathon runners, with the Knesset in the not so far distance, at this point will be near the finish line.

Jerusalem Israel new bike path ready for Jerusalem marathon finish

The new path is ready for the full Jerusalem Marathon runners before they enter the Gan Sacher, Sacher Park.

Jerusalem Israel new park development bike path to Gan Sacher

There will be many more vantage points this year, as old and burnt areas have been cleared.

Sacher Park new benches and path

New benches have been placed along the cycling, walking and running path for spectators.

Sacher Park new paths for walking, biking and running.

After months of work, Gan Sacher looks like it will be ready before the start countdown.

Ice eat sign, ice skating and food at Mitchell Park Jerusalem Israel

Posted across from Gan Sacher, is this large ad for the ice skating rink and food in Mitchell Park.

Jerusalem 2019 ice skating rink in park near Artist Colony

The Jerusalem Marathon is in its ninth year,  but there is a new location for the ice skating rink.

There have been previous ice skating rinks in Jerusalem, but this one seems to be the largest, with a new concept of ice and eat in Mitchell Park, which is near the Artists’ Colony.

Ice skating and food in Jerusalem Israel Mitchell Park

Not many people were eating or skating last night.

Ice skating in Mitchell Park Jerusalem Israel smoking section

No one was smoking last night when we went to check it out.

GFNY bikers in Jerusalem Israel practice ride before May 3 race

And finally cycling. GFNY is set for May 3, 2019, and the registration sale ends at the end of February, but these cyclists were out training already. Another chance for amateur cyclists to ride with the pros.

Jerusalem is not usually associated with sports, but walk, run, ride, or skate, or sit and eat.

Always something new happening on these Jerusalem streets.

More photos of marathon launch HERE

Best of Passover in Jerusalem

Best of Passover in Jerusalem

The Passover holiday in Jerusalem, Israel, is always a busy time with so much to do.

After days of cleaning and shopping, and a late night seder, what next?

This year I decided not to spend hours in the car along with millions of other Israelis going to lush camping sights and sandy beaches, but rather to stay home and explore what Jerusalem has to offer.

Now to share with you some of the best of Jerusalem for Passover this year 5778.

Where else to start, but with food.

Jerusalem Israel humus shop closed for Pesach

Some restaurants like this new humus place were closed tight for Passover.

Kosher for Pesach Holy Bagel and Shwarma in Old City for Pesach

But not to worry, in Jerusalem, there was an abundance of kosher for Passover places to eat. This Holy Bagel in the Old City is not only mehadrin kosher, but “KOSHER without fear of legumes!”

Pesach pizza and matza in Mamilla Mall for Pesach

With baskets of matza on the table, this potato crust pizza looked good enough to eat. People were standing in lines for seats to taste for themselves.

Pesach in Jerusalem food displayed in window for Pesach

Pizza, rolls, sandwiches, pies, cakes and more…one of the best places for Passover food is in Jerusalem, Israel.

Pesach crowd in Mamilla Mall in Jerusalem, Israel, with two Muslim women walking through the mall

Mamilla Mall was busy and crowded with local shoppers and international tourists, plus entertainment and performances for children.

Pesach in Jerusalem, people dressed in varied clothing

Another favorite was seeing the clothing in the Old City, with many dressed in their holiday finest, wearing every type of outfit imaginable.

View of Tower of David inside Citadel on spring day of Passover

With so many activities for families, it was hard to decide what to do first, as dozens of museums and sites were free for children. The Tower of David had families walking, touring, and climbing.

Ramparts walk in Jerusalem on Pesach

From the Tower of David you could see the Old City ramparts walk with tourists going along the top of the walls of the Old City.

Volunteers pouring water to give away to visitors to Old City on Pesach

Days were warm and the sun beat down midday. But volunteers were in several locations in Old City offering cups of water, free to all who walked by.

Menorah in Rova in front of Hurva Shul for construction of new elevator to Western Wall Kotel

The Golden Menorah was moved near the Hurva Synagogue, where tourists were busy taking photos.

Construction fence at site of new elevator for access to Kotel near steps where menorah had been before in Jewish Quarter

This menorah is a photo posted near where the gold one was located. The Western Wall elevator is to be constructed here.

Remember I said every type of clothing imaginable? How about a Betar uniform from the 1920’s?

Pesach crowd in Kotel plaza after Birkat Kohanim on Pesach

It was reported 100,000 people were at Birkat Kohanim, the Priestly Blessing, Monday morning.

Afternoon of Chol HaMoed Pesach at Kotel

In the afternoon and for most of the week, the Western Wall Plaza was still filled with families.

Visitors to Western Wall Plaza from Rova on afternoon of Chol HaMoed Pesach

All day long tens of thousands of people came and went from the Old City.

Visitors line up to go to Temple Mount on Passover afternoon

This line was not at the security entrance leading to the women’s section, but just a long line of tourists waiting to access the Temple Mount.

Pesach afternoon and egalitarian space at Western Wall was empty

The egalitarian section, however, was almost empty. On the right of this photo, if you look very closely, you can see children playing near the stones from the Second Temple.

While so many were in the Old City, other Jerusalem locations were also holiday destinations.

Gan Sacher on Pesach with people grilling and lounging

In Gan Sacher, Sacher Park, smoke filled the air with dozens of extended families grilling meat for large meals, with boxes of matza on the tables.

Passover in Jerusalem, Israel, in Gan Sacher

Children were playing as family members and friends were sitting and talking or playing sports.

Another extremely popular destination was the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens.

Botanical Gardens pond on Passover

Thousands of people wandered the grounds over Passover.

Pond lily in Jerusalem Botanical Gardens

I was fascinated by these flowers in the pond. There is so much beauty in what was formerly a garbage dump.

Jerusalem Botanical Gardens children's activity on Passover

There were planned and supervised activities for children,

Boy and girl looking at flowers in Jerusalem Botanical Gardens

as well as colorful flowers to capture their attention.

Jerusalem park on Pesach with people eating and grilling

Nayot Park was one of dozens of Jerusalem parks where grills were going, smoke was rising, and matza was on the table.

One parking spot is worth standing until your car arrives in Jerusalem on Passover

Driving in many locations took much longer than usual. Finding parking was not always easy. A free parking spot in a good location was worth saving.

There were varied musical events at night, too numerous to list.

Old places like Hansen House were full of activity.

So much was happening in Jerusalem this Passover week.

More photos: Old City HERE    Gan Sacher HERE   Botanical Gardens  HERE

I will end with a video of the Birkat Kohanim,

Pesach in Gan Sacher two little boys palying

and one of my favorite photos, of these young cousins getting to know each other at a Gan Sacher picnic.

Wishing all a good holiday and Shabbat Shalom

 

18 Favorites of Sukkot in Jerusalem

18 Favorites of Sukkot in Jerusalem

What a busy holiday season!

It was impossible to do everything I wanted,

however, here are some of my favorites

from the week of Sukkot.

Jerusalem Theater Sukkah

I love that there is a sukkah outside the Jerusalem Theater.

Since getting painted a few years ago,

Sukka spray painted in bright designs

 this sukkah has become a local landmark.

Small sukkah at Beit Hanasi before Sukkot

This one was at Beit Hanasi,

the Israeli President’s Residence, but

the official Sukkah Open House featured

Map of world made of fruits and vegetables Israel produce

 this one with a population map of the world.

Made of Israeli flowers, fruits and vegetables,

it was so colorful and a perfect set for this TV reporter,

 before the public arrived to pass through.

Sukkot in Israel is an agricultural festival.

Types of avocado grown in Israel

These varieties of avocados were one of the many

agricultural products that were featured.

Musicians sitting above ground to perform at Israeli President's House

These musicians were floating on giant swinging triangles,

Giant bubbles to entertain children at Israel President Residence

and giant bubbles were also part of the entertainment.

But the real crowd pleaser seemed to be

Reuven Rivlin greets public at open house on Succos

when President Reuven Rivlin did a walkabout.

Cameras and families crowded around

as he made his way through the gardens.

The skies were already grey at the time

and the photos a bit dark,

but I was able to leave

Rain in Jerusalem in October, first of season

before the rain,

really hard rain, the first of the season.

Who would have imagined?

Rain in Jerusalem Israel on Sukkot

The streets filled with water.

People disappeared from the streets and sukkot,

as the water poured down.

Sukkah at Jerusalem Waldorf Astoria after hard rain

The atrium sukkah at the Waldorf-Astoria was dry,

since the windows above the schach were closed in time

to keep the large dining area dry and pristine.

Jerusalem, Israel sukkah

This simple sukkah standing alone

Sukkot on balconies in Jerusalem Israel

and all these on the side of this building,

are a few new ones to add to past favorites.

Israel Museum kite festival on Sukkot

The Kite Festival at the Israel Museum

Children with kites inside the Israel Museum for festival on Sukkos

has become an annual holiday event.

Sculpture at Israel Museum with sukkah in background open for visitors to use

Again a sukkah for visitors’ use was set in the

Billy Rose Sculpture Garden near

the blue ‘Trees” of Menashe Kadishman.

Sukkah in Sacher Park for public to use before Jerusalem March

In Gan Sacher, Sacher Park,

a sukkah was up for use in the park for

the annual Jerusalem March.

The weather was perfect that day,

Decorative umbrellas on rainy day

while umbrellas

Umbrellas above Yoel Salomon Street in Jerusalem Israel

and more umbrellas lined Yoel Salomon Street

as a popular display for visitors.

Independence Park afternoon rainy day one woman at Women Wage Peace

The Women Wage Peace rally to be held

in Independence Park got rained out,

 the park was empty from the morning’s heavy rain.

New at First Station for this holiday season,

#SheSparks Jerusalem sale for tourists

were the SheSparks displays of quality gifts.

Watch out for more from these talented women.

Musical programs in Jerusalem for Sukkot

Song and music and dancing,

filled the Jerusalem streets in too many locations to mention.

Shlomo Katz and Solomon Brothers performed for second hakafos in Jerusalem

One of several Thursday night musical events

featured Shlomo Katz and the Solomon Brothers

at the community center on Emek Refaim Street.

Thousands crowded to sing along,

to dance and watch the dancing.

Just a taste of what was happening in Jerusalem

this past holiday week.

Now back to “normal.”