Passover time in Jerusalem, Israel,
sees a population exchange.
Many locals rent (or try to rent) their homes
to holiday visitors for large sums,
and go away for the week.
Even more take day or overnight trips
to one of Israel’s amazing nature spots
like this one near Zichron Yaakov in Ramat Hanadiv park.
Estimates were as high as 75,000 people
for Monday morning’s holiday annual
Birchat Kohanim, the Priestly Blessing.
But huge crowds were at
the Kotel, the Western Wall all day the next day as well.
Not only were prayer services held at the Kotel and at regular synagogues,
but impromptu minyanim for the afternoon prayers
sprung up just about everywhere.
It was good to see First Station busy again,
but this was the only sign of the new Luna Park.
The free shuttle bus service was finally being used,
with a full size buse to accommodate the crowds,
in addition to the special vans.
The route was different and it went to a different Old City Gate.
While walking to Kotel, you could see
people on top of the Walls looking down at Silwan below.
Streets were closed and blocked to cars,
while some places were even blocked to pedestrians.
I was not allowed to walk up this alley,
but the guy in white shirt was allowed to smoke.
The closings caused a lot of extra walking for people.
This little girl is watching a man from an Arabic tour,
who is taking a video of the hasid, religious Jewish man,
while I was taking photos of the Arabic writing on the back of his vest.
Warm, clear weather was perfect for
the large and diverse crowds,
and for photos in Jerusalem on Passover.
Mamilla Mall had extra balloon people
and we hear they did a great business.
And of course, there was food.
Parks were filled with picnics and BBQ grills,
and the sky filled with smoke.
Many food places were closed for the holiday.
The ones that were open did just about anything with potatoes.
this pizza did not seem to be too popular
with one young family.
But, always popular
is the holiday greeting on Jerusalem buses,
Happy and Kosher Passover.