So many extremes, highs and lows, and contrasts of old and new.
The ancient stone monastery in the Valley of the Cross is surrounded by new spring wild flowers and a sea of green after a winter of significant rain.
The new biking/walking path leading to Gan Sacher, Sacher Park, from the monastery not only has new benches, but also a shaded area to rest in the midday sun.
It is nothing new that on Passover, families in Gan Sacher could be seen walking in matching spring outfits. On outings with five young children in a busy public area, it is a good idea to let everyone know to which family they belong.
As usual, family and friends reunited for picnics in the park.
In 2011, the situation in Gan Sacher was outrageous.
The lack of proper public facilities was shocking.
This building with proper toilets has been in use for a few years.
While it is not new, the toilets and the handicapped facilities were clean and stocked with supplies.
This baby changing area is also near the entrance on the women’s side.
It was midday and crowds were still not large, but such a drastic improvement in the situation must be noted and complimented.
New stairs lead up to the fitness exercise equipment area.
Nothing new with many families near the play area.
Remember those yellow vests on the new gardening staff before Passover?
This clean up team with those vests was a new sight in Gan Sacher.
Little children running in the park is not new.
However, wheelchair access is new.
Finally there are easy access routes into and through the main areas of the park.
Young couples meeting and walking around is not new.
But notice the new benches and sun shade they are passing.
Also new, quality control workers were wearing those black tee shirts with identification in white on the back. This pair had just instructed a family to move their grill to a safer spot.
Friends said the smoke from grills got so strong later in the day, they are thinking not to return next year.
Not everyone was an expert at grilling, but no worries. One man stopped to help another get his fire going to cook his hot dogs.
Families were filling the park with tables, tents, and chairs,
and at least one big box of matzah.
Notice the warning sign in the distance. Large areas were fenced in and off limits to park visitors. Renovations are still ongoing. The Jerusalem Marathon crowds walking on the muddy grounds was not good for the grass.
But the new paths were marked and the smooth red area is perfect surface for wheelchairs and baby strollers.
New steps lead down from the street corner.
However, some people like to enter Gan Sacher the old way.
More and more people were arriving to celebrate the spring holiday.
New construction can be seen in the distance over the butterfly flowers located outside the park.
Walking home, I went back past the old monastery again.
With Passover, Easter and Orthodox Easter, and Druze Nabi Shu’eib, Baha’i Ridvan, Muslim Lailat al Bara’ah, this was a very busy spring holiday season on the Jerusalem streets. Hotels were near capacity with tens of thousands of visitors.
Before the ‘Happy Spring Holiday’ signs come down, the flags are already being put up for the Yoms.
Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Yom HaZikaron, Remembrance Day for Israel’s Fallen.
Yom HaAtzmaut, Israel Independence Day.
No down time in Jerusalem, Israel, on these busy streets..