Jerusalem Old and New in Sacher Park on Passover

Jerusalem Old and New in Sacher Park on Passover

Jerusalem, Israel.

So many extremes, highs and lows, and contrasts of old and new.

Monastery in Valley of Cross on Passover and Easter in Jerusalem

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.

Valley of Cross bike path in Jerusalem Israel near Sacher Park

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.

Sacher Park in Jerusalem on Pesach, family in matching outfits

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.

Gan Sacher picnickers on Pesach in Jerusalem park

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.

Sacher Park holiday sign on public toilet building Jerusalem Israel park

This building with proper toilets has been in use for a few years.

Clean and ready bathroom for disabled and place to change babies in Jerusalem park

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.

Jerusalem Sacher Park new stairs to fitness equipment park improvement

New stairs lead up to the fitness exercise equipment area.

Sacher Park children's play area with people picnicking.

Nothing new with many families near the play area.

Two Jerusalem gardeners in Sacher Park on Pesach

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.

Sacher Park on Passover Jerusalem Israel

Little children running in the park is not new.

Sacher Park new paths for disabled access

However, wheelchair access is new.

Finally there are easy access routes into and through the main areas of the park.

Sacher Park walking path and new shaded area

Young couples meeting and walking around is not new.

But notice the new benches and sun shade they are passing.

Sacher Park on Pesach with men watching for fire hazzard

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.

Mangal on Pesach in Gan Sacher

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.

Gan Sacher on Passover Jerusalem Israel

Families were filling the park with tables, tents, and chairs,

Boy with big box of matza on Peasach in Jerusalem Israel park

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.

Sacher Park on Pesach afternoon

But the new paths were marked and the smooth red area is perfect surface for wheelchairs and baby strollers.

Man walks down stairs to Sacher Park

New steps lead down from the street corner.

Gan Sacher on Pesach afternoon

However, some people like to enter Gan Sacher the old way.

More and more people were arriving to celebrate the spring holiday.

Near Sacher Park flowers in shape of butterly

New construction can be seen in the distance over the butterfly flowers located outside the park.

Valley of Cross, Jerusalem, Israel Easter time with spring flowers

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.

Large flags on Jerusalem municipal building.

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..

Jerusalem Marathon Highlights

Jerusalem Marathon Highlights

Early Friday morning on March 15, 2019, 40,000 runners filled the Jerusalem, Israel, streets for the 9th International Jerusalem Winner Marathon.

Jerusalem Marathon runners

Thousands from around the world came to run in the full marathon and other races.

Jerusalem marathon runners

Streets were closed for these athletes with blue tags for full marathon.

Jerusalem marathon runners

The full Jerusalem marathon runners seemed to keep coming.

Medical support team on street corner for Jerusalem marathon

Emergency teams were in place, but I did not hear any reports of serious injury.

Jerusalem marathon runners in costumes

Some of the runners dressed up as superheroes.

Led motorcycle for half marathon runners

Oops, this motorcycle lead for the half marathon first place went by so quickly.

Jerusalem Half marathon leaders

I missed him coming, and only got a shot after he whizzed past.

Second place Jerusalem half marathon

But second place was not far behind and here he is coming into the home stretch.

This year I decided to take fewer photos, so I missed the rest of the half marathon runners.

Arab media at Jerusalem marathon

International media covered the event, here is one doing an interview in Arabic.

Flag of Syria flying for Jerusalem marathon runner

The flags of the eighty participating countries are flying along the route to starting line.  This year for the first time there was a Syrian flag.

Stormy weather day before Jerusalem Marathon

Heavy rains the day before of the marathon blocked view of Jaffa Gate.

Marathon elite runners with Mayor Moshe Lion Jerusalem marathon

Mayor Moshe Lion and dignitaries had to pose inside with elite runners.

Mud at Jerusalem marathon in Sacher park

Gan Sacher, Sacher Park, was one big mud patch, but the sun was shining and temperature cool and pleasant for the races.

Tarp over mud in Gan Sacher for Jerusalem marathon

Key areas were covered, like this area near the stage where the first place medals were awarded.

The Jerusalem Marathon is always more than a competition for the fastest running.

Shalva teen runners in 10 K race Jerusalem marathon

Team Shalva had teen participants from US schools, among its hundreds of supporters. Shalva raises large sums each year from this event.

Non profits supported by Jerusalem marathon runners

Other nonprofits and charities had teams and booths in the park.

Booth and charity organizations Jerusalem marathon

Teams from Camp HASC and AMIT, and over 100 good causes, come year after year.

Team for new runners in memory of Ari Fuld at Jerusalem Marathon

One new team this year was Lion of Tzion. These young people organized to run to raise money to buy a food truck in memory of Ari Fuld z”l to take food and treats to IDF soldiers.

Activities in Sacher Park during Jerusalem marathon

Trampolines were set up in the park as one of the activities for families, and at an early hour it was not crowded.

Sacher Park morning of Jerusalem marathon

But in spite of weather the day before, and in spite of the mud in the park, runners and their supporters came.

NInja equipment at Sacher Park for Jerusalem marathon

For the new ninja, there was a long line waiting for a turn.

Media waiting for winner of full Jerusalem marathon to arrive at finish line

Media was waiting for the full marathon winner to arrive and cross the finish line.

There were two main finish lines, the one in the park was only for the full marathon,

while the long list of other races end at the other locations outside of the park.

Crowd waiting for full marathon winner to cross finish line

This was the crowd waiting to greet the marathon winner.

Moshe Lion Jerusalem mayor at finish line for Jerusalem marathon

New Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion was ready at the finish line for a photo op.

Jerusalem mayor Moshe Lion at finish line when first place runner of Jerusalem marathon arrives

Mayor Lion stood waiting for the winner, front and center.

Jerusalem mayor Moshe Lion at Jerusalem marathon finish line

So center, with the medal in his hand, the mayor blocked my view of both the first and second place finishers.

Winners Jerusalem marathon with mayor Lion at finish line

All the first place runners were from Kenya this year.

But there was more action at the starting lines and the other finish lines.

The starting line was out of the park and up the hill toward the Israel Museum and Knesset.

Start of 10K race of Jerusalem marathon

At the various starts there was a burst of energy and excitement.

Former mayor Nir Barkat running 10 K race in Jerusalem marathon

For years I tried to get a photo of former Mayor Nir Barkat.

This year I did not try and there he was with the green tag to the right.

Excitement of the starting line Jerusalem marathon

So many smiles and such excitement, this woman was with a group from Hong Kong.

starting line of Jerusalem marathon

Thousands waited for their starts, over and over, every 15 minutes for the 10K races.

finish line for family 5K race Jerusalem Marathon

There was also a special 5K track for a family friendly, slower paced walk.

Runners near finish line of Jerusalem marathon for 10K races

The finish line for the 10K runners was impressive.

Pushing wheel chair in Jerusalem marathon

People were pushing baby strollers.

Pushing a wheelchair in race Jerusalem, Marathon

Also there were runners pushing wheelchairs in various races.

Finish line Jerusalem marathon

Seems each year, one person I find at start and finish. I was not looking for him this year, but there was Nir Barkat.

Crowd coming and going from marathon

Runners were still arriving as people were slowly walking home.

jerusalem marathon runners entering park near finish line

Full marathon runners were arriving to Gan Sacher on this newly finished path.

Cleaning up water bottles after marathon

Hundreds of volunteers were cleaning up thousands of water bottles along the route.

The Jerusalem Winner Marathon has become more than an annual sports competition.

Each year I go back, and say I will take fewer photos, but do not succeed.

Here are two examples of why I spend hours walking and sharing this event.

Two young runners in Jerusalem marathon on way to family walk

One their way to the midday family run, I met up with one family.

Big brother gave his medal for finishing the 5K run to his little brother.

And with all the tens of thousands of runners at the finish line, some seem more special.

Team spirit. Family spirit. A day of unity. Am Yisrael Chai.

Leah ready to cross finish line of Jerusalem marathon

Some smiles were more special than others, races were not about who came in first.

Finally – with posting this, my Jerusalem Marathon is over for this year.

Now time to get ready for next marathon!

Crazy Purim in Jerusalem, check out official events HERE

Chag sameach, Purim sameach, Happy Purim image

 

Are you up to more Jerusalem Marathon, check out photos HERE  and HERE 

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