While helping at the farm selling dates, we thought of the idea of visiting Jerusalem. It seemed like an interesting trip, but we had little time left. When would we go? Tomorrow morning? Or why not today! Mohammad felt like a trip across the border as well, so together we took off that evening packed and ready for border and sightseeing adventures.
Our 5-hour journey, during which we also had dinner in Jericho, went smooth. Crossing the borders with their many security checks can be a lengthy task, but we were prepared well and no elaborate interrogations were necessary. After we arrived in Ramallah, Palestine, we did a quick walk around and had some great ice cream. We slept at the ‘Hostel in Ramallah’, which was a nice place with friendly people, a roof terrace with a view on the city and a good breakfast of pita’s with zaatar or marmalade. During breakfast we met a girl who traveled both Israel and Palestine elaborately, who told us about the different perspectives on the conflict.
After this introduction, we were ready to get into the field. The bus took us to Jerusalem in about an hour, so at 11 we could start exploring the city. We entered through Jaffa gate, where we found a nice tourist office and picked up a map. We found our way through the different quarters and visited the western/wailing wall and Temple mount. We experienced the Temple mount as a relaxing and peaceful public place, and were impressed by the way in which it facilitated both tourism and religion. Furthermore, we followed Via Dolorosa, visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and ended with some tasty Shawerma.
Around 17.30 we left through Damascus gate and found our way back to Jordan via Bethany and Jericho, as at non-Jordanians we had to be at the King Hussein bridge before 22.00. At 22.30 we were back at the farm after a full, but beautiful day. Hamdulillah.
Cindy & Elena from the Netherlands