I'm really starting to feel confident moving around the city. I'm not having to ask for directions all that often or the dreaded, pull my map out in public. I started this morning with a trip to the western wall. The security there was pretty nuts. I'm really looking forward to my border crossing tomorrow... Advice for anyone traveling there, book a tour for the tunnels under the western wall by phone, there is nowhere to do it there. Weird.
I decided to spend the rest of the morning exploring after the Western Wall. I headed north towards the Christian quarter and once agian decided to get off the market streets and look for things to shoot (pictures). On my way north I saw a place that looked fairly decent for lunch and made a note of it with the intention of returning later. Standard fair for the area, shawarma, falaphal, fresh juice and tea etc. While tooling aorund the Christian quarter I made my way by the fountain at the center and shot some doors that impressed me for one reason or another.
After a couple of hours I headed back towards Chain st. and started searching for the resturant I had seen early. Having some trouble I asked someone for a recommendation on where to eat and was pointed to my surprise to where I had been trying to make it to. I was warmly greeted seated and ordered a shawarma, humus, and some kind of juice I'll admit I'm not fully aware of what it was. In any event this was a standard meal and after forcing myself to eat it (still a little weird in the mornings trying to get food down) I headed to the register with my 50 shekel note in hand and was greeted to a surprise. I was charged 104 shekel for my meal! I suppose this is my fault for not paying attention but I thought getting ripped off would be like... 30-40 shekel which is still only $10. But jesus, 104? that's $26 for a wrap! I've been paying 18 shekel for a Shawarma and a drink pretty consistently. When I questioned the price he barked something at me about being insulted and rather than fighting with someone yelling at me in a different language I bit the bullet and paid.
After lunch I was looking around Jerusalem again and found a flight of stairs that looked to lead up to the roof, shure enough it did. So I did a little exploring and setteled on a return trip in the evening. The way the market streets are set up they are covered so by being on the roof there are points all over the city where you can look down on the busy market streets below. Pretty cool.
After lunch I headed back to my hostel to get my picutres downloaded and update my blog with some news I had written over the past day. I once again bumped into this family I've seen about 5 times now, in both Tel-Aviv and here in Jerusalem and gave them fair warning of the rip off of a resutraunt on Chain st. After a quick nap back in my room I hit the road again bound for the Tomb Garden (a possible secondary location for the burial of Christ) and then the roof tops. On my way out the door, the sun decided to pop and reveal a destracting enough view of the Dome of the Rock to elicit a trip to the roof of my hostel before I headed out.
After the annoying march through the throngs of people buying useless trinkets required to make it to the Damascus gate I hopped across the street out of the old city and headed to the Tomb Garden. Regaurdless of your religious position, it's an interesting feeling being within viewing distance of the place Christ died and the possible location of his burial (and ressurection). On the note of the spot jesus is suspect to have been crucified, it's now rather disappointingly a tour bus parking lot for the old city. Not sure how that happened.
Upon returning to old city jerusalem I decided to do some night shooting in the markets. The makrets here are built into the walls of this ancient city lining the street with vendors selling fruit, meet and meals, people selling fo-designer clothes, luggage, trinkets, jewlery, cellhpones, electornics, basically everything that can be sold is sold somewhere in Jerusalem. Feels cheap, unncecissary and flat out weird but it's here. These markets pack out with people and between 5 and 8:30 it makes manuvering around the city a nightmare.
Probably most shocking of the shops were the ones where meat was being sold. Meat is sold with skinned animals hanging by hooks pricatically in the street, no refridgeration, no protection, just kinda... hanging there.
I'm going to go out and explore a bit more. I'll finish this later. For now I'll leave this though: