Sunday, April 22, 2018

Jerusalem

Though not on our original itinerary, Jerusalem proved irresistible once Ally and I realized that it was only an hour away with the bus from Tel Aviv. Still, as people were quick to point out, there is no way of giving this city of cities any justice in half a day. As such, all one can hope for are glimpses, snippets of a history that remains completely overwhelming. Thanks to Rafaela, we made a first stop in the serene garden of the Austrian Hospice with a Wiener Melange which was well needed in order to prepare us for the deluge of tourists, pilgrims and school children on our way to the Western Wall.

After a couple of hours inside the Old Town, we found another safe haven at the American Colony Hotel which I remembered from a fascinating documentary about its mixed Israeli-Palestinian management team and how they have somehow been able to keep away from the endless conflict. Unlike in Tel Aviv, security was otherwise very visible in Jerusalem in ways that revealed how distant normalization still is.

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